Medical Marijuana Cards. The Essential Must-Know Facts.
Since medical marijuana became legal in most parts of the United States starting with California in 1996, many curious people have been coming forth with questions about it. Among them are those such as: What is medical marijuana? How can one get a medical marijuana card? How to get a medical marijuana card online? How can I find a medical marijuana doctor near me? And of course there are many other questions that require some facts. But these questions all point in the same direction.
Luckily people are asking the right questions. Their ability to ask such things shows how there is a growing rate of curiosity. And like with most things, curiosity must be met with logical, simple and direct answers.
Getting the facts about medical marijuana and medical marijuana doctors can sometimes prove frustrating for some. But it need not be. So this article will provide you answers to some of the most basic questions that people have. In doing so let’s start from the very beginning.
What is medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana is used to help people manage various illnesses and to alleviate symptoms resulting from severe medical issues. Its used is regulated now in 28 states in the United States. Several American states have decriminalized the general use and possession of small quantities of marijuana in general. However, some forms of marijuana use are legal is regulated by states laws.
Currently the states in which marijuana use is legal for either medical or recreation purposes are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington (state) and Washington, DC. It is also legal in U.S. territories Guam and Puerto Rico. (For details on legalization dates and other helpful information please CLICK HERE to be rerouted.)
Each of the states where marijuana is legal only for medical purposes, there are additional rules in place. And you will have to seek consult and see your condition is one that qualifies you for the legal use of medical marijuana. The laws vary from state to state.
Severe, debilitating, or terminal illnesses, such as cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and AIDS are the ones that are considered to be pretty much universal in being eligible for medical marijuana. However there are other conditions that can make people eligible as well. Among them are anorexia, depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, nausea, wasting syndrome, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, muscular dystrophy, and hepatitis C. These are on most lists. However as laws vary from state to state, some may not be eligible depending on which state you call home.
Even still certain provable conditions may also make you eligible. For example chronic pain is one of them. If you can prove to your doctor that you suffer from some forms of constant and chronic pain, approving you then becomes a question of the doctor’s discretion as a sworn professional.
What is a medical marijuana doctor (or what are medical marijuana doctors)?
Only a licensed and medical board certified doctor can become a medical marijuana doctor. They can recommend patients for medical marijuana.
In order to be able to give prescriptions for medical marijuana, many doctors must go on to get additional training so that they are better able to recognize and to determine if patients meet the requirements for using medical marijuana. Upon determining that a patient does indeed meet the requirements, then these doctors go through the process of providing patients with the formal documents needed for to obtaining medical marijuana. However one should note that many doctors do not practice making recommendations. In these cases some feel that they are too unfamiliar and may prefer to defer you to another doctor in your area. In others, some feel that they cannot morally do so.
What is a medical a medical marijuana card?
A medical marijuana card is an identification card and the dispensaries and state in which a patient lives recognize that. Some people commonly refer to it as a “weed card”. With it and / or a doctor’s recommendation, patients can get, possess and even grow certain quantities of cannabis and marijuana for their own personal medical use. (A very liberal exception regarding quantities is made for those residing in California and with a California medical marijuana card.)
The card is used in a state where marijuana is legalized and regulated for medical use. After a diagnosis from a medical marijuana doctor, a patient has to pay some kind of a fee in order to get such a card. A medical marijuana card issued in one state is not valid in another state according to current legislation.
A medical marijuana card is valid for up to a 12 months period. It can be renewed upon recommendation from a recognized medical marijuana doctor and upon going through the normal registration process. (Patience should check in advance in order to see if there is an additional fee that must be paid for the annual renewal of a medical marijuana card.)
How to get a medical marijuana card?
There are generally three very popular ways of getting a medical marijuana card. The process is not difficult and takes very little time to complete. But generally speaking one must first start by getting an evaluation from a doctor. In order to get a medical marijuana card, patients must first submit themselves to an evaluation.
One can have a general practitioner provide a letter of recommendation for one to get a medical marijuana card. However, it would be a better option to get it from a cannabis specialist or from what we have already referred to as a “medical marijuana doctor”.
Depending on laws that vary from state to state, one can then get an official identification card. For example the California medical marijuana card looks very similar to a driver’s license. It has the photo of the patient on it. With it one can go to dispensaries to purchase medical marijuana. However one should note the limits of such cards. For example, the California medical marijuana card is not valid in other states.
Can I get a medical marijuana card online?
Some people are quite frankly too embarrassed to go to their regular doctor to inquire about medical marijuana cards and how they may go about obtaining one. And some don’t even know where to find such a doctor who can perform evaluations. To help them get what they need, avoid hassles or even to not feel a sense of not being comfortable in having to speak with a doctor, many want to know if it is possible to get a medical marijuana card online? Well the answer is a rather easy one. It’s YES. But it starts first with a mandatory evaluation.
The first step is to complete a standard medical marijuana evaluation. You can do this not only from your computer, but also from your tablet and mobile phone too. But you will of course need to have an internet connection to submit the evaluation. You will be required to complete a general form that looks pretty much like any registration form that you would complete when going on a regular doctor’s visit.
Once finished, you will be requested to upload additional medical documents that are relative to your situation. You should not be afraid to send these documents. They are needed as part of the evaluation process. Your information remains private in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. And they will not be shared on any public database or kept in any public records.
The evaluation is generally simple. But before getting into it, you will be asked to decide if you want to buy either a doctor’s recommendation or if you would simply prefer to buy a cannabis ID card. Both are legal. However the ID card provides the added advantage of being wallet-sized and has the convenience of allowing you to do repeat visits to the same marijuana dispensary locations.
The evaluation lasts only a few minutes. You will have to take part in either a video call or phone conversation. During that time, you will be expected to give details on your current situation and your medical history. You may also be asked other questions and told how marijuana may be beneficial in helping your particular situation. Remember that the doctors are there to help and will do all that is possible in order to make you feel comfortable.
In most cases the online evaluation process is absolutely free of charge. And in that you are only charged if the doctor approves you for a 420 recommendation.
Once the evaluation is completed and the doctor has approved you for a 420 card, you will be sent via email a digital PDF version of your 420 recommendation letter. It is valid for use immediately. Some marijuana dispensaries will accept this printed copy. However some will require the official paper copy. Nonetheless, you will receive within 2 to 3 days via the mail your medical marijuana card and your official 420 recommendation letter. It will be signed by your 420 doctor and will feature the doctor’s embossed seal. With this you can go to a marijuana dispensary to make your first approved purchase and should not run into any problems.
Finding medical marijuana doctors can be easy or difficult depending upon if you live in a large city or if you live in a small, rural town. You can try a search via Google or via another search engine. If do not find someone close to you on your own, there are other options. The best one is to call your local medical facility or give a call to your regular doctor. If your own doctor does not conduct the evaluations needed for medical marijuana card eligibility, he or she will be able to give you a recommendation of a trusted physician who can help you.
Can I find medical marijuana doctor online?
A general online search can also help you find marijuana doctors online. Depending on the site, you will be asked to create an account and provide information. There is a verification process and you will be required to submit documents to justify your need. These evaluations take up to 15 minutes to complete on average.
We hope that this helps you by providing you with some of the most basic but important information regarding medical marijuana cards and medical marijuana doctors as well as how to find a medical marijuana doctor online or how to find a medical marijuana doctor near you.
To help you more, please see some of the most commonly asked questions:
Q: Do I to renew my medical marijuana card / doctor’s recommendation? A: Yes. You have to do this once a year. You’ll want to make arrangements to do it just prior to the expiry date on your card or recommendation letter so that you will not find yourself in a difficult situation.
Q: Are the cost of my medical marijuana card covered by my insurance? A: No.
Q: Is my medical marijuana covered by my insurance?
A.: The laws are constantly evolving and are consequently becoming more understanding and conciliatory towards medical marijuana. So the best thing to do is to consult with your own healthcare provider in order to see if their policies will cover your use.
Q: With a medical marijuana card, can I grow my own medical marijuana? A: Yes. In fact Senate Bill 420 (SB420) provides the measures that allow patients to grow up to six mature cannabis plants for personal consumption. However one should also check for additional provisions made by laws of the state in which you live. For example in California, the state supreme court ruled that a patient could grow any number of plants so that their medical requirements are met.
To schedule your in-person evaluation with California Licensed Medical Marijuana Doctors in San Francisco or San Jose follow this link.