How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card


Jason Mueller

January 24th, 2018

Policy


Medical cannabis programs have spread significantly since ’96 when California first legalized it: today there are more States than not with medical cannabis laws!  With the fervor built around recreational legalization of cannabis, it is important to preserve medical programs and ensure that those with medical need of cannabis-medicine aren’t languishing in an unprotected, recreational environment.  Education is paramount: the more people that know how simple and beneficial medical programs are around the country, the higher the likelihood of them thriving and growing through recreational moves for legalization.

For those living in States where medical cannabis is not legal or readily available, it may come as a shock that there are advantages to participating in a State’s medical cannabis program versus simply being a recreational consumer.  One example is taxes.  Medical cannabis patients aren’t taxed at the same rate as recreational users when getting their medicine in most States, so you can expect savings when you get your MMJ card.  Another benefit is the protection you’re afforded as a patient when you have a medical card for cannabis.  If found with cannabis in a MMJ legal State where recreational cannabis is illegal, you may find yourself in trouble with the law if you don’t have a card.  Lastly, the biggest reason to consider getting an MMJ card is because in some States, patients are afforded the right to grow cannabis.  In States where there is a recreational grow law, typically medical cannabis users with a card will have an increased plant limit to accommodate their prescribed necessity.

Getting a MMJ card isn’t hard in most States, but it is markedly easier in some versus others.  For instance, in CA since Prop 215 passed, doctors can issue a “recommendation” for medical cannabis as prescribing it puts them at risk due to Federal law.  Many doctors have set up shops specifically to evaluate new patients and get them their medical cannabis card.  As was its design, Prop 215 doesn’t strictly mandate qualifying conditions.  Instead, the program was designed so that most Californians would be approved for MMJ should they apply.

State Qualifying Conditions Steps to Get a MMJ Card Ease of Process (1-5 , 5 being VERY easy)
Colorado
  • Any Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • AIDS
  • (PTSD)
  • OR… If the patient has a chronic and/or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces one or more of the following:
  • Cachexia, Persistent muscle spasms, Seizures, Severe nausea, Severe pain, etc.
1) Be a CO resident with a valid SSN.
2) Be recieving treatment for any of the qualifying conditions.
3) Have been examined by a doctor with whom you have a legitimate physician-patient relationship.4) Submit your application, Physician Certification, a copy of your photo ID, and a $15 check or money order made out to CDPHE.
****
Washington
  • Cancer
  • AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Epilepsy/ other seizure disorders
  • Spasticity disorders
  • Intractable pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hepatitis C
  • Diseases, including anorexia, which result in nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms, or spasticity
  • Chronic renal failure requiring dialysis
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • PTSD
1)  Get medical marijuana authorization from a healthcare practicioner that is authorized to recommend cannabis for medical purposes.

2) Join the Medical Marijuana Authorization Database.

3) Recieve your MMJ card.

*****
California
  • Any Cancer
  • Anorexia
  • AIDS
  • Chronic pain
  • Spasticity
  • Cachexia
  • Persistent muscle spasms, including those associated with multiple sclerosis
  • Seizures, including, but not limited to, epileptic fits
  • Severe nausea
  • Glaucoma
  • Arthritis
  • Migraines
  • Any chronic or persistent medical symptom that limits the ability of the person to conduct one or more major life activities (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) or, if not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the patient’s safety or physical or mental health.
1)  Either visit a 420 doctor in person for an evaluation for a one-time fee where you’ll recieve a recommendation (works like a card) and have the option to buy a MMJ card OR… pay a service fee but complete the entire MMJ card application process online, thanks to CA’s telehealth laws. *****

Though these States are some of the best examples of MMJ programs, it can be harder to obtain a MMJ card in newly legal MMJ States like PA, or any of the CBD-only law States like Alabama.  Be sure to research the process of application in your State and have documents including your medical history readily available.  Getting a MMJ card isn’t a chore, but many States do work hard to prohibit abuse of the system by people who aren’t in dire need of cannabis-based medicine.  As in CA before, the best route to take to be approved for a MMJ card if you aren’t suffering for cancer or AIDS could be talking with your doctor, identifying and confirming chronic pain issues, and making sure those notes are included in your medical file when applying for your card.

Jason Mueller

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