J Street Wellness Collective
November’s statewide ballot is looking a little greener than usual with Proposition 19. But while many Sacramentans are hopeful about the results of the fall, Ron Mullins, director of J Street Wellness Collective, is concerned about the proposition and what it might mean for patients between the ages of 18 to 21. Not to mention his theories on potential corporate-cannabis monopolies. Mullins, who set up shop last June with the intent of being a mom-and-pop club that also caters to the LGBT community, is a veteran cannabis patient himself. He recalls just five years ago when Sacramento had but a single medical-cannabis doctor; now, the city’s dispensary count is at an all-time high.
Tell me about the past 10 years of medical cannabis.
Since the Obama-zation of medical marijuana, which is when the feds said, “We’re not going to focus on busting patients,” there’s been a whole influx of people coming into the fold. There have been more doctors showing up. Five years ago, you had to go to Oakland to get a doctor that would prescribe you. But now, little old ladies are finding out that this medicine is helping all kinds of problems that they have. … They’ve found a place where we really want to focus on the medicinal aspect.
What are your thoughts on the current medical-marijuana industry?
I’m a gay man, my husband works here … and we cater to the LGBT community. I feel a lot of the marijuana industry right now is very male-centric. I’ve had a friend who worked at a club for two years and never told the people that he worked with that he was gay, because the environment just seemed like maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea. So, that’s a niche that we’ve tried to carve out: a place where everybody can be comfortable no matter what. All the freaks and the geeks—and so far, it’s working.
How did you discover alternative medicine?
I played by the rules all my life. I took my Valium and I drank only on the weekends and I smoked my cigarettes and I was miserable. I suffered from mania and I had a friend that convinced me that I should smoke marijuana, because he believed it was medicine. … I thought, “Why not?” And, as I started smoking, it did wonderful things for me. I quit drinking, I quit smoking cigarettes, I quit all the pills and took herbology classes and learned how to deal with my issues herbally. I just really believe in the medicine. I’m able to be who I am, I’m able to do what I’ve always wanted to do and help people.
What’s your favorite strain?
I love Maui Wowie. Whenever that comes in, I make sure to get some of my own, because it’s old-school and it’s a really nice indica for when I have mania. And when I want a sativa, it’s Alaskan Thunder.
Share your thoughts on Propostion 19.
I have a lot of concerns about Prop. 19. All the patients between 18 to 21 are going to be subject to jail time, and I don’t like the limits they’re putting on grows. I think that could really mess up the system. I personally am not going to vote for it, and I wouldn’t recommend people voting for it. I think something better will come, real legalization. From a medical standpoint, I see no impact, but from a compassionate standpoint, I see a lot of problems. You take it out of the hands of the small people. That’s one of the beauties of this medicine: that if you don’t have a lot of money, you can potentially grow it for yourself. And if [Prop. 19 proponents] get their way, it’s going to go away. If you read the law carefully, it says a 25-foot-by-25-foot space. So they’re basically trying to limit anybody from growing anything that’s going to compete with big corporations.
Is there still a medical-cannabis stigma?
People have been led to believe marijuana is so awful … it’s just ingrained in them. I think people think if you enjoy your medicine, you’re somehow an addict or something. So, when they see someone having medicine helping them with their pain and helping them with their sleep, but they’re also getting “high” and enjoying it, they think that there’s something wrong with that. I think it’s really great to have a medicine that people are so enthusiastic about … because so much of medicine taking is like a chore that we have to do to try to be well, when you can actually take this medicine and be well.
What would the world be like if everyone smoked a little?
Well, first I’ll premise this by saying it should only be smoked by people who wanted to, but if everyone wanted to, I think we would have less road rage, I think we would have better TV shows, the food industry would boom. I really honestly believe it makes people so relaxed … I think you can be productive and ingest marijuana and better enjoy your off time and still be able to function.