Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


i have the weirdest high right now
January 17, 2012 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Which is easier to buy: Viagra or Marijuana?
posted by DU (62 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
there's an ad right at the top pointing me to a store selling e-viagra. so.. there's one answer to the question.
posted by ninjew at 8:35 AM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


He grabbed the display jar and placed it in front of me, accompanied by a second jar, the slightly more expensive OG-47. I couldn't believe it. This guy was trying to upsell me!

I'm not sure I understand what is so unbelievable about this, even in the medical context. If you go to purchase a wheelchair using a medicaid allowance, I'm pretty sure they'll try to get you to buy the nicest one.
posted by griphus at 8:36 AM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Try this next: In a state in which medical marijuana is not legal, is it easier for a 20-year-old to purchase marijuana or alcohol?
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:38 AM on January 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


Another great Rob Cockerham post. His website is hilarious! The guy is a practical comic genius.
posted by Blogwardo at 8:39 AM on January 17, 2012


I think it's funny because medical marijuana is simultaneously existing in both worlds and in neither world is upselling that common.

My pharmacies have never tried to upsell me, anyway. First of all, they have to give you what it says on the scrip. And second, all the recommendations I've ever gotten from a pharmacist have been to ask the doctor to prescribe a generic, i.e. cheaper version.

If you buy drugs from Vinnie on the street, does he try to upsell? I guess probably.
posted by DU at 8:39 AM on January 17, 2012


I think this depends a whole lot on the company you keep.
posted by pwally at 8:40 AM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I find it a little hard to believe. I'm 99% sure if I just went to my GP and said I had a problem, he would fill out a prescription for me.

He might find it a bit hard to believe, as a) I am only 34 and b) he is also my newborn child's pediatrician, but if he was just a doctor that didn't know me I'm guessing it wouldn't be a problem.

Or is it really the case that everyone who gets the prescription has to go to an impotence seminar first? I feel like that must only happen if you call Pfizer directly.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:43 AM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Define "easier". It is probably more socially acceptable in many social circles to obtain perscription medicines, that would certainly make it "easier".
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:47 AM on January 17, 2012


I'm not clear you find hard to believe. Or why you think you have to go to the impotence seminar. Rob didn't.
posted by DU at 8:51 AM on January 17, 2012


First of all, they have to give you what it says on the scrip. And second, all the recommendations I've ever gotten from a pharmacist have been to ask the doctor to prescribe a generic, i.e. cheaper version.

Well, there's a difference between buying an herbal preparation and a synthesized drug. Your pharmacist won't upsell you because s/he needs to dispense one, specific drug that may come in brand-name or generic but either way has the same composition of active ingredient. A Viagra prescription entitles you to 1-[4-ethoxy-3-(6,7-dihydro-1-methyl-7-oxo-3-propyl-1H-pyrazolo[4,3-d]pyrimidin-5-yl) phenylsulfonyl]-4-methylpiperazine. A marijuana card, on the other hand, entitles you to a cornucopia of strains with different effects and potencies. If you're getting it for pain relief (as opposed to anxiety, or depression), you'll want a strain that's tailored for that. I'm not sure where the surprise comes in when the guy behind the counter tells you that a different (and, yes, more expensive) sort is going to be better for what your purposes are.
posted by griphus at 8:52 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


i didn't get to the end yet but i really really hope he uses both at once
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:53 AM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Your pharmacist up sells you all the time. Why do you think its always in the back of the store, past the most expensive items. Drugs are often loss leaders with the real money being in all the junk you walk past.
posted by Felex at 8:57 AM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


If you buy drugs from Vinnie on the street, does he try to upsell? I guess probably.

