Ever wonder how to get a medical cannabis card? Perfect. You’ve come to the right post. The state of California empowers patients to treat their medical conditions with medical marijuana. There has been a ton of research concerning the medical benefits and efficacy of medical marijuana as medicine, so it’s reassuring to see that the State of California has taken note and permitted safe access to medical marijuana.
How is MMJ even legal in California?
In 1996, the state enacted Proposition 215, also known as the California Compassionate Use Act, into law. Prop 215 empowered Californians to seek relief of ailments through medical marijuana, but only at great personal risk because the medical card actually offered no real protections. This legislation did not provide any real patient, environmental or consumer protections and many patients suffered for this lack of clarity in the laws. Even though Prop 15 made it legal to treat with medical marijuana, courts were hitting patients and doctors both with criminal convictions and jail time. The laws at the local, state and federal levels contradicted one another and this utter lack of clarity in medical marijuana laws have hurt many people.
The passage of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) in 2015 represents a step forward in marijuana legislation. Under MMRSA, local governments are encouraged to craft their own ordinances to regulate medical marijuana as the community sees fit. MMRSA originally imposed a statewide deadline which, for many counties, did not provide sufficient time to engage in earnest discourse with constituents. By the time the state passed emergency legislation to address the stringent deadline, the damage had been done and many governments had locked themselves into long-term bans. Although the hope remains that bans can be reversed, they are significantly harder to overturn.
In jurisdictions where medical marijuana is regulated, patients continue to bear the brunt of paying taxes for their medicines. Although some governments seem to be softening up when it comes to the influx of revenue that medical marijuana taxes represent, it is worth remembering that these regulations tax sick people.
MMRSA is for real and it is real life, but advocacy at all levels is sorely needed. It is pretty easy to get involved, actually. Just call or write your locally elected official and consider showing up for those board meetings and public sessions. Local governments have so far tended toward restrictive measures to ban medical marijuana, which demonstrates a great deal of short-sightedness and an apparent unwillingness to engage in earnest discourse with their constituency.
Officially, locally elected officials have listened to their constituent’s needs and decided to ban anyway which has admittedly been discouraging for many. However, those of us who fight back the urge to offer a cherried joint to these officials might have trouble articulating the complex histories, thoughts and emotions inextricable from ones treatment with medical marijuana. A two-minute limit might keep you from articulating that game-changing speech which wins everyone in the room over, but you’ll never know unless you try. There is great need for Stoners to try. A good start, is by getting your medical marijuana card. Here’s how to do it!
Once you have made the decision that medical marijuana is for you, you will need to see a doctor who specializes in medical marijuana evaluations. A quick internet search for 420 evaluations or medical marijuana doctor should pull up the results for your area. If there is a locally based newspaper or other counter-culture publications, you should take a look through their medical marijuana doctors section which may have valuable coupons to save you some money on your medical card so that you can spend more on medical weed.
Which medical marijuana doctors near me should I visit?
Which medical marijuana doctors near me should I visit? That’s a great question. Different clinics offer different prices and experiences. It’s worth paying attention to what marijuana patients in your area think. If nothing else, ask your friends where they got their medical marijuana evaluations done. You’ll be sharing some personal information with the doctor, so personal comfort amongst your friends might be a good indication as to which 420 doctor is best for you.
What do I talk about with a mmj doctor?
Medical marijuana doctors will need to know about you and your conditions so you should be earnest and truthful because the doctor is there to help you. With that said, the evaluation will probably not go in-depth with your medical history. Medical marijuana is used to treat many physical, mental and emotional ailments. The doctor will want to know what you have been using marijuana to treat and the evaluation will go from there as the marijuana doctor discusses your treatment with marijuana medicines.
What is treatable with medical weed?
Medical marijuana is used to treat a great many conditions. Patients seek relief for insomnia, depression, and muscle spasms to name a few. Patients undergoing extreme treatments such as chemotherapy, use medical weed to treat the side effects of their treatments. Different drugs affect different people differently so if you notice that you are treating an ailment, illness and/or condition with medical marijuana, be prepared to describe that to your 420 doctor.
Yep. Just give them a call and make an appointment. Some clinics might have an online reservation system and some places might just take you on a walk-in basis. Again, each clinic is unique but scheduling an appointment easy enough and can be done in a few minutes. Be sure to bring photo identification!
What kind of proof do I receive post evaluation?
Some places offer you a medical marijuana card which might be more expensive. Some places offer you a signed letter which is also valid and might be less expensive. Whatever the resulting document, keep it in a safe place and remember to bring it each time you visit a medical marijuana dispensary. This document is proof that you are allowed to possess and use medical weed for personal use. It might be a good idea to keep a copy handy in case it gets lost, otherwise you might need to pay extra for your doctor to issue you a replacement.
What if my MMJ card isn’t approved?
If your medical marijuana doctor does not approve your evaluation, bummer man. You’re probably out that evaluation fee, but you still can opt to visit other 420 doctors, however many as you wish until you find one agrees that medical weed would help treat your specific medical conditions . Treating medical conditions with medical marijuana is a major decision and fortunately there are many options and in-depth information available to complete your evaluation too.
Medical grade marijuana comes from people who care about MMJ patients
Many patients endure serious and debilitating illnesses which negatively impact their quality of life. The medical marijuana market is diverse and many new products and medicines have been developed to accommodate these patients. These medicines provide relief from symptoms whose severity in some cases is fatal. Products such as vape pens, CBD oils, suppositories and other alternatives have been developed to provide alternative means for patients to administer medicines.
Medical-grade marijuana meets qualitative standards, but there is need for sensible and thoughtful regulation to ensure medicines are free from contaminants. Regulations mandating testing of all medicines is a good start. Regulations to require that all the cannabinoids (e.g. THC, CDG, CBN, etc.) within the medicine are provided on clear and easy-to-read labels is another good start.
The production of medical-grade marijuana would not be possible without the excellent work of local dispensing collectives and all those devoted to providing Californians with natural, high-quality medicine. Stoners today are part of unprecedented developments in California’s relationship with medical marijuana and there is much work to be done at all levels of government.
MMJ is Stuff Stoners Like
New stoners might want to get familiarized with the side effects and subjective effects of medical marijuana. Start small. Listen to your body’s needs and breathe deep if you need to relax: no one has died from smoking weed, no matter how frightening their moments of self-introspection and ego death may be. Exercise your right to give pot a chance today and give yourself honest opportunity to assess how these medicines impacts you while high or sober.
Medical weed is helping a lot of people where pharmaceutical drugs have fallen short. Getting a medical marijuana card doesn’t even mean you have to try pot first. For a few bucks, a frank conversation with a marijuana doctor is easily accessible to every discerning adult. Medical marijuana products come in a great many varieties and you don’t have to burn the flower and inhaling its smoke to receive its medicinal benefit. Tinctures, edibles, sprays, creams and other products are available to try. Encourage your local officials to risk their careers by smoking pot and maybe absurd and discriminatory practices like employer required drug testing will go away. Stoners of all kinds can lend a hand by calling or writing their locally elected officials to continue the medical marijuana dialogue. It may seem daunting, these small efforts really matter.
By Henry Calderón
Stay tuned for my post on how to get medical marijuana. Do you have an medical marijuana card? What state are you, what medical conditions do you treat with medical weed and how hard was it to get your mmj card? Let us know in the comments section below.