At the time of writing some of this article, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states plus D.C., and while 11 states plus D.C. They allow you to use the herb recreationally. In the 22 states with the medical marijuana programs, an MMJ card is a legal requirement.
We are rapidly approaching the silver anniversary of the first US medical marijuana program in the modern era. In 1996, Proposition 215 allowed California residents to access cannabis if they could demonstrate a medical need. It opened the door to legalisation in dozens of more states, and one expects federal legalisation to be inevitable, rather than the impossible dream it was a few decades ago.
In this article, we analyse the pros and cons of having a medical marijuana card. The advantages of using the herb to treat symptoms described on this website. In this piece, the “professionals” mainly refer to having a card in a state where the grass is recreational.
How easy is it to get a medical marijuana recommendation?
We cannot give you a definitive answer. It depends on several factors. For example, the application process varies from “fairly simple” to “very complicated”, depending on the state in which you live. Things that have improved, but that was a necessity. Early 2016, and 16 states (a significant majority at that time) received a failing grade in a special report that analysed the quality of each program in the United States.
At Oregon, the advent of recreational legalisation has almost ruined the state’s program. In 2016, the country had more than 400 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. In mid-2018, there were only eight. As you will see in the “professionals” section, it is a big difference to have an MMJ card in a legal recreational state if you are sick.
Then there is some small matter of receiving a recommendation from a doctor. Not all doctors in legal states are advocates of the herb, and there is no legal obligation to help you.
Now, it is important to take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning a medical marijuana card.
Do you need a medical marijuana card today? Let us help you with the process starting here.
Advantages of having a medical marijuana card
1 – Legal protection
If you are side in one of the 22 states where only medical marijuana is allowed, an MMJ card can be the difference and between a misdemeanour (or even a felony charge) and freedom! Take Arkansas as an example. The state legalised medical cannabis through a vote in November 2016.
Licensed sales only started in May 2019 and woe to you if you are stuck with marijuana and do not have an MMJ card! Possession of fewer than four ounces is a Class A misdemeanour that could result in a year in the prison, along with a $ 2,500 fine. A third possession conviction is a Class D felony that carries a maximum penalty of 6 years in prison and a fine of $ 6,000.
2 – Lower costs
If you live in a legal recreational state, an MMJ card can save you a lot of money. This is some significant benefit for people who need weed for medical reasons. In Colorado, for example, MMJ cardholders avoid individual taxes and retail marijuana taxes. Other states are such as California, Maine, Massachusetts and Oregon offer tax exemptions for holders. It can save you up to 25% in taxes in some countries!
If you are living in a medically legal state, then you can still save some money compared to prescription drugs. Imagine a situation where you may need a drug that is not covered by your insurance. Epidiolex, the first FDA-approved medication that comes from the marijuana plant, will cost more than $ 2,500 per month. And with an MMJ card, you can go to a clinic and get the herb for a fraction of that cost.
3 – Greater power and limits
As medical users know, the dose is extremely important when it comes to weed; And it is often necessary to get incredibly potent weed to relieve your symptoms. As such, medical clinics can usually sell stronger pots, and you can buy more. In California, for example, MMJ cardholders can buy 2,000mg of cannabinoids in each time.
In Oregon, the slow death of medical marijuana and the program is hitting the patients hard. And with the implementation of the recreational program, the State Health Authority began regulating the content of THC. Now, medical groceries cannot contain more than 100 mg of THC. For patients who need more than 1,000 mg per day, this is a disaster. These 100 mg edibles can cost more than $ 20 each, which means paying more than $ 200 per day to get your dose.
4 – Upper possession limits and different age limit
MMJ cardholders can generally carry more weed and than recreational users. In California, medical marijuana users can carry up to 8 ounces in their person.
Other hands, recreational users are legally allowed a maximum of one ounce and up to 8 grams of the cannabis concentrate.
In all states where recreational use is legal, clients must be at least 21 years old. In individual medical countries, you only need to be 18 years old once you can present your MMJ card. This is a breakthrough for people between 18 and 20 who need cannabis to treat a specific condition. Besides, states with medical marijuana programs allow minors to use weed with the help of a designated caregiver.
5 – Growth limits
To be clear, not all medical marijuana programs allow patients to grow marijuana at home, but many do. There are also some couple of states that only allow you to build something if you live in a certain distance from the nearest dispensary (usually more than 25 miles). Some states only allow you to grow marijuana if you have an MMJ card, while other recreational countries will enable you to become more with a card than if you are a recreational user.
