In 1996 the majority of California voters approved a measure which would enact medical marijuana in the state. In order for an individual to obtain a prescription for medical cannabis in California, they must receive permission from a licensed doctor who is approved to prescribe cannabis. The individual must also have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions:
Note: Licensed physicians may offer prescriptions for medical marijuana for a condition not listed on the above list, as required by circumstances. It is up to the discretion of the physician whether an individual would benefit from medical marijuana.
California is one of the rare states that did not originally have a limit as to how much marijuana a patient can have on their person at any one time. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 420, which took effect in 2004, put an end to that. Now in California medical marijuana patients and caregivers are permitted to cultivate up to 18 marijuana plants - only 6 of which can be flowering - and are allowed to possess up to 8 ounces (half-pound) of marijuana. An exception to the possession limit is if a physician specifically recommends that a patient needs to have over 8 ounces on them at any time. This would be especially true for a chronically disabled patient who does not have very good mobility and can only seldom travel to a dispensary. The diagnosed condition of a patient must also be pretty severe in order for a doctor to recommend more than 8 ounces. One of the biggest downsides to California's medical marijuana law is that it allows individual townships, cities and counties to adopt their own medical marijuana laws. Many smaller towns and counties have banned medical marijuana altogether. California is also a state that does not allow medical marijuana patients from outside states to obtain their medicine.
For any questions, comments or concerns regarding the medical marijuana program in California, please contact one of the following:
California is not only easy-going with their medical marijuana laws, but their laws surrounding recreational use are also very lax. California is one of a handful of states (not counting Colorado and Washington) who has decriminalized the recreational use of cannabis. Possession of 28.5 grams or less of marijuana can result in nothing more than a civil infraction and a $100 fine. However, possession with intent to distribute any amount of cannabis is a felony offense, punishable by anywhere from 16 months to 3 years incarceration.
Sale of any amount of cannabis is also a felony, resulting in 2 to 4 years in prison. Individuals who are over 18 years of age and are caught selling marijuana to those persons between the ages of 14 and 17 years of age can find themselves facing a felony offense with the possibility of 3 to 7 years imprisonment. Cultivation of any amount is also a felony that is punishable by 16 months to 3 years incarceration.
I have a problem with some of the statements made in your post. For example you state:
"I live in California and sometimes feel that they hand out cards to any random joe with a problem he claims he needs marijuana for."
*** Who is "they"? Are you referring to the Board Certified Physician's who have the power to recommend Cannabis to their patients? Must I remind you that becoming a doctor is a long, hard, costly process that can only be accomplished with immense dedication. The capacity to get and maintain high levels of knowledge which have to be continually up-to-date, and the facility to relate to people as individuals is not learned in some half ass trade school. To become a doctor, you need to study biology, chemistry, physics, and often math and English. It is difficult to get into medical school. As a matter of fact, the required coursework to become medical doctor in the US consists of 11 to 15 years of continued education AFTER high school.
To help you understand why "they" are qualified to recommend Cannabis as an alternative treatment to their patients I’ve listed the requirements they have met to do so. Starting with obtaining a Bachelor's Degree,(Required Time: About 4 Years. Next take and pass the MCAT. (Medical College Admissions Test) followed by graduating from Medical School. (Required Time: About 4 Years)
You must obtain a medical degree such as an M.D. (allopathic medical degree) or D.O. (doctorate of osteopathic medicine) from an American medical school, or equivalent degree from an international medical school. Then you must complete a medical residency training program. (Required Time: 3-5 Years, depending on specialty)
The length of the medical residency training program you must complete varies according to the medical specialty in which you are training. Residency programs are a minimum of three years for primary care and some medical specialties. After that, you will have to pass the USMLE. (Required Time: 3-6 days, plus study time)
The USMLE is a three-part exam required to obtain a medical license in the U.S. Each part of the exam takes 1-2 days to complete. Next, complete Fellowship Training.(Required Time: A fellowship training program may be as short as 6 months or up to 3 years in length and varies per specialty)then you must get a State Medical License. (Required Time: Several hours to complete application and gather documentation, plus turn-around/wait time of 3-9 months)
In addition to your US medical license, you must also have a state medical license in the state where you plan to practice. After completing the application and paying the fee, the turn-around time can be anywhere from three months to nine months, depending on the state, and depending on any issues that may arise during processing such as incomplete records, or background issues. Pass the Medical Board Exam for Your Specialty. (Required Time: About 2 Days, plus study time)
The American Board of Medical Specialties certifies physicians in their respective specialty. Board certification used to be an option, but most employers (hospitals, particularly) are now requiring board-certification. The board certification process consists of a written exam and an oral exam. Then theres shit like "Local Credentialing" and "Hospital Privileges", and obtaining Provider Numbers and DEA Numbers. In order to accomplish ALL this you'll need:
•A strong work ethic.
•A passion and drive for medicine, and for helping and caring for others.
•A lot of money, or loans, or scholarships.
•Health and well-being.
•A great memory or ability to memorize medical terminology, symptoms, medications
•Strength in math and science.
•Excellent communication skills.
•A lot of time to study, memorize, and practice.
•A clean background.
Some aspects to be a doctor:
•Spirit of overcoming
That being said, I don’t think YOU are qualified to have feelings one way or another regarding HOW these physician's "hand out cards to any random joe with a problem he claims he needs marijuana for" I think any physician would be very offended by such a statement considering THEY are the ones qualified to make this decision NOT you or the patients they treat.
You say you were "first kinda bugged" when you went to get YOUR medical card "after experiencing a lot of problems with my health and needed a way to get cannabis without having to drive to a drug dealers house for average medicine. I made the switch to