Pros and Cons of Having a Medical Marijuana Card

What Are the Pros and Cons of Having a Medical Marijuana Card?

Getting a medical marijuana license has never been more popular, with the majority of states in the United States now having medical marijuana programs.

It can be tough to grasp the benefits and drawbacks of getting a medical marijuana license because of the differing legislation in each state. There might be a lot of misunderstandings regarding getting a medical marijuana card in states that allow medical and recreational marijuana use.

The advantages and downsides of obtaining a medical marijuana card in your state and various reasons not to do so will be discussed in this article.

Are Medical Marijuana Recommendations Easy to Get?

The truth is, we’re unable to provide a definitive response. Several variables come into play. According to the state where you reside, the application process might range from straightforward to complex. It’s good that things have progressed, but it was necessary. According to a special assessment released in early 2016, 16 states (a large majority) received a failing score.

As a result of recreational marijuana use becoming legal, Oregon’s program is all but ruined. There were more than 400 approved medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado in 2016. Only eight remained at the end of 2018. If you are ill, having an MMJ card in a recreationally legal state is quite beneficial, as seen in the ‘pros’ section.

In addition, you must get a doctor’s note recommending you. Doctors in legal states have no legal responsibility to assist you if you ask for their opinion on the herb.

Advantages of Having a Medical Marijuana Card

  • Protection by Law

In jurisdictions where medicinal marijuana is only permitted, an MMJ card can be the difference between a misdemeanor (or even a felony conviction) and your right to remain free! The state of Arkansas is a good case study. In November 2016, a statewide vote approved the use of medicinal marijuana in the state.

A Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine, was instituted only in May this year for possession of fewer than four ounces. A third possession conviction is a Class D felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of 6,000 dollars.

  • Reduced Prices

An MMJ card might save you a lot of money if you live in a state where marijuana is legal for recreational use. Those in genuine medical need of cannabis will find this a huge help. Taxes on retail marijuana and excise on MMJ cards are exempt in Colorado, where the law stipulates. There are tax savings for cardholders in other states, such as California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Oregon. It might save you up to 25% in taxes in some areas!

Purchasing over-the-counter remedies can save you money if you live in a state where such practices are permitted by law.

Think of a circumstance when your insurance does not cover your needed drug. The monthly cost of Epidiolex, the FDA’s first marijuana-derived medicine, is over $2500. If you have an MMJ card, you can buy the herb at a lower price at a dispensary. If you are prescribed Epidiolex by your doctor, it is still suggested that you acquire it because there is no way to ensure that the product you buy at the dispensary is the same as Epidiolex.

  • Higher Potency and Limits 

As medical cannabis users know, the dosage is crucial, and it is often required to obtain highly potent cannabis to alleviate your symptoms. As a result, medical marijuana clinics are usually authorized to sell more potent strains and allow you to buy more. MMJ cardholders in California, for example, can buy 2,000mg of cannabis each time, but recreational users are limited to 1,000mg.

Slowly but surely, medicinal marijuana patients in Oregon feel the full impact of the program’s demise. State health officials began controlling THC levels once recreational use was legalized. Only medical edibles containing less than 100mg of THC can now be sold in the US. This is a nightmare for people requiring more than 1,000mg daily. Each of these 100mg edibles can cost more than $20, equating to a daily expenditure of more than $200.

  • Increased Possession Caps & Different Age Limits 

MMJ cardholders are generally allowed to carry a more significant amount of cannabis than recreational users. Medical marijuana users in California can carry up to 8 ounces of the drug at all times. On the other hand, recreational users are permitted to possess no more than one ounce of marijuana and up to eight grams of cannabis concentrate.

Legal recreational usage in all states requires a minimum age of 21. In some states, you must be 18 years old to obtain a medical marijuana identification card. This represents a significant step forward for those between 18 and 20 who require cannabis to treat a medical ailment. The use of medical marijuana by minors is also permitted in states with medical marijuana programs.

  • Growing Capacity

However, patients can produce their marijuana under specific medicinal cannabis programs. Additionally, a few states only permit home cultivation if you’re at least 25 miles from a dispensary.

If you have an MMJ card, you can cultivate more cannabis in some states than you can if you’re a recreational user in other ones.

Marijuana users in California can cultivate up to six plants in their residences. A special marijuana cultivation license is required for MMJ cardholders, but it is still possible to grow up to 99 plants. However, in states where it is currently allowed to cultivate dozens of plants, the growth restriction will undoubtedly be reduced during the next few years.

Disadvantages of Having a Medical Marijuana Card

  • Legally, you cannot own a firearm.

The right to bear arms is guaranteed under the Second Amendment in the United States, which is commonly misunderstood. In contrast, the ATF has ruled that medical marijuana users are not permitted to purchase a gun.

Both marijuana users and law enforcement find this to be inconvenient. Attempts by Honolulu’s authorities to compel MMJ cardholders to surrender their firearms and prohibit future purchases were doomed.

According to the Department of Health, the medicinal marijuana registry will not be shared with the state’s law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania. The only way to get around this ban if you live in Pennsylvania is to be a responsible gun owner!

  • No Commercial Driver’s License for You

Marijuana for medicinal purposes is not permitted by the Department of Transportation (DOT). For example, if a transportation worker fails a drug test and produces an MMJ card, it will not suffice to keep their employment. It’s better than banning firearms since you don’t want drunk drivers on the road. Alcohol and narcotic use, on the other hand, may be justified in the same way.

  •  Fees for Annual Renewal

MMJ cards can save you hundreds of dollars because they’re so inexpensive for regular users. Annual card renewal is inconvenient and expensive, costing $50 to $200.

  • Forget About Getting a Job in the Federal Government

The federal government can fire you if you are caught smoking medical marijuana, even though it is perfectly legal in your state. Many people noticed when the U.S. Department of Transportation made it clear in 2017 that even medical marijuana patients might be fired if they tested positive for marijuana.

Most non-governmental organizations have a severe zero-tolerance attitude on cannabis use, so this is not surprising. Employees typically have no recourse because the plant is still banned on the federal level. However, some MMJ cardholders have been prosperous in the courts after being sacked or rejected jobs because of marijuana testing positive.

Over 4 million people work for the United States government, making it the largest employer in the country. We’re afraid cannabis isn’t an option if you’re employed by one of these companies and do a decent job there.

  • Inefficiency

The red tape you have to deal with has dramatically decreased in recent years. It’s feasible to acquire a recommendation online in less than 30 minutes in several states! As with pizza, it’s possible to place an online order for cannabis and have it delivered right to your door!

However, several jurisdictions still use snail mail to send out MMJ cards, which might take weeks to arrive. The most common problem is with new software. A state’s first medicinal dispensaries may not open for another two years after the legalization vote was cast.

Due to rigorous restrictions on the number of qualifying circumstances in states like Louisiana, it is difficult for people to obtain an MMJ card. Then there’s the issue of finding doctors who are licensed to practice. If a doctor is limited to seeing a certain number of patients, obtaining an MMJ card in several states might be extremely difficult.

Is it okay to get a Medical Marijuana Card?

A medical marijuana card can have advantages and disadvantages depending on your state, but we expect the same thing to happen in most cases. Medical marijuana patients have more excellent legal protection, lower medical costs, and greater potency, possession, and limited flexibility. There are some drawbacks to obtaining a medical card if you plan on purchasing additional firearms or if you work for the United States government, but these are minor. “Should I get a medical marijuana card?” is an important question; hopefully, this information will help you make an informed decision.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card?

A medical marijuana card can be obtained in different ways depending on the state, but there are certain commonalities.

To begin, check the website of your state’s health department to see if medical marijuana can be used to treat your condition. You should talk to your doctor about medical marijuana for your ailment if it’s on the list.

Your primary care physician cannot issue medical marijuana cards. Still, they are familiar with your medical history and the medications you are currently on, so they can offer some insight into the potential effects of medical marijuana on your health. Some medical issues necessitate medical proof from your primary care physicians, such as X-rays or MRIs, before you can be certified.

If your primary care physician agrees to let you use medical marijuana, you’ll need to find a licensed doctor to do it in your state so that you may get a card authorizing you to use the drug. This doctor will determine whether or not you are eligible for a medicinal marijuana card based on your current medical condition. They’ll also talk about how to get the most benefit from marijuana and what adverse effects to expect if you try it. No doctor can legally recommend marijuana, but you should know what to acquire from the dispensary after talking to your doctor.

Depending on your state, you may also be required to register with your health department before receiving your card. Initially, you’ll be issued a temporary card, which a permanent card will follow within a few weeks. You can buy medical marijuana from dispensaries with your quick card. Talk to a cannabis pharmacist at your local dispensary to assist you in choosing the best product for your needs based on your doctor’s recommendations.


The benefits of having an MMJ card greatly outweigh the drawbacks unless you’re a gun enthusiast, a commercial driver, or a government worker. With the card, you can purchase and produce more marijuana, purchase more potent goods, and save money in taxes. Hopefully, the federal government will follow Canada’s lead and legalize marijuana in the US. A federally supported program would better serve the omnishambles that can emerge at the state level.

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