Medical marijuana legalization is rapidly spreading in the US. Since California became the first state in the union to legalize the medical use of marijuana, 32 more states have joined the fray. Some have even gone ahead to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Generally, medical cannabis laws vary from state to state, thus the need for you to know about the different regulations and your rights as a medical marijuana patient.
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Medical Cannabis Legalization from a Federal vs. State Perspective
Even with the widespread legalization of medical marijuana use, marijuana is still categorized as a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA. This means that it has considerable potential for dependency and lacks proven medical benefits.
Initially, marijuana use for medical or recreational purposes was considered a federal offense. However, things changed during the Obama Administration when federal prosecutors were urged not to prosecute individuals who sell cannabis for medical purposes. In 2018, federal prosecutors were given the freedom to prioritize the execution of federal marijuana laws.
Medical Marijuana Laws and Programs at State Level
Here’s a breakdown of medical marijuana laws in some of the states where it’s legalized and the programs that are in place:
Medical cannabis got legalized in 1999. Approved conditions include HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, chronic pain, seizures, epilepsy, and other debilitating conditions.
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act was passed in 2010. Approved conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and seizures. Patients and their caregivers can only purchase a maximum of 2.5 ounces of marijuana from a non-profit dispensary. They can also grow up to 12 plants in an enclosed and secure facility if they reside more than 25 miles from the closest cannabis dispensary.
Medical marijuana got approved in 2016. To be protected by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, your cannabis must be labeled from any state’s dispensaries. Qualified patients and their caregivers cannot grow marijuana. Similarly, they can only possess a maximum of 2.5 ounces per 14-day period.
Californians approved medical marijuana use in 1996. There are no state-level penalties related to the cultivation, possession, or use of medical marijuana by patients who recommend registered physicians. Approved conditions include anorexia, AIDS, migraines, chronic pain, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis conditions.
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The Colorado Medical Marijuana Law was approved in 2000 and enacted in 2001. It shields registered patients from prosecution if they are found cultivating, possessing, or using medical marijuana. Patients and their primary caregivers cannot possess more than 2 ounces of usable marijuana or more than 6 plants. Marijuana cards from other states are allowed.
The state mandates patients to possess a valid registration certificate before they are allowed to use medical marijuana. Besides the typical qualifying conditions such as chronic pain, under-18 patients with cerebral palsy, severe epilepsy, seizures, and muscular dystrophy can undergo marijuana medication. You can only possess a maximum monthly amount of 2.5 ounces.
The Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative was approved in 2016. The state has some of the most stringent medical marijuana laws, and smokable medical cannabis has only been legalized recently. Approved conditions for marijuana treatment include epilepsy, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, ADHD, and any other condition that results from a qualifying condition.
Medical marijuana got legalized in 2000. There’s no state-level prosecution related to the use, possession, or cultivation of medical cannabis among individuals who have a signed statement from their physicians indicating that they suffer from a debilitating condition. You cannot possess more than 10 marijuana plants or over 4 ounces of usable cannabis.
The state of Maine medical marijuana legalized in 1999 but didn’t establish a state-run registry for patients. You can only access medical marijuana if you have an oral or written recommendation from a registered physician. You can legally possess a maximum of 2.5 ounces of marijuana and cultivate less than 6 plants.
Medical cannabis was approved in 2010. Patients are not allowed to cultivate their own supply and can only access it at licensed dispensaries. Approved conditions include ALS, cancer, anxiety, inflammatory bowel diseases, migraine, and spasticity. Although physicians determine the amount of marijuana that patients need, they cannot possess more than 3 ounces over 30 days.
The Common Requirement
Although many more states have legalized medical marijuana and have the necessary programs in place, laws and regulations regarding the possession, use, cultivation, and access to medical marijuana vary. However, one common denominator in all states where medical marijuana is legalized is the residency requirement. In all states, you must show proof of residency to qualify for a marijuana card/recommendation.
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Getting Started in Medical Marijuana Treatment
If you are a resident in a state where medical marijuana is legalized, and you’re battling a qualifying condition, get in touch with MMJ Doctors today to schedule an online evaluation. We will ensure that you get your marijuana card ASAP so that you embark on treatment immediately.
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