5 Interesting Points About Transitioning From Opioids to Medical Marijuana

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Are you considering applying for a medical marijuana card? If so, you should understand from the outset that it is a time-consuming and complicated endeavor. However, if you are a good candidate for certification, the investment required could be very worthwhile. That being said, here are 5 things to know about transitioning from opioids to medical marijuana.

 

  1. Do Your Research–As with anything that affects your life and health, you should do your research ahead of time and understand the process involved. It is important to have a firm grasp of the details and determine if the transition to cannabis makes sense for you. This is a highly individualized course of treatment. Each prospective patient must assume the responsibility to inform themselves and decide whether they believe the treatment’s potential benefits outweigh the potential side effects. It is also important to note that people respond differently to medical marijuana. You cannot know in advance if you will respond favorably or not to this therapy. It is very much a trial and error, case-by-case basis type of scenario.

 

  1. The Buck Stops Here–Be forewarned, in most states where medical marijuana is legalized, it is an expensive form of treatment, which is not covered by insurance. Therefore, most patients must pay out-of-pocket for their supply. This is the case for most medical marijuana patients in every state that has legalized it to date. While there are some free weed mandate and voucher programs available in certain states, these entitlements are limited and not readily accessible for most cannabis users. At this point, there is no insurance coverage for this form of treatment. However, as the market and legalization efforts continue to expand, this situation could very well change, especially if medical marijuana is legalized nationwide. For now, you must figure out if you can afford to make the transition and whether it is a viable option for you personally.

 

  1. Find a Registered Practitioner–If you determine that medical cannabis is worth further investigation and feel you can manage the treatment from a financial standpoint, the next step should be to find a registered practitioner. This is someone who is certified through the state to verify your eligibility for medical “Mary Jane” and issue the medical certification required to obtain your medical marijuana card. The procedures and protocols vary from state to state, but it is crucial to find a physician who is authorized through your state to determine your eligibility for the program and issue the certification. Each state has a list of approved providers and, while many states do not release the list to the public, it can be obtained by contacting the Department of Health and/or the medical marijuana program in your state.

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  1. Determine Eligibility–Unlike recreational users, all medical cannabis patients must meet strict criteria in order to be deemed eligible for certification. Again, these qualifications often vary from state to state, but, in most cases, the guidelines are stringent and closely monitored by the state. This is especially true in newly legalized states. In all cases, medical evidence will be required to verify your eligibility and copies will be submitted to the state of issuance when your application for medical certification is granted by the approved physician. If testing confirms that you meet the criteria for medical marijuana certification, the registered practitioner will usually issue the certification to you on an agreed upon date and they submit a copy of the certification, along with relevant test results, to your state’s medical marijuana program, which will, in turn, issue the medical marijuana card to the patient. It is important to reiterate that these procedures can vary depending on the state. Much of the application process can be done online, but certain aspects might require phone and/or email contact. The physical card is typically mailed to patients and it is mandatory ID for every visit to the dispensary. Those who attempt to garner their supply with only their medical weed certification, but not the physical card, may face rejection and could end up in legal trouble. While the guidelines vary depending on the state, the real legal protection from prosecution comes with the possession of the physical card. If a cannabis patient attempts to procure the product without the card, they could be arrested and potentially prosecuted. Long story short–Do not take the risk and wait for your card. It is literally your legal protection from arrest and prosecution for possessing marijuana.

 

  1. Then Visit Marijuana Dispensaries–Once you have your California medical marijuana card – you can visit any medical cannabis dispensary in the state of California.

 

If you are tired of taking opioids or they have lost their efficacy, you might want to consider applying for a medical marijuana card. Those who are interested in pursuing this course of treatment should educate themselves as much as possible. Moreover, applicants must understand it is a time-consuming, complex, and costly process. However, if you are deemed a good candidate for certification, the process of transitioning from opioids to medical marijuana and investment required could reap great rewards.

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