State and Local MMJ Laws in Florida
The passing of Amendment 2 in November of 2016 broadened the legal use of medical marijuana and has been a godsend for many people with debilitating conditions who can now use the herb as an alternative form of treatment. If you are interested in exploring the many uses of medical marijuana for conditions such as glaucoma, cancer, or multiple sclerosis, you may be eligible to receive a recommendation from a licensed medical marijuana physician in the state of Florida. Here are some of the most common questions asked by those who are interested in learning how the new law applies to using marijuana for medical treatment.
How Did Amendment 2 Change the Law?
Before Amendment 2 was passed, the use of medical marijuana was limited to those with a terminal disease. In addition, those who did qualify to use medical marijuana in their treatment plan only had legal access to strains that were very low in THC. THC is the chemical compound in medical marijuana that produces the psychoactive effects, or ‘high’ that most people associate with the use of marijuana. Though many strains that are high in CBD (the non psychoactive portion) and low in THC are effective in treating certain conditions, the THC can be vital in treatment of chronic pain and other symptoms associated with some diseases and ailments.
What Conditions Now Qualify Under State and Local Law?
Under Amendment 2, the number of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana has been expanded to 10. These include:
- Multiple Sclerosis —Symptoms of this progressive disease that can be treated with medical marijuana include blurred vision, lack of coordination, and fatigue.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder—PTSD can have severe symptoms such as panic attacks, insomnia, and extreme anxiety—all of which can be effectively treated with the right strain of medical marijuana.
- Epilepsy—The seizures associated with epilepsy can be debilitating and result from disrupted electrical activity in the brain. Medical marijuana can help control seizures and restore more normal brain activity.
- Cancer—Medical marijuana can help combat the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for those with cancer. There is also new research that shows medical marijuana can help slow tumor growth.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis—The progressive loss of muscular control is the hallmark of ALS and the use of medical marijuana can help improve voluntary muscle movement.
- Glaucoma—The leading cause of blindness, glaucoma is due in part to high eye pressure, which medical marijuana can effectively reduce.
- HIV—This virus impairs the body’s ability to fight infection and can eventually lead to AIDS. Medical marijuana can improve the immune system for individuals who have contracted HIV.
- AIDS—Those with AIDS have an immune system so weakened that they cannot fight off disease or infection and usually die from a disease or illness those with normal immune systems would have been able to recover from. The immune-boosting power of medical marijuana can help these individuals and help them deal with the pain and wasting that often goes hand-in-hand with this disease.
- Parkinson’s Disease—The tremors and loss of central nervous system control is debilitating to those with Parkinson’s Disease and sufferers can benefit from the increased dopamine that is triggered by the use of medical marijuana.
- Crohn’s Disease—An incurable digestive disease, Crohn’s is marked by abdominal pain, fatigue, and difficulty digesting many different types of foods. These can all be helped by the anti-inflammatory properties of medical marijuana.
What Types of Medical Marijuana Are Now Legal in Florida?
Though the laws for medical marijuana usage in Florida have opened up a great deal, smoking of marijuana is still illegal in the state. Under Amendment 2, medical marijuana can be recommended by a licensed physician and be sold to those with a state-issued medical marijuana card in the form of tinctures, creams, oils, and flowers that can be used to make edibles. Many different strains of medical marijuana, including those high in THC or balanced with CBD, are available in these different forms. Medical marijuana that is administered in non-smoked forms is often more potent and does not have the side effects of marijuana smoke on the lungs and respiratory system.
How Do I Buy Medical Marijuana Under the New State Law?
To buy medical marijuana legally in Florida, you must see a physician who has been specially trained and licensed to recommend medical marijuana to patients. Once you have scheduled an appointment with a physician, he or she will take a full medical background and determine if you have one of the ten qualifying conditions to use marijuana in your treatment program. He or she will also inquire about other treatments you have tried and why these have been ineffective. If it is determined that you qualify for medical marijuana use, the physician will write a recommendation that you can then use to apply for your medical marijuana card with the Department of Health. Once you have received your medical marijuana card in the mail, you can use it to purchase legal forms of marijuana at any state-sanctioned dispensary.
Medical marijuana can improve quality of life and help manage a number of different medical conditions. It also lacks many of the negative side effects that are the result of over-the-counter or prescription medications such as digestive upset, stomach damage, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and nausea. Using medical marijuana in your treatment regimen can help you manage symptoms and, in some cases, treat the underlying reasons for your condition.
If you are a Florida resident and are interested in using medical marijuana in your treatment plan, it’s important to first determine if you have one of the qualifying conditions. You can then schedule an appointment with a board-certified medical marijuana physician to get a recommendation to legally purchase medical marijuana from a Florida dispensary. If you have questions about using medical marijuana in your treatment program or if you would like to schedule an appointment with a medical marijuana physician, please visit us at www.mmjdoctors.com.