Medical marijuana use: a slow shift toward legalization.
On April, 17, Pennsylvania became the 24th US state to legalize the use of medical marijuana. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill in the presence of numerous supporters. To date, residents of 24 states can use medical marijuana in the form of a pill, oil, vapor, ointment or liquid form.
Marijuana is used to treat or eliminate disease symptoms, in particular, nausea, loss of appetite, and chronic pain and muscle spasms. Researchers have even claimed that marijuana significantly reduces the risk of obesity.
Despite the gradual liberalization of state laws with relation to marijuana use, there is a still a strong group of opposed to its legalization. Some of the negative effects accompanying the use of marijuana include dizziness, weakness, and hallucinations. The long-term effects of use are not clear but may include problems with memory, addiction, psychosis and aggravation of problems with motivation.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not yet recommend the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Nonetheless, we are witnessing a slow shift in public opinion about marijuana and the health benefits that it can bring.
How do you become authorized for the use of medical marijuana?
Currently, the use of medical marijuana is allowed only for those patients who have received prior authorization. To apply for authorization, you must have one of the following disorders that qualify for marijuana use:
• Cachexia (wasting syndrome),
• Muscle spasms,
• Multiple sclerosis;
Secondly, a physician possessing adequate qualifications should prescribe the use of marijuana. If your attending physician refuses to prescribe marijuana to you, you can try your luck with doctors specializing in medical marijuana use.
Ultimately, you have to file completed Medical Marijuana Registry Form. For each of the 24 states that have legalized the use of medical marijuana, there is a unique procedure for registration and authorization. To obtain a Medical Marijuana Card (a card attesting to the right to use marijuana for medical purposes), you must file multiple documents. Let’s take a look at the documents required for the process in the state of Colorado.
How do you apply for a Medical Marijuana Registration Card?
In Colorado a complete application packet includes:
1. An Application for a Registration Card completed by an applicant, signed and notarized – Form MMR 1001;
2. A Physician Certification completed by an applicant’s doctor – Form MMR 1002;
3. Copy of your Colorado ID;
4. A fee payment.
All documents should be directed to the regional Department of Public Health and Environment office. If all the documents are in order, the Department will provide you with a Medical Marijuana Card. A similar procedure is used in nearly every state, though it’s always important to check local law and regulations.