In California, recreational users can grow up to six plants in their homes. However, at the time of writing something, MMJ cardholders can still grow up to 99 plants if they request and receive an exclusive marijuana cultivation license. However, in the coming years, the growth limit will likely be reduced in the states where it is currently will possible to grow dozens of plants.
Cons of having a medical marijuana card
1 – Legally you can’t have a gun
In the United States, the Second Amendment, often misunderstood, guarantees citizens the “right to bear arms.” Gun lovers tend to overlook the part of “A well-regulated militia, which is necessary for the security of a free state.” In any case, the ATF, and in its infinite wisdom, has then decided that medical marijuana users cannot buy firearms.
This is inconvenient for both weed users and law enforcement. In the Honolulu, the local government embarked on a doomed search to get MMJ cardholders to hand over their weapons, and also to ban future purchases.
In Pennsylvania, the Department of Health will not share the medical marijuana registry with the state police base. And therefore, if you live in Pennsylvania, you can avoid restriction by doing nothing silly like waving a gun while you are high. Is it an idiot restriction? When you consider that someone may possess several assault rifles while taking potent opioids and also having a problem with drinking, then we would say “YES”.
2 – You cannot have a commercial driver’s license
The Department of Transportation does not authorise the use of medical marijuana. In other words, and if a transportation employee tests positive for marijuana on a drug test, producing an MMJ card will not be enough to save his job. Somehow, it makes us understand than restricting firearms because you don’t want drugged drivers. However, it could make the same argument for the use of alcohol and opioids.
3 – Annual renewal fees
The cost of an MMJ card is not a big problem if you are a regular user, as it could save you thousands of dollars in the long term. The point is that we have to repeat things all the time. If you renew your membership in the gym religiously, why not do the same with your MMJ card? It is not so difficult.
4 – Forget about having a job in government
If you work for the Federal Government, the consumption of medical marijuana will cost you the job; and even in a state where it is entirely legal. In 2017, the U.S. And the Department of Transportation. UU. He clarified that even medical marijuana patients were not allowed to use weed, and a failed test could lead to termination of employment.
This is not a surprise because many non-governmental companies have a strict zero-tolerance policy on weed use. Since the herb is still legally federal, employees often do not have a leg to stand. However, some MMJ cardholders have succeeded in court after being fired or rejected because they tested positive for marijuana.
In case you ask, you can thank President Reagan for this nonsense. His 1986 executive order required that the federal workplace be drug-free. The US government UU. It is by far the more largest employer in the nation, with more than 4 million employees at the last count. And if you have a good job working for them, we fear that weed is strictly prohibited.
5 – Bureaucracy
These days, the amount of bureaucratic procedures you have to go through has decreased significantly. In individual states, it is now possible to get a recommendation online in less than 30 minutes! There are even some services that allow you to order weed and receive it at your door like a pizza!
However, there are still states in which it can take weeks to get your MMJ card as they continue to rely on postal mail. The main problem is usually with the new programs. It may take two years for a country to open its first medical clinics from the day the vote took place to legalise the herb!
States like Louisiana make it difficult for people to get their MMJ card; mainly due to severe restrictions on the number of qualification conditions. And then there is a small job of finding licensed doctors. Some states have less than 100, and if there is a limit on the number of patients that a doctor can see, it can be tough to obtain an MMJ card.
Final thoughts on the medical marijuana card
We were then going to include the judgment of others as a “scam.” While more than 60% of Americans now believe that marijuana should be legalised, tens of millions continue to adopt a hard-line stance. And all while destroying their livers with alcohol, inviting medical problems such as the diabetes with the terrible diets, risking their lives and those of others when carrying firearms, and risking an overdose and death with opioids.
The possibility of people being mean to you because you have an MMJ card hardly qualifies as a disadvantage. You can try to educate them if they are friends or family or avoid them as fools if they are not.
The ease with which you can obtain an MMJ card depends entirely on the state in which you live. California residents can do it online and can have a card ready in one hour. Then they can stay on your computer, find a suitable strain and receive it directly at your door.
Louisiana residents have to wait to see a doctor who prescribes it and wait for the state health board to approve their request. In summary, the advantages of an MMJ card far outweigh the disadvantages, unless, of course, you like weapons, have a CDL or are a government employee! If you have the map, you can buy and grow more grass, buy more powerful products and save money on taxes. With luck, the federal government will follow the example of Canada and legalise marijuana throughout the United States. One would expect a federal government-backed program to be superior to the omnishambles that sometimes occur at the state level.