To put it mildly and as briefly as possible: physicians are not allowed to prescribe medical marijuana, even though; they are in the medical field. Of course, because of patient confidentiality and privilege, doctors can professionally recommend anything to their patients as they see fit. In lieu of the strict guidelines in the existing cannabis laws, physicians might be very limited in the scope to which they can prescribe certain things, especially alternative medicine. One of the reasons for this is the federal laws and its restrictions and legal assumption that marijuana is a dangerous drug. Therefore, physicians who might be caught by the feds prescribing medical marijuana could have their medical license stripped from them, their practice shut down and a prison sentence. And so, there are many doctors who might shun cannabis laws and its strict regulations and stick to their medical practice of prescribing pharmaceutical drugs instead.
The Limitations of Cannabis Laws
The limitations of the cannabis laws do not allow physicians to tell the patient exactly where to obtain medical marijuana. The doctor cannot recommend dosage of cannabis or the type of product or strain might be the ideal choice. To make it worse, marijuana dispensaries are not allowed to have a doctor on location nor make connections to any provider of healthcare in the local community. In addition, physicians are not able to own a medical cannabis dispensary of any kind and in any circumstances. The doctor cannot become involved in marijuana cultivation either. It would be easier for an opposing politician to the cannabis laws to be able to make advancements in the marijuana industry than a physician who is supportive of legalization. What a quandary?
With that being said, what does the cannabis laws and their law makers expect doctors to do as it relates to medical cannabis? In all honesty, physicians are allowed to confirm the medical condition of the patient and whether or not, the patient’s is eligible under the cannabis laws. The doctor is allowed to sign a recommendation letter for the patient who is seeking medical cannabis as a treatment. This is a way to aid the patient into obtaining a medical cannabis card. The physician can help the marijuana grower obtain a recommendation card. Physicians are allowed under the cannabis laws to refer to scientific data, patient testimonials, anecdotal reports or research in order to give the existing patient more ammunition or information about proven benefits of cannabis. So, a doctor cannot tell the patient outright that medical marijuana is a guaranteed solution to their ailment. Cannabis laws are against this blatant and definitive statement. The doctor can only make a general statement that medical cannabis might aid in treating specific qualifying conditions according to the cannabis laws of the state. This is a fact statement, which cannot be denied, even by the feds or state officials.
The Medical Marijuana Card
In some states, obtaining a medical cannabis card can be difficult while in other states it might not be. For the states of Colorado and California, the process is easier. In the state of California, you may qualify for a medical cannabis card under the cannabis laws for health disorders like arthritis, cancer, HIV/AIDS, anxiety, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and migraine headache; just to name a few.
There are many states that put more restrictive emphasis on patients who do qualify for a medical cannabis card or recommendation. Other states will list more specific health conditions as qualifying. Some of these specific conditions include diseases such as Lupus, PTSD and Parkinson’s. For example, if a patient in California can prove PTSD and its effect on quality of life, they might be able to obtain an MMJ card. Learn more about cannabis laws in the United States by visiting the Cannabis Training University.