For most patients, getting a medical marijuana card seems like the golden ticket for finally feeling relief after years of traditional treatments failing. Having a medical marijuana card allows you legal access to medicinal cannabis. However, the process can seem confusing, frowned upon, or nearly impossible to complete. Doctors aren’t prescribing this alternative treatment as easily as they do pharmaceutical drugs. Specific steps need to be taken in order to get access and some requirements need to be met.
Luckily, with the right guidance and information, you can be on your way to owning a medical marijuana card without much difficulty. Once you are knowledgeable about the process, it isn’t as difficult or confusing as many patients seem to believe that it is. To get you started, here are three requirements you’ll need in order to get your medical marijuana card.
Proof of Residence
Firstly, you’ll need proof of residence. This can easily be proven with a valid driver’s licence. Medical marijuana isn’t legal everywhere. It’s currently legal in all of Canada and in 23 states and Washington, D.C. in the U.S.
However, the legalization of medicinal cannabis is on the rise. In 2014 alone, three new states have been added to the list, and there are currently other states with pending legislature. If you don’t reside in a state that currently legalizes its use, unfortunately, you’ll have to stop here as you won’t be able to get a medical marijuana card. However, keep up to date with the local politics, because it may well become law where you live in the near future.
If you live in an area that has medical marijuana laws in place, then your next step is to make sure your condition is listed as eligible for access to medical cannabis. These lists of eligibility vary by state, so check out your local law on this subject.
Severe, debilitating, or terminal illnesses, like cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS, are on just about every list and will pretty much guarantee that you’re eligible. Other conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, anorexia, depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, nausea, wasting syndrome, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and hepatitis C are on many but not all eligibility lists.
However, some areas are more focused on your symptoms rather than your condition and it’s up to a doctor to decide your eligibility. If you can prove through a diagnosis that you have chronic pain because of a condition that isn’t on the list of eligibility, you may still be eligible.
The last and most important step to getting your medical marijuana card is finding a doctor to sign your forms. However, not all doctors are on board with prescribing medicinal cannabis, so you might have to find a new doctor for this part. Many physicians don’t feel qualified to prescribe it; others don’t believe there is enough scientific evidence to warrant its prescription, while others are just firmly against its use for moral reasons. Whatever the reason may be, your doctor could just say no to your request.
Luckily, there are medical marijuana clinics and doctors out there that specifically work with patients looking for a cannabis prescription. So if you have a diagnosis of an eligible condition, you’ll most likely be able to get a card once you find the right doctor. It might just take a little bit of research to find a clinic that will provide the services you require.
If you have established these three requirements, then you’re on your way to getting a medical marijuana card.