Nope; when I've bought from a delivery service, they usually have different varieties of different prices, but have never been like, "You GOTTA try this if you're a discerning consumer!" They just say, "Well, it's kinda different in ways XYZ, pick whichever one you want." Buying from a random friend-of-a-friend-of-a-guy-nobody-even-really-knows is even more straightforward and no-frills. It's a nice change from someplace like Radio Shack, where there's an upsell and an attempt to get your zip code and an inquiry about signing up for their newsletter.
posted by spockpuppet at 8:58 AM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah, but Vinnie does try to offload a cell phone on you occasionally.
posted by griphus at 9:01 AM on January 17, 2012


There's a marijuana delivery service? In my state, the only delivery associated with marijuana is "you to jail".
posted by DU at 9:02 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


its illegal DU but in new york and some other places they are essentially decriminalized in that they operate out in the open
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:03 AM on January 17, 2012


Access to prescription medication all depends on your doc. Some are happy to let you email them and ask for basically anything while others will make you jump through all sorts of hoops (I've had both). I'd guess that his experience getting Viagra was probably more difficult than anyone who has a good relationship with a primary care doc.

It's important to note that because Kaiser is both his insurer and employer of his doctor they have a vested interest in keeping drug costs down. Viagra and similar meds are often requested for recreational purposes so Kaiser figured out a way to put a little speed bump in there to weed out people that don't have an actual medical problem - most 20 or 30 somethings are not going to be willing to go to a boner seminar.

Also: a fairer comparison to medical MJ would have been going to one of the many, many online web sites selling Viagra and simply ordering it.
posted by cmj at 9:06 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a junior in high school once told me on a immersion market-research project:

"It's so much easier to get weed around here than beer, man. I wish they'd make beer illegal too."

Out of the mouths of babes...
posted by nickrussell at 9:10 AM on January 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Your pharmacist up sells you all the time. Why do you think its always in the back of the store, past the most expensive items. Drugs are often loss leaders with the real money being in all the junk you walk past.

That's not upselling. What you're describing is a "loss leader"--although the notion that prescription drugs are a loss leader is certainly a new one on me.
posted by yoink at 9:13 AM on January 17, 2012


definitely maurijuana
posted by PowerofAttorney at 9:14 AM on January 17, 2012


For Viagra (and it's competitors) all it takes is a trip to my GP and he'll gladly send me home with a bag full of samples and a script. The big issue is cost. Those little blue pills run about $10 each, and my insurance doesn't cover it.

I only know one person who regularly buys weed, and the cost of that is eye-popping.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:16 AM on January 17, 2012


I'm surprised that the MD didn't do a cardiovascular screen. A lot of doctors won't prescribe ED drugs until they've ruled the ED out as an early warning symptom of clogged arteries and heart trouble.
posted by localroger at 9:17 AM on January 17, 2012


Walmart's pharmacy is based on this concept. Your right, its loss leaders and not up selling. But concepts are close in my mind, go in for one product, leave with an unintentional sale.
posted by Felex at 9:17 AM on January 17, 2012


my serious reply is this:

right now, even though I don't live in a state with medical marijuana, my next 1/8th is a phone call away. but i had to work and trade some social capital to get there. and this is probably the 10th 'guy' i've been through. and the first one where the product is reliably good and available.

i'd imagine once you get your first Viagra script, a refill is a phone call away, too. but in that case, the product will always be the same.

if you're lucky enough to be able to use MM, getting a refill doesn't even seem to require approval. you just go buy more, as long as the dispensary doesn't get raided.
posted by ninjew at 9:18 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


What is up with the random words in this article?

"To get Viagra, the unexpected Coleridgeblock was that I had to attend an impotence class"
posted by jewzilla at 9:19 AM on January 17, 2012


I only know one person who regularly buys weed, and the cost of that is eye-popping.

Lucky it protects against glaucoma then.
posted by yoink at 9:22 AM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a 42 year old man long past his stoner years I would have no idea where to get weed, unless I went groveling to my college age nephew. Not be a good idea. On the other hand, I think I muttered the word "erection" to my doctor and the next thing I knew she was offering to write me a prescription. No boner seminars needed.
posted by bondcliff at 9:22 AM on January 17, 2012


If my email is correct (and if you can't believe your email, who can you believe?) viagra is easiest to acquire but only with Vicodin. Odd combination that. You'd have a raging hardon but you'd be totally nodding out. Maybe you could rent yourself out as a ring toss.
posted by jonmc at 9:25 AM on January 17, 2012 [15 favorites]


What is up with the random words in this article?

