Do You Have Your Marijuana Medical Card Yet?
With recreational marijuana legalized in Colorado, have you ever found yourself wondering why you should have a medical card? While marijuana can be used to treat all sorts of ailments ranging from cramps to chronic pain, but did you know there is a difference between recreational and medical marijuana? When you have a medical card, you have some additional opportunities available to you that you wouldn’t have as a non-card holder. Card holders have access to stronger doses of marijuana when using medically and at a price break. Lower taxes on medical marijuana means the overall cost for medical patients is lower than recreational sales. So if you are using recreational marijuana for medical purposes, you are cheating yourself. So how do you get a marijuana medical card?
While the application process can sometimes seem a bit difficult and daunting, it is worth it in the end. We recommend that you do a little homework before you start the process. Know the requirements before you start and have your documents in order. Here are three things you need in order to get your medical card in Colorado.
- Proof of Residence
Since medical marijuana isn’t legal in all 50 states (currently 25 states plus Washington D.C.), you will need to prove that you are a resident of one of the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. In Colorado, this can be something as simple as your valid driver’s license. You will also need a valid social security number. Including your social security card during the process is a good idea.
- Qualifying Conditions
Many medical conditions qualify for treatment with medical marijuana. However, there are also many medical conditions that Colorado does not recognize as a qualifying medical condition. In fact, the State of Colorado technically only recognizes the use of medical marijuana for three conditions: Cancer, Glaucoma, and HIV or AIDS. That said, the state has allowed medical professionals to make a judgement call on whether or not the use of medical marijuana will benefit a patient with a variety of chronic symptoms. Lucky for us, our state officials are willing to defer (somewhat) to medically-trained professionals when it comes to determining who may benefit from medical marijuana treatment and the eligibility of a candidate for a marijuana medical card. That said, it is interesting that the list of qualifying conditions in Colorado has never changed. The list has remained the same since its inception in 2001.
- Doctor’s Examination
Step #3 is the most important part. In order to be approved for a medical car, you must be examined by a physician that you have already established a doctor-patient relationship with. So don’t think you can call up the first random physician you come across to get your exam. Get in touch with your family doctor that you have been seeing for umpteen years. Push aside any feelings of embarrassment or anxiety that you might have from asking your doctor that you’ve known since you were a child for his sign-off for a prescription for medical marijuana. The law requires that you are under the care of a doctor for a condition in order to benefit from the medical card program. Make sure your application is accompanied by a Physician Certification form.
Additionally, you will need to have an exam each year by your physician re-certifying that your condition does still require treatment. But since you are probably already going to the doctor at least on an annual basis (right?), this should be a piece of cake.
To make it easier on yourself, make sure that you follow all instructions of the application form and include all requested information. This will help move the process along without delays or a flat-out rejected application. By visiting the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment website, you can easily check the status of their application processing times. As of the time of this article, applications received 25 days ago are being processed. In 2017, online registration may also be available making it easier to get your medical card.
The Colorado.gov website has tons of useful information, so be sure to read it carefully before getting started. And just take one step at a time to keep it as simple as you can. You can get some really interesting stats about medical marijuana in the State of Colorado too to comfort you in the fact that there are many card holders. And before you know it, you may find yourself as one of Colorado’s newest marijuana medical card holders.