How To Get A California Medical Marijuana Card?

How To Get A California Medical Marijuana Card?

In the past few years, the uses and applications of marijuana have been starting to get recognized by people, as they are becoming more and more accepting of cannabis-derived products. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug, extracted from cannabis plants. It provides the user with a feeling of ‘high’ or intense euphoria. Usually, it is used for both recreational and clinical purposes. Gradually, a lot of states or countries have started to recognize their health benefits and have legalized their sale.

However, in California, it is highly recommended to get a medical marijuana card for health patients, to make sure they are able to use these products without the fear of getting arrested. In fact, California through its ‘compassionate act use’ became one of the first states in the United States of America, to legalize the usage of marijuana for medical patients. However, this does not mean that you are completely free to use and sell marijuana. If you are caught with more than 28.5g, it is considered a misdemeanor and you might be arrested for it. 

In this article, we would explore the steps involved in getting a medical marijuana card in California and what are the basic qualifications you need for it.

What are the uses of marijuana in medical patients?

Marijuana, contrary to the popular belief, actually hosts a wide variety of benefits for medical patients. Due to these benefits, the usage of marijuana and other cannabis products is slowly being recognized and accepted among people.

Some of the benefits offered by marijuana are – 

  1. Creates a soothing and calm sensation in the brain. Marijuana can be a great way to destress and reduce the anxiety or depression of the person.
  2. It can also be used as a pain killer to alleviate the amount of pain in patients suffering from diseases like cancer or someone who has been in an accident. It does so by blocking the pain receptors that carry the signals to the brain.
  3. Regulates or reduces the cancer symptoms. Marijuana can be used to decrease the pain and the feelings of nausea caused during cancer treatments. Also, it can be used to eradicate tumor cells. Hence, it is widely used among cancer patients.
  4. Marijuana also helps in regulating the hunger levels and weight of people suffering from diseases like cancer and AIDS. It can lead to weight gain by stimulating the appetite in the person.
  5. Lastly, it can be helpful in treating tightness and soreness in muscles due to cramps or muscle tears, thus providing instant relief to the body.

These are some of the benefits of Marijuana and how it can be used in improving the lives of medical patients. However, before using it, you must take professional consultation with a doctor or physician and most importantly, take care of the fact that you don’t develop a dependence on this as it can be addictive. Abuse of marijuana can cause several negative effects or side effects on the body, in the long run. Hence, proper precautions must be maintained.

Medical conditions to apply for a medical marijuana card

There are several medical conditions in which you might be recommended to use certain amounts of marijuana for relief and reduced discomfort. Some of the medical conditions are – anorexia or eating disorder, HIV/AIDS, extreme headaches or migraine, cancer, arthritis, glaucoma, constant muscle spasms may be caused due to multiple sclerosis, epilepsy or seizure, intense nausea, stomach ache, etc. moreover, marijuana can also be used when a person is suffering from a chronic disability that is hampering his day to day activities and resulting in physical and mental stress.

Qualifications needed to get a medical marijuana card in California

To obtain a medical marijuana card in California there are certain qualifications that you should meet. 

  1. Firstly, you need to be above 18 years old to get a medical marijuana card. If not, you require formal permission from your guardian.
  2. Secondly, you have to be medically diagnosed with one of the conditions mentioned above by a medical professional. 
  3. Additionally, you need to be a citizen of California to get a medical marijuana card California 
  4. Lastly, you must have a valid government-approved photo ID which can include a passport, voter’s ID, driving license, etc.

Applying for a medical marijuana card in California

The most crucial thing to remember while purchasing a medical marijuana card in California is that it is strictly prohibited to buy or sell for recreational purposes. The sole purpose of these cards is for those in need of it, for health reasons. In the case of children below 18 years old, they must be accompanied by a guardian or a caregiver. If anyone is caught selling marijuana to a minor, they can be heavily penalized. 

