Cannabis Physicians

Cannabis physicians equipped with a license are permitted to recommend medical cannabis to patients in all the seventeen states and Washington DC where it is legalized. This however needs to be done only when a patient has a medical condition that has been approved by the state’s charter. Because each state has passed different legislation that governs what is permissible under the medical marijuana laws, what qualifies as a valid illness or chronic symptom varies from state to state. In California, the state medical marijuana law leaves a good deal of room and scope for interpretation where in, a practicing physician can recommend cannabis for any ‘other persistent or chronic medical symptom’ which implies nearly any condition can technically be approved by the doctor. Physicians known to be recommending cannabis are also referred to as cannabis physicians. While California is considered as an exception, several other states have strict laws that allow only pre-approved medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS, wasting syndrome, multiple sclerosis, various muscle disorders and seizures. Most of them have an avenue available where in the patient and his/her physician can request for a condition to be recognized and authorized by the state’s medical marijuana program. Going about this procedure can be quite tedious and burdensome. In Washington, Cannabis may be only prescribed by a physician after determining that prior medical treatment has proven to be ineffective.  Irrespective of what exactly qualifies as an approved medical condition, in each of the sixteen states and DC, the first step  is to become certified and then legally possess, use, purchase or distribute via dispensaries and occasionally cultivate cannabis, adhering to laws of the state. The best way to determine the right dosage and use of the substance is to consult a known physician and discuss in length about past medical history. Once this is done, the cannabis physician will be in a position to evaluate the symptoms, determine the extent of their effect and suggest whether or not cannabis will help alleviate them. What needs to be determined next is whether these symptoms fall under the purview of the state laws and that’s when the physician can offer a signed, written note that states the use of cannabis will be of therapeutic benefit to the patient. After receiving a recommendation, patient needs to apply for a cannabis card. This is given by the state after one enrolls in the medical marijuana program. This requires the patient to prove his or her eligibility via the obtained medical marijuana recommendation and pay a registration fee, ranging between $50 and $100. Upon verifying the authenticity of the cannabis recommendation, the state issues the card which has the patient’s photo, an identification number and other pertinent information. This card is the most easily recognizable form of license. It is however not mandatory in the states of Colorado and California where registration in the medical marijuana program run by the state is voluntary which implies that after one receives a recommendation from a physician to  use cannabis, nothing else needs to be done to legally possess, use and have access to legal cannabis dispensaries. The Controlled Substances Act at the federal level deems marijuana and all its corresponding substances as drugs and considers them to be illegal.
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