Medical marijuana has been on the rise for the past few years, especially since more and more people are becoming its patrons. As the number of customers increase, you may start to wonder on whether your primary care physician can prescribe you one for your health needs. Well, to simply answer that, your physician must first meet specific requirements before he or she can recommend medical marijuana as a form of treatment for you.
Qualifications for Doctors
A doctor’s recommendation is a powerful one, so, there are several guidelines that control the flow of medical marijuana to qualified patients. It may be legal in several states but there are still laws these doctors must need to follow, especially since their license is at stake.
Ultimately, the first step a doctor must take to be allowed to recommend medical marijuana is that he or she must have an active and unrestricted physician license. Without this, it’s just not legal and possible. This isn’t just so the doctor can prescribe medical marijuana, it’s also necessary so that the doctor can give any prescription at all.
According to How Stuff Works, 12 states in the United States have laws for medical marijuana.
Another crucial step before doctors can be recognized is that each doctor must be able to follow the guidelines set out by these laws. These laws vary from state to state and have their respective fines if the laws are not followed.
For doctors, there are also guidelines created by Eric A. Voth from the Institute on Global Drug Policy that they can use as a basis if they should really recommend it to their patients. These are guidelines that doctors can follow to lessen the risk of malpractice due to their recommendations.
These physicians must also be able to understand the benefits of medical marijuana and know the risks that come with it. They should be able to weigh the benefits and the risks for the patient before they actually recommend it. It’s not just a risky process for the patient, it’s also quite risky for their career, as well.
In the State of Florida, if the patient is younger than 18 years old, there should be another physician that must agree with the low-THC order. The recommendation must also be documented on the medical record of the patients. Every time these patients are recommended with it, they must also sign an approved consent form.
The steps these doctors must take all have their own weights in terms of qualifying medical marijuana. It’s a risky one and it can cause them their license. Knowing the tedious process, you should also ask your doctor if he or she has complied with the requirements to avoid any problem in the future.
Qualifications for Patients.
Doctors aren’t the only ones who need to meet requirements; patients also have their own set of qualifications before they can obtain marijuana legally. First of which is having their own medical marijuana card (MMID) or cannabis card. According to Leafly, this card is similar to an identification card and it allows the patient to enter medical dispensaries freely. Without this card, you can’t really buy or have anything.
Before patients can even qualify for the card, they need to have a doctor’s recommendation. There must be an agreement between the patient and doctor that it’s an option for treatment and that the condition the patient has is one of those approved by the state. Without meeting any of these, it’s definitely impossible getting a card.
Depending on which state, the patient must apply for the card and pay a fee before they can be qualified as a patient. This card becomes useful when you’re caught with marijuana. It makes it so much easier explaining that it’s for medical purposes.
Just a Recommendation
To clear up any confusion with the terms used, it’s important that we clarify the difference between prescription and recommendation. When a doctor prescribes medicines, it comes with specifications such as dosages and instructions for use. But when a doctor just recommends, it doesn’t have any of those. In the case of medical marijuana, doctors are only allowed to recommend.
If it’s your first time dealing with medical marijuana, it’s important for you to know that these doctors don’t really get to prescribe it to patients. According to Marijuana Doctors, these doctors are only allowed to write letters of recommendation to signify you qualify as a patient. These recommendations allow patients to buy, use, and grow limited quantities of medical marijuana according to the state laws.
All these steps are crucial for both doctors and patient. Despite being legal to some extent, the laws are still quite tight and unforgiving. There’s so much at stake that it’s best not to take this whole medical marijuana thing lightly.…