There are two ways you can apply for a medical marijuana card in California – 

1. The conventional way – this involves physically getting an appointment with a doctor for consultation and permission to get access to the medical marijuana card. If you are below 18 years old, you have to be accompanied by a guardian. Permission is granted to you if your medical condition requires you to consume marijuana for healing purposes. 

Furthermore, you need to provide the authorities with sufficient proof of identity approved by the government. Since these cards are only meant for residents in California, you must also provide proof of address. 

Lastly, after you have collected all the necessary documents, you can proceed to fill in the application form after which you will receive your marijuana medical card around 30 days after it is verified.

2. The latest method – as you can see, the conventional method can be a long and tiring process. Instead, now people in need of a medical marijuana card in California can simply apply online to get it. You might be asked to wait in a virtual room after which you could consult a doctor online and get the necessary recommendations and permission for the card. You would also be requested to submit your documents like proof of identity and proof of residence, provided to you by the government.

You can find a lot of online services to make this process smoother. After your application gets approved, you will receive a soft copy and a hard copy of your medical marijuana card in a few days. Furthermore, you will also receive a 7-digit unique code using which you can purchase marijuana from any store near you.

A medical marijuana card in California is valid for up to 12 months. So, make sure you renew it before the expiration date arrives. Fortunately, the process of renewal has become extremely easy with the modern method involving online consultations and renewals.

Benefits of getting a medical marijuana card

Although you don’t necessarily need a medical marijuana card to purchase marijuana legally in California, it comes with certain perks or benefits. Some of them are mentioned below

  1. Cost-effective – if you are a holder of a medical marijuana card in California, you might end up paying less tax, as compared to other people. Customers using marijuana for recreational purposes need to pay an extra retail tax, that medical card holders don’t have to. Remember that your card needs to be issued by the state to be eligible for tax exemption. 
  2. Ease of accessibility – there are a larger number of dispensaries catering to medical marijuana cardholders in comparison to the ones that are only looking for recreational purposes. 
  3. Recognizability – a number of states outside California, recognize and accept a medical marijuana card of California so you won’t have any problems in getting access to marijuana in these places. Some of these states included Maine, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Rhode Island, etc.
  4. Legal protection – having a valid medical marijuana card provides you protection from arrests for using cannabis products. Also, you are allowed to carry a higher amount of marijuana compared to the ones who do not have a medical marijuana card.
  5. As a medical marijuana card holder in California, you will get access to a purer and cleaner supply of marijuana that will be safe to use without having to experience any or many side effects.

These are some of the benefits of getting a medical marijuana card. Hence, if you are someone who is suffering from a condition that requires its use, you must consider applying for a card to make the process smoother and hassle-free.

Precautions to be maintained

It might feel great to have a medical marijuana card as it can give you legal access to marijuana. However, you need to take care of certain things. The most important thing is to not develop a dependency on these substances. Marijuana is derived from cannabis so it can be highly addictive. You need to ensure to use only the required amounts and not exploit them excessively. 

There may also be side effects to it, for example, confusion, drowsiness, headaches, feelings of nausea, dizziness, upset stomach, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, etc. Therefore, if you are experiencing any of these side effects, it is recommended you consult a medical professional for consultation and guidance.

Lastly, make sure you use marijuana in a safe and responsible way. Keep it out of reach of young children. 

Final word

As you can see, there are several pros to obtaining a medical marijuana card in California. Now, with the entire process becoming online, it has become extremely easy and convenient for people to get access to it. This is especially useful for people suffering from severe medical conditions like HIV/AIDS, arthritis, glaucoma, cancer, etc. to provide relief and soothe some of their symptoms. However, care must be taken to not develop an unwanted dependency or addiction to such products as they might be harmful in the long run. Make sure you consume only the amounts that are recommended by the doctor. Lastly, if you experience any sudden side effects, immediately consult your doctor for advice. Once you start using marijuana in a responsible way, you can reap all of its benefits and avoid all of its harmful effects.

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