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BBC Buys Marijuana in LA: 'This place is like Amsterdam'

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BBC News Correspondent David Willis wanted to see how hard or easy it was to get a medical marijuana prescription in California. He went to a clinic in the San Fernando Valley of the city and the only medical condition he could think of was how he gets anxious.

Soon, the doctor appeared - a softly-spoken Vietnamese man who introduced himself as Dr Do. He wore a white lab coat and scrubs and led me into a spartan room where he proceeded to take my pulse and blood pressure before asking precisely how long I had been anxious.

"Several years," I told him.

"Do you suffer panic attacks?" "Not really."

Dr Do wrote panic attacks in his notebook. We spent a few minutes shooting the breeze about Asian cuisine and he signed a prescription for medicinal marijuana, valid for a year.

And that was it. Done and dusted in less than 10 minutes.

"You see, I told you," a friend waiting outside told him. "This place is like Amsterdam." Now part of the 250,000 Californians who carry a license to get high, Willis decided not to buy, but rather to frame his achievement and dress his wall with it.

Photo of a Studio City Dispensary by lavocado via Flickr