That was the beginning of a rouse under which many Californians had access to legal marijuana as long as they went to one of many doctors giving out recommendation. Soon doctors began popping up all over the place, and for $60 to $100 you could get a "for sure" recommendation from one of hundreds.
For many stoners turned "patients", this a dream come true. They could now posses and even grow cannabis legally, for simply paying what to them is basically a "marijuana tax". The funny thing is everyone knows the law is a joke. Sure some people really need pot, but most people just want to be able to pack their bong, get thoroughly baked, and watch a movie.
So why are we playing this game? Even cops laugh when someone shows them a medical recommendation for marijuana. It's like getting a prescription for the movies, or for one slice of pizza, taken every four hours.
At best medical marijuana is a stepping stone to legalize marijuana. In that sense it's been fairly successful. Since it began it's brought a lot of media attention to the pot industry. It's likely that marijuana legalization will pass in California within a few years. After that it'll only be a matter of time before other states and even other countries follow suit.
Medical marijuana is legal in 15 U.S states. It seems like a harmless loophole for marijuana lovers. Though we're spending a lot of money artificially growing the medical industry, and miss-classifying our citizens as patients instead of potheads. Unfortunately it doesn't seem as though there are any other short term solutions. Especially for patients in real need, for the rest of us we'll just wait a while and keep going to the doctor to get high.