If you’ve arrived on this page, then you’re probably thinking of getting a medical marijuana card. You’ve probably heard tons of buzz words around the topic including “MMJ Card, Medical Card, 420 evaluation” and more…
The question is, do you REALLY need one?
In this guide, we are going to explain to you what all the fuss is about and give you the low-down on whether or not you really need one.
Ever since the state of California legalized access to medical marijuana through Prop 215 in 1996, physicians have been given permission to grant their patients access to medical marijuana by writing “recommendations” for its use.
Do all doctors give medical marijuana recommendations? Unfortunately not, not all doctors a) believe in using marijuana as a form of medication b) are willing to write recommendations, especially as marijuana is still classed as a schedule 1 drug.
Related article: Your Doctor Won’t Recommend Marijuana? Here is the Solution!
Therefore, in order to obtain a medical marijuana recommendation, you’ll have to have an evaluation with a cannabis specialist, aka medical marijuana doctor.
FYI, even if you don’t live in California, the process is pretty similar. For more information on how to obtain a medical marijuana card read our state by state guide.
Need help with the process feel free to sign up to the marijuana patient program.
Pros of Having a Medical Marijuana Card
1) Gives you Extra Protection
We are not saying that it is your get out of jail free card, but it will give you that extra layer of protection. As of now, Cannabis is listed as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance in the United States. This means that on a federal level smoking pot is illegal. Even if you live in a state that has legalized the plant you are still breaking Federal laws by consuming it in any form whatsoever.
Having a medical marijuana card can sometimes mean the difference between “deep shit” and a simple “let you off with a warning.” Furthermore, in most states, you will be afforded full legal protection under the state’s medical marijuana laws if the law harasses you.
2) You’ll Save Money
Depending on the state you live in, some states have established tax benefits for those with medical marijuana cards. This means that you’ll be able to purchase weed at a much cheaper price than recreational marijuana. Sometimes even a two-thirds of the price. If you smoke on a regular basis, it all adds up. At the end of the day, by having a medical marijuana card, you’ll be saving quite a few bucks.
3) You can Grow Your Own
Obviously, different states have different laws, but some states allow you to grow your own medicine once you have a medical marijuana card. The state of California allows any valid MMJ patient to have up to 6 mature plants growing at one time. Growing is not only fun but will save you quite a lot of money down the road.
Another pro of having a card is “choice.” No longer will you have to rely on your shady dealer that provides you with one specific strain, or whatever is in-stock. You can simply walk into any registered dispensary and pick up some weed from a variety of different plants. You can even choose if you want Sativa or Indica.
5) Access to Variety
If you live in a recreational state, then this really isn’t an issue, but if you don’t, then this reason is definitely one to take into consideration. By having a medical marijuana card you can walk into any dispensary and pick up a variety of products include; edibles, concentrates and more…
Cons of Having a Medical Marijuana Card
1) You Can’t Hold a Firearm
One of the major disadvantages of having a medical marijuana card is that you give up your 2nd amendment, meaning you can’t purchase firearms. So, if you are into guns you’ll have to choose what’s more important to you; healing yourself or protecting yourself.
2) You Might be Frowned upon
According to recent statistics, 60% of the U.S. think that marijuana should be legal, that means that 40% doesn’t. In specific communities, you might be frowned upon or judged by people that don’t agree with the use of marijuana.
3) You’ll Have to Renew it Once a Year
Not sure if this is a downfall, but it is pretty annoying. Most medical card providers or doctors will issue you a recommendation that is valid for 1 year. Even if you don’t live in the state of California, you’ll still be required to apply to your state’s Board of Health for your renewal. New cards or renewals can range per state anywhere between $50-$200.
4) Applying for a Government Job.
If you are aiming for a government career, then think twice about obtaining a medical marijuana card. Depending on the state you live in, and whether or not you need to apply to your state’s Board of Health to obtain your card, your details will go on record. For example, when applying for a medical card in California, there is no need to go through the state’s Board of Health, and therefore your details are legally sealed, and no one has them except you and your medical marijuana doctor. It’s 100% percent confidential. But if you are applying for a card in a state which has tougher rules then it is a different story. When applying for government positions, you could be frowned upon as government departments might have the right to ask that information.
5) The Bureaucracy Involved
This is sometimes a real bitch! If you live in a state that has permitted Telehealth or some other service which conveniently allows you to get your recommendation online, then the process is pretty straightforward and shouldn’t take more than 30 mins to get sorted. But if you don’t then the process can be pretty long and tiring. You’ll have to go to a doctor to get your medical records, receive a recommendation and then apply to the state for a card. The process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
As far as we are concerned the pros outweigh the cons, but the choice is obviously up to you. Need any more assistance on the topic feel free to get in touch or register on our website.