On Zug, for unregistered users certain swear words are replaced by names of famous poets. This is unfortunate if your last name is Cockerham.

If you register I think you can also select pasta shapes or turn it off completely.
posted by bondcliff at 9:25 AM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Your pharmacist up sells you all the time. Why do you think its always in the back of the store, past the most expensive items.

Its at the back of the store because its not an optional visit. If you need to pick up a prescription, you have to visit the pharmacist regardless of where he is in the store. If you don't have a prescription, you won't visit the pharmacist. Due to the latter case, it is incredibly wasteful to put him/her in a place that is actually convenient as a large number of customers are guaranteed not to purchase anything and those who will, will track it down regardless what inconvenient corner it is in. So they save the good real-estate for selling things where the purchase is optional and making your shopping experience better sells more. The fact you have to go through all that stuff to make your required purchase is definitely a bonus.
posted by Bovine Love at 9:26 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm more curious as to the question "which is easier to get, Viagra or oral contraceptive?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:30 AM on January 17, 2012 [15 favorites]


Interesting thought on this one. I know that I could easily get a hold of either within 24 hours without much hassle. The question boils down to who I can contact and meet with more quickly: the grower who doesn't wake up until noon and will wake and bake or the escort who sells the blue pill to her clients at $50 a pop? The grower is only a 20 minute drive, the escort is 45 minutes across town. She also might be with a client. Knowing the both of them, I'd say that weed would be easier to get right now. I could grab it on my lunch break.

And I to think there was a time in my life where I was innocent.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:31 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do you need a prescription to buy medicine online in the US? I've always been confused by this - in the UK we don't pay for our medicine in terms of how much it costs, but a nominal NHS prescription charge of, I think, £7.80 per item. (I'm not sure how it works for private prescriptions. My last NHS prescription had, for some reason, 'EXPENSIVE DRUGS' stamped next to one of the items.). How does it work when you pay the market rate for your POMs? How do people go over the border to Canada to get their drugs if they are controlled and available on prescription?

There's a shop round the corner offering 'Herbal Vigro' so I could ask them.
posted by mippy at 9:35 AM on January 17, 2012


Misleading...any guy with an internist he has been using for some time probably only needs to make a phone call to his doc and the viagra will be waiting to be picked upl
posted by Postroad at 9:45 AM on January 17, 2012


Just don't get the two mixed up. I smoked Viagra once and my tongue was hard for five hours.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:45 AM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Domestically it depends on how reputable (or not) the distributor is. Of course, there are lots of things available on line that use the name Viagra and images of the little rohmboidal blue pill that have noting to do with Sildenafil citrate. Sort of like going out to buy marijuana and coming home with a bag of oregano.

And thus we have come full circle.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:46 AM on January 17, 2012


Is it hard to get oral contraceptives in any state that also has marijuana available?
posted by DU at 9:47 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Next: Which one is easier to travel with on a plane?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:55 AM on January 17, 2012


I find it a little hard to believe. I'm 99% sure if I just went to my GP and said I had a problem, he would fill out a prescription for me.

The author's in Kaiser, a managed health care plan. It's in their interests as the combined insurance and medical provider to weed out the casual users.
posted by zippy at 9:58 AM on January 17, 2012


If you have marijuana you shouldn't need Viagra.

Pizza? Sure. Viagra? Not so much.
posted by Splunge at 10:37 AM on January 17, 2012


(since no one has mentioned it, I'd like to compliment the thread title--nice Community reference!)
posted by LooseFilter at 10:51 AM on January 17, 2012


> What is up with the random words in this article?

"To get Viagra, the unexpected Coleridgeblock was that I had to attend an impotence class"


This is hilarious to me. I thought the word "Frost" seemed a bit out of place but realized when I came to the end that this site is auto-correcting curse words using literary names (f*ck > Frost, c*ck > Coleridge). The best part where they link to his site at the bottom of the article but have to use a zero in the name to fool the text filter and a bit.ly link to fool the URL filter.
posted by SpaceBass at 10:59 AM on January 17, 2012


He checked my testicles, penis, and a couple spots on my pubic bone. "Cough."
I guess nothing was amiss because he motioned for me to zip it back up.
After that 40-second exam, he let me know that he was going to have me try the bomb diggity skunk weed.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:09 AM on January 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


Viagra definitely harder. Definitely.
posted by sfts2 at 11:30 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Viagra is over the counter where I live and the penalty for possessing even a small amount of weed is years in prison.
posted by atrazine at 12:24 PM on January 17, 2012


This reminds me of one of my favorite comics
posted by exogenous at 12:35 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


It may not be hard to get but it sure gets you hard.

no regrets
posted by euphorb at 12:51 PM on January 17, 2012


That's funny, boner pills are over-the-counter here in Brazil. No one bats an eyelash.

Dunno if that makes my country look good or bad.
posted by Tom-B at 1:39 PM on January 17, 2012


"No wood," I said. "I can fix that", my doc. Viagra! Michigan
posted by Mojojojo at 2:24 PM on January 17, 2012


Fine. Which is easier to get.... Birth control or testosterone, and where?
posted by Dreidl at 2:49 PM on January 17, 2012


"No wood," I said. "I can fix that", my doc. Viagra! Michigan

This reads like a palindrome someone gave up on.
posted by griphus at 2:57 PM on January 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


Is it hard to get contraceptives in any state that also has marijuana available?

Pretty much any doctor wants to do a pelvic exam and pap smear before they'll give you the pill. I understand the preventative ideas behind that well (cervical cancer is very easily treated if caught early, etc). But it certainly is a good deal harder than walking in and asking for it, and it always feels a little bit like extortion: we'll let you have these pills you really need/want, if you'll get undressed and let us do a fairly uncomfortable thing to you.

And in any state in the US right now, a pharmacist can refuse to fill your prescription for birth control and you can't do anything about it except go to another pharmacy if you can. Funny how you never hear about pharmacists refusing to fill Viagra prescriptions.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:17 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


In Kathmandu there was a supermarket that had Viagra alongside condoms and chewing gum at the cash registers, and you couldn't walk ten metres without someone selling hash.
posted by nfg at 6:20 PM on January 17, 2012


Sounds like Bob Seger needs to add a new verse...
posted by the_artificer at 6:41 PM on January 17, 2012


Mippy, to answer your question (I can't specifically speak to Viagra, but I can to the US/Canada/script/no script issue): my health care provider sent me a letter about a year ago stating that my albuterol rescue inhaler would no longer be covered unless I submitted a letter from my doctor stating it was "medically necessary" and I agreed to order it via mail through WebCo every three months/no more than 4x per year, with faxes sent directly to the company.

Since I was traveling when the letter arrived and I didn't open it/respond until after the 21 days the company stated I had to respond, I now have the lone option of paying $88.90 every time I pick one up. (Full disclosure: once I've met my $2,500 deductible, they're only $35/apiece.) Either way, it's still almost $1000 USD per year for me to breathe. And that's WITH good insurance; I have PPO coverage, which is pretty good by US standards.

I can order a year's supply of the same medicine without a prescription online from some pharmacies in Canada and Mexico for about $35-50 USD, sometimes including shipping.

I'm in Texas, though - and our state laws require that every prescription medication be logged and tracked so that if anyone starts doctor-shopping or exhibiting drug-seeking behavior, i.e., trying to get something refilled before 27 days since the last refill date occurrred (or thereabouts), that person's request is automatically denied.

And let me tell you how much sense that makes when you're having an asthma attack in front of the Kroger pharmacist at 10 a.m. on a Sunday and she tells you politely you're out of refills and they can't call the doctor to authorize any more until Monday... and then asks if you'd like her to call 911, since she can't legally dispense your life-saving medicine - which you've had listed as a required maintenance medication in your medical records since 1985 - under any circumstances.

Of course, I could always just move to a more enlightened state, I guess.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:52 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Erectile disorders can be a symptom of some very serious medical conditions. It's probably a good idea for people seeking ED medication to get a proper medical check first. I suppose the same might go for medical marijuana use, but I don't think there's a lobby for treating medical marijuana more seriously.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:10 PM on January 17, 2012


OK story (albeit SEO chum without much unique value, other than the fascinating tidbit about Kaiser's impotence class), but what I would really like is to read an actual legitimate patient's story of trying to get a medical marijuana recommendation from Kaiser. The best my friend with MS could do was a marinol scrip. Boooooo.

In a state in which medical marijuana is not legal, is it easier for a 20-year-old to purchase marijuana or alcohol?

Alcohol. Any day. At most restaurants, a 20-year-old can order beer or wine for dinner and the server won't blink an eye.

i didn't get to the end yet but i really really hope he uses both at once

Indeed. Major story flaw there.

I only know one person who regularly buys weed, and the cost of that is eye-popping.

I dunno about eye-popping compared to Paxil, Prozac, et al. Also, medical marijuana has seriously depressed street prices. You can get decent weed at dispensaries for $25, and I can get top-notch White Rhino (really great for chronic pain ... or nausea ... or knocking out n00bs ;) for $40 an 8th. 15 years ago (and really up until ~5 years ago), $60 an 8th (~$400 per oz.) was pretty standard. Now it's $40-45/$300.

I use a lot of marijuana, probably as much as an ounce a month, but I share quite a bit in general and specifically with someone else who doesn't pay anything (and I smoke quite a bit). So it's really 50-75% of 1 oz/month, which is still $150-225/month, i.e. a lot of money.

But for casual-to-semi-regular users, an eighth can last a month. $480 has to be much less than cable + HBO and a better deal than some alternatives. Paxil (non-subsidized) is what ... $1,500-2,000 a year? (for the lowest dose). Prozac is ~$2,700/year at the lowest dose.

I'll probably get a recommendation card eventually (I do have 2 legitimate medical uses), but the whole process feels a bit unseemly.

Hmm... I wonder why Consumer Reports didn't include cannabis in their antidepressant comparison ...)

Also, you can buy VI4GR4 fairly cheap and easily online. It comes in the mail.

(Also, I ♥ Smedleyman.)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:17 AM on January 18, 2012


Next: Which one is easier to travel with on a plane?

I've been meaning to ask that AskMe question for a while. With the new backscanners and patdowns, what is the easiest way to smuggle less than an ounce of marijuana on a plane? (Not sure if the question is kosher (advocating illegal activity?) so feel free to answer here. ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:18 AM on January 18, 2012


I would favorite that AskMe, mrgrimm.
posted by ninjew at 9:23 AM on January 18, 2012


I think what'd you'd really want to be worried about is the drug sniffing dogs.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:17 AM on January 18, 2012


I think what'd you'd really want to be worried about is the drug sniffing dogs.

Bah. These don't really exist for me. I've only seen them at customs (i.e. international flights). There used to be a guy with a machine gun and German shepherd at the end of security, but he's mostly gone now, I think, and the dog wasn't a drug-sniffing dog anyway.

Pre-backscanner/patdown, I smuggled weed in my trousers almost every flight I took. Now I'm a bit concerned... better to carry on our pack in shipped luggage. It's gotta still be carry-on, but maybe no?

(I'm not going to post it to AskMe ... from the FAQ: "Common reasons for thread removal are chatfilter questions, open-ended hypothetical questions, rants posing as questions, questions asking how to do things that are illegal or borderline illegal ...")
posted by mrgrimm at 1:31 PM on January 18, 2012


With the new backscanners and patdowns, what is the easiest way to smuggle less than an ounce of marijuana on a plane?

At least one of the links is under SOPA blackout now, but I would look at the citations under the "Ineffectiveness" section of the Wikipedia article (link is to the mobile Wikipedia to bypass SOPA blackout).

By point of reference, I was sent through one of the pornoscanners human irradiators backscatter machines about three weeks ago and they flagged some cough drops in my shirt chest pocket.
posted by exogenous at 4:25 PM on January 18, 2012


« Older Most people have heard of Daniel Lanois for his pr...  |   Copenhagen's Christiania squa... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments