Check out pros & cons of getting a medical card in this article, and get fully explained review.
Medical marijuana is lawful in 33 states plus D.C. at the time of writing, whereas 11 states plus D.C. Enable yourself to recreationally use cannabis. An MMJ card is a legal requirement in the states that have medical marijuana https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis programs.
We are quickly approaching the silver anniversary in the modern age of America’s first medical marijuana initiative. In 1996, if they could show a medical need, Prop 215 allowed California residents access to cannabis. In dozens of states, it opened the door to legalization, and one hopes that federal legalization is an inevitability rather than the pipe dream it had been a few decades ago.
We look at the pros and cons of getting a medical marijuana card in this post. Throughout this page, the benefits of using cannabis to help relieve the symptoms of conditions are highlighted. The ‘pros’ mostly apply in this piece to getting a card in a state where the herb is recreationally legal.
How easy is it to get a prescription for medical marijuana?
We can’t give you a definite answer, unfortunately. It relies on many variables. The application process, for example, ranges from straightforward to convoluted, depending on the state in which you reside. It has changed stuff, but that was a requirement. In early 2016, in a special study that looked at the efficiency of each program in America, 16 states (a vast majority at the time) received a failing score.
The advent of recreational legalization in Oregon has all but ruined the program of the state. The state had over 400 approved medical marijuana dispensaries in 2016. There were just eight by mid-2018. As you’ll see in the ‘pros’ segment, if you are sick, getting an MMJ card in a recreationally legal state makes a big difference.
And there is the small matter of a doctor getting a referral. Not all doctors are supporters of the herb in legal states, and there is no legal requirement for them to help you out.
Now, let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of holding a medical marijuana card.
Pros to getting a prescription for medical marijuana
An MMJ card can be the difference between a misdemeanor (or even a felony charge) and freedom if you live in one of the states where you are only permitted medicinal marijuana! As an example, let’s take Arkansas. In November 2016, via a referendum, the state legalized medical cannabis.
Licensed sales only started in May 2019, and a Class A misdemeanor is possession of less than four ounces, which could result in a year in jail, along with a $2,500 fine. A third arrest for possession is a Class D offence, which carries a maximum sentence of six years in jail and a fine of $6,000.
If you live in a legal recreational state, you can save a lot of money with an MMJ card. For those in actual need of cannabis for medicinal purposes, this is an incredibly significant advantage. MMJ cardholders, for instance, in Colorado, escape excise and retail marijuana taxes. Other states provide tax breaks for cardholders, such as California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Oregon. In some states, it can save you up to 25 percent in taxes!
Compared to prescription drugs, if you live in a medically legal state, you can still save money.
Imagine a scenario where you need a drug which your insurance does not cover. The first FDA-approved drug that comes from the marijuana plant, Epidiolex, would cost over $2500 a month. You can go to a pharmacy with an MMJ card and get the herb for a fraction of that amount.
There is no way to guarantee, however, that what you buy at the dispensary is the same as Epidiolex, so if your healthcare provider prescribes Epidiolex, it is always recommended that you get it.
3 Higher Limits & Strength
As medicinal users know, when it comes to cannabis, the dose is extremely important; and to relieve the symptoms, it is always appropriate to get hold of extremely potent cannabis. As such, it is typically permitted for medicinal shops to sell stronger cannabis and you can buy more of it. For instance, MMJ cardholders can buy 2,000 mg of cannabinoids per time in California, compared to the 1,000 mg limit imposed on their recreational counterparts.
In Oregon, patients are being hit hard by the slow death of the medical marijuana program. The state Health Authority began monitoring the content of THC with the introduction of the recreational program. Now, there should be no more than 100mg of THC in medicinal edibles. This is a tragedy for patients in need of 1,000+mg per day. These edibles of 100 mg will cost $20+ each, meaning you pay more than $200 a day to get your dose.
4- Higher limits of ownership & various age limits
As a general rule, MMJ cardholders are required to bring more cannabis than recreational users. Medical marijuana users in California can bring up to 8 ounces on their person. In comparison, a limit of one ounce and up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrate is legally approved for recreational.
Customers need to be at least 21 years of age in all states where recreational use is legal. You only have to be 18 years of age in some medical states once you can show your MMJ passport. For individuals aged 18-20 in need of cannabis to treat a certain illness, this is a significant improvement. In addition, with the help of a named caregiver, states with medical marijuana programs allow minors to use cannabis.
5 Growing Boundaries
Not every medical marijuana program allows patients to cultivate marijuana at home, just to be sure, but a lot do. There are also a handful of states that only allow you to expand if you live a certain distance (usually 25+ miles) from the nearest dispensary.
If you have an MMJ permit, some states only allow you to grow cannabis, while some recreational states allow you to grow more with a card than if you are a recreational user.
Recreational users are permitted in California to cultivate up to six plants in their homes. However, MMJ cardholders can only grow up to 99 plants at the time of writing, if they apply for and obtain a special license to cultivate marijuana. However, it is possible that the growing cap will be decreased over the next few years in states where thousands of plants can be grown at present.
Cons to getting a Prescription for Medical Marijuana
1. You Can’t Legally Own a Firearm
The often-misunderstood Second Amendment in the United States grants people the freedom to bear arms. The ATF has, however, determined that medical marijuana patients are not eligible to buy a weapon.
For both cannabis consumers and law enforcement, this is inconvenient. The local government embarked on a doomed search in Honolulu to get MMJ cardholders to surrender their arms and to ban potential transactions as well.
The Department of Health will not share the medical marijuana registry with the state’s law enforcement base in Pennsylvania. Therefore, you can overcome the limitation by behaving responsibly with your weapons if you reside in Pennsylvania!
2- You can’t keep a license for a commercial driver
The use of medical marijuana is not approved by the Department of Transportation. In other words, in a drug screening, if a transportation worker tests positive for marijuana, creating an MMJ card would not be enough to save their career. In certain cases, when you don’t want drunken drivers, it makes a little more sense than the gun ban. However, with alcohol and drug use, you might make the same case.
3-Annual Payments for Renewal
If you’re a frequent user, the cost of an MMJ card is not much of a concern, because it might save you thousands of dollars in the long run. It’s a little tedious to renew your card annually and it can cost anything from $50-$200.
4-Forget about having a public job
If you work for the Federal Government, the use of medical marijuana can lose you the job, even in a fully legal state. The U.S. in 2017 The Department of Transportation explained that it was not even permitted to use cannabis for medical marijuana patients, and a failed examination could lead to the termination of jobs.
This is not a surprise because there is a clear zero-tolerance policy on drug use in many non-governmental companies. Employees also don’t have a leg to stand on because the herb remains federally illegal. However, despite being either dismissed or denied jobs on the grounds of testing positive for marijuana, some MMJ cardholders have sought success in the courts.
With well over 4 million workers at last count, the U.S. government is by far the largest employer in the world. We’re afraid that cannabis is strictly off limits if you have a decent job working for them.
The amount of red tape you have to go through has decreased dramatically these days. It is now possible to get a recommendation online in under 30 minutes in some states! There are even programs that allow you to order cannabis and have it delivered like a pizza to your door!
There are still states, however, where getting your MMJ card will take weeks as they continue to rely on snail mail. The primary concern appears to be with new projects. A state will take two years from the day the vote to legalize cannabis took place to open its first medicinal dispensaries!
States such as Louisiana make it difficult for individuals to get their MMJ card, largely because the number of qualifying requirements is severely limited. Then there is the tiny matter of locating licensed doctors. Some states have less than 100, and it can make it very difficult to get an MMJ card if there is a limit on the amount of patients a physician can see.
The Medical Marijuana Card Final Thoughts
The ease of obtaining an MMJ card depends entirely on the state in which you reside. Residents of California will do it online and have a card ready within an hour. They can then remain at their computer, locate an acceptable strain, and have it shipped directly to their door. Residents of Louisiana should expect to find a doctor who prescribes it and wait for their application to be accepted by the state health board.
In conclusion, the benefits of an MMJ card far outweigh the disadvantages, unless, of course, you like guns, have a CDL, or are hired by the government! You can purchase and cultivate more cannabis, buy more powerful goods, and save money on taxes if you have the pass. The federal government will, ideally, follow Canada’s example and legalize marijuana in the United States. One would assume that a federally funded initiative would be preferable to the omnishambles that exist at the level of the state often.