By far, the most questions I receive are regarding Medical Marijuana. I receive questions about pros and cons, what is THC, is it safe and by far the question I get asked most is. Where can I get it? Well, I’m not Tommy Chong so all I can do is give you information. This post should answer most of your questions. If not just leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you.
This next series of posts should answer most if not all the questions I receive. And don’t forget to tune in Wednesdays at 2pm EST to get the lowdown on all topic’s marijuana. So tune in and turn on to KUFC.
Medical marijuana may be recommended by your doctor if you have specific qualifying conditions in states that allow marijuana use as a treatment option. If your doctor has prescribed marijuana, you must become registered in your state to use it. This guide will lead you through the steps required to get medical marijuana.
In order to obtain marijuana for medical use you must first sift through apparently contradictory levels of legislation before you can even start trying to find some rather hush-hush sources. While individual states may legalize marijuana for medical use, federal law still makes it illegal. While fourteen states have passed laws that make it legal to possess, buy and grow marijuana for medical purposes, some make it illegal to sell marijuana for any reason. States also generally provide little information on how patients can obtain marijuana. Groups who are willing to provide marijuana to needy patients live in fear of being raided by federal law enforcement, and keep the information as secretive as possible.
Before you can even consider getting marijuana for medical use, you need to talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of using marijuana and talk to your attorney about the legal issues regarding use of marijuana in your state. You may need to register with your state if necessary. Information about how to register in your state can be found on Mahalo’s how to get a medical marijuana card.
Where is Medical Marijuana Legal?
Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, even for medical purposes. Furthermore, in 2005 the Supreme Court ruled (in Raich v. Gonzales) that state laws do not restrict the federal government’s ability to prosecute violators of federal law.1
However, 14 states currently have laws permitting the prescription and use of medicinal marijuana. These states include: 2
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
In all states allowing medical marijuana, proof of residency is required in order to obtain and/or fill a prescription. In addition, only four states accept ID cards for out of state residents – Maine, Michigan, Montana and Rhode Island.
Barack Obama on Medicinal Marijuana
In this 2008 interview, United States president Barack Obama discusses his views on the medicinal use of marijuana. He calls his views “practical” and endorses the use of marijuana where it can be legitimately shown to ease pain or treat symptoms. According to Obama, as long as medical marijuana is treated with the same controls as other medications, such as morphine, he feels it should be able to be used when appropriate.
What Conditions Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Recommendation?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”3
States that have legalized the use of medical marijuana usually give some guidelines on what conditions may benefit from medical marijuana use. Most of those states allow it to be used for the following conditions:
- Positive status for HIV or AIDS
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cachexia or a condition that produces wasting syndrome like cachexia
- Severe or chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Conditions that produce seizures
- Conditions that produce severe and persistent muscle spasticity
- Other conditions approved by the state’s department of health.4
Where Can I Buy Medical Marijuana?
Most states that have legalized marijuana for medical use still make it illegal to sell it (even for medical use).5 Some, such as California, have set up marijuana dispensaries, where those with prescriptions can go to purchase marijuana legally. Other states allow patients to grow their own cannabis for medical purposes, while states like Hawaii require cannabis to come directly from the patient’s caregiver.2
Note that while it is illegal to sell, it is not necessarily illegal to buy cannabis and plants on the black market if you are unable to locate a legal dispensary.6 Some people have reported success purchasing cannabis seeds through online retailers. These dealers are located in countries where selling cannabis is legal. Most reputable retailers will only sell to people who live in areas where it is legal. A few of these retailers include:
- Dr. Chronics: Cannabis Seeds
- Kind Seed: Marijuana Seeds
- Canaseed: Cannabis Seeds
- The Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds7
Please note that while purchasing cannabis seeds for medical purposes is legal in some states, it is still illegal under federal law.
Can I Get a Prescription for Marijuana?
Because Marijuana is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law and is not approved by the FDA, doctors cannot prescribe it nor can pharmacies dispense it.8 Instead, doctors “recommend” it for their patients. Patients can then use this recommendation to obtain an ID card allowing them to grow or purchase medicinal marijuana.9
State by State Guide of Medical Marijuana Support Groups and Dispensaries
According to The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, patient support groups often give out or trade plants and medicine.10 The groups may also be known as cannabis clubs or as buyers’ clubs, caregivers’ club, collective, cooperative, dispensary, farm, holistic health center, non-profit resource center, pot club, store, or wellness center.11 Also, while it is illegal to sell, it may not necessarily illegal to buy cannabis and plants on the black market depending on where you live.10 Below, you will find a listing of some advocacy groups for each state that may or may not be able to help a patient obtain marijuana for medical use.
NOTE: Consult your local and state laws before even considering purchasing from one of retailers listed below. Although one may be located in your state, different areas may still have drastically different regulations in place.
California Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Support Groups
California is the only state that has a system for distributing medical marijuana which allows for collectives and cooperatives to dispense medical marijuana.12 Below are lists of dispensaries located in California for medical marijuana:
New Mexico Marijuana Dispensaries and Support Groups
New Jersey Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Support Groups
The The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed into law by Governor Jon Corzine on January 18, 2010. It is to take effect on July 18, 2010. Medical marijuana is not available within New Jersey while the Health Department establishes processes for the registration of qualified patients, caregivers and treatment centers.13
This page is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as recommendation by Project 611 and KUFC for any sort of illegal or unauthorized drug use.
The content in this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact a doctor before using the information presented here.
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