Public perception of medical marijuana is shifting dramatically. Half of all U.S. states have already legalized it, and several states voted to legalize it in November.
Now that laws and attitudes are changing, more people–especially those with debilitating illnesses–are thinking about using medical marijuana instead of traditional pharmaceutical drugs. If you’re one of those people, here are four questions you should consider:
1. Is Medical Marijuana the Right Treatment for Your Illness?
Not all illnesses are created equal. If you have a cold or the flu, you’re better off just drinking orange juice and getting plenty of bed rest. However, if your illness is more severe, medical marijuana could be an option for you. Illnesses that medical marijuana is known for treating include:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic pain
Your state’s health department will have a list of illnesses that qualify you for medical marijuana treatment, which begs the next question.
2. Do You Know Your State’s Medical Marijuana Laws?
Even if you’ve decided you want to try medical marijuana, it’s not as simple as just driving to the nearest dispensary. There are certain state requirements that you’ll have to meet before you can buy any medicine.
Most states require that you get a letter from a physician stating that you would benefit from using cannabis. Some states, like Nevada, even require you to get a special identification card from the DMV.
State law also dictates how many ounces of cannabis you can possess, as well as how many plants you can grow. Because medical marijuana laws vary from state to state, you should visit your state government’s website to get as much information as possible. If you need clarification on a legal issue, contact a lawyer.
However, there is an excellent alternative to Medical Marijuana that is legal in all 50 states, does not require a Medical Marijuana card, and is proving to be just as effective in fighting disease and promoting health as Medical Marijuana. It’s called CBD (Cannabidiol) and it is also derived from the Cannabis family. CBD oil, which is the component that fights disease, is found in both Marijuana and Hemp. But, because Hemp does not contain illegal amounts of psychoactive THC it does not get you high and that is why it is legal in all 50 states. Learn more about this new “Miracle Oil” HERE.
3. Are You Familiar with Federal Marijuana Laws?
Marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug under federal law, which means it’s illegal to possess it for medicinal purposes. However, the U.S. Department of Justice has stated that it won’t go after patients as long as they abide by their home state’s medical marijuana laws.
Federal laws still clash with state laws in certain instances. For example, it’s illegal under federal law to transport cannabis across state lines. Also, the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld a decision to ban the sale of guns to anyone who possesses a medical marijuana card.
If you want to stay on the right side of these federal laws, educate yourself and contact a lawyer if you have legal questions.
4. What Type of Medical Marijuana Should You Purchase?
Once you have your doctor’s letter and the necessary documentation, you’re ready to buy medical marijuana. There’s only one question left: what kind should you buy?
Marijuana comes in different strains, and each affects your body differently. Depending on your illness, certain strains will be more medicinally effective than others.
There are also different ways to consume marijuana. The most common method is smoking, but that comes with certain health risks. If you want to avoid breathing smoke into your lungs, you can try cannabis-infused edibles such as baked goods, candies or teas. There are also infused lotions and oils that you can apply to your skin.
When you finally visit your local dispensary, ask to speak with a representative who can help you in selecting the right type of medicine for your ailment.
For thousands of years, people have used marijuana for medicinal purposes. Now that it’s legal in 25 U.S. states, more people can enjoy the healing benefits of this plant. You can be one of those people as long as you ask the right questions, follow your state laws and find a medical marijuana product that’s right for you.