33 states plus Washington, D.C., have marijuana use programs for medicinal or recreational purposes. Even though those states have enacted laws permitting the use of medicinal marijuana, certain medical programs have yet to launch. For example, Utahns and West Virginians will need to hold off on applying for MMJ cards for at least a few months.
Nearly three million Americans use medical marijuana, with California accounting for nearly 40% of all patients. Typically, you must register with the state’s program, pay a fee, and then visit a doctor in order to obtain an MMJ card. Your medical history will be discussed, and the doctor will determine whether you are a good candidate for medicinal marijuana during the appointment.
The list of qualifying conditions differs from state to state, and it frequently happens that a patient who qualifies is turned away because they are unsure of what to say at a consultation. In this article, we want to inform you about how to speak properly to obtain a medical marijuana card.
Starting the Conversation
Despite the widespread legalization of medical marijuana in most states, there remains a sense of taboo surrounding it, which can create initial discomfort during consultations. It is important for both you and the doctor to acknowledge the purpose of the visit and proceed to discuss the drug openly and honestly. Share your reasons for believing that marijuana could be beneficial and disclose any past usage of the substance.
If you find yourself unsure of what to say during the appointment, you can break the ice by mentioning someone you know who is using medicinal marijuana and explain how it has been effective for them. Alternatively, you can mention that you have gathered information from a book, documentary, or online research.
Do not assume that the physician is well-informed about the latest research, even if they are registered in the program. While providing medical marijuana can be financially rewarding for many doctors, they also face the risk of losing their license and potential legal consequences if they knowingly recommend it to someone who is not eligible.
It is advisable to ask the physician if they have recently attended any workshops or continuing education programs specifically related to cannabis. The most likely response would be ‘no,’ but that does not necessarily mean you won’t receive a recommendation.
Assume that the doctor lacks knowledge about marijuana. If that’s the case, their inherent bias against it might prevent them from recommending it to you unless you can demonstrate that you have done your own research and understand why you are seeking it. A knowledgeable doctor will easily identify patients who are solely interested in getting high.
Consider your medical condition and find studies that highlight the positive effects of marijuana on others with the same illness. If you have a condition like chronic inflammatory disease, think about how it negatively affects your life and how cannabis could potentially alleviate the troubling symptoms.
To increase your chances of receiving a recommendation, it’s crucial to present yourself as knowledgeable and well-informed about marijuana, including its uses and potential impacts. Asking questions is also important. Otherwise, you may come across as someone solely interested in obtaining a recommendation to get high.
Here are some potential questions to ask:
– What activities should I avoid while using cannabis?
– Will marijuana interact with any other medications I’m currently taking?
– Does marijuana have any dangerous interactions with other drugs I’m using?
– Is second-hand smoke a concern, or is it advisable to use vaporizers?
– Can you recommend reliable sources for obtaining accurate information about marijuana?
– What are the healthcare costs associated with medical cannabis?
– Are there any other studies or research involving patients with my condition and the use of medical marijuana?
Understand the Qualifying Conditions
The list of medical conditions that typically qualify for an MMJ card recommendation varies depending on the state’s marijuana program. However, the following health issues are commonly considered valid reasons:
– Terminal Illness
– Severe pain or nausea
– Seizures, including those associated with epilepsy
– Alzheimer’s disease
– Crohn’s disease
– Parkinson’s disease
– Hepatitis C
– Severe/persistent muscle spasms
– Multiple sclerosis
– Ulcerative colitis
There are additional conditions, but it’s advisable to review the qualifying conditions specific to your state. In certain states, physicians are granted some flexibility. For instance, in California, individuals with chronic or persistent medical symptoms that hinder their ability to perform essential activities may be eligible for an MMJ card.
Occasionally, there have been cases where unexpected reasons were approved for medical marijuana use. Here are a few examples:
– A cough
– Cocaine dependency
– Color blindness
– Post-concussion syndrome
– Amblyopic dyslexia
– Writer’s cramp
Outline Previous Attempts to Treat the Condition
Regrettably, if you haven’t explored alternative treatment methods for the specific medical condition, it is highly improbable that a doctor will promptly authorize your application. In such a case, the doctor is likely to prescribe a conventional medication, such as opioids, instead.
The available treatment choices vary based on the condition you have. For example, if someone has depression, they may be advised to consult a therapist and try antidepressants before being eligible for approval to obtain a medical marijuana (MMJ) card.
Also Read: Can I Use My MMJ Card The Day It Expires?
As research continues to shed light on the therapeutic properties of cannabis, individuals may find that obtaining a medical cannabis card provides them with access to a natural remedy that complements or even surpasses traditional treatments. By considering the great excuses discussed in this article, individuals can explore new possibilities for managing their health conditions and improving their overall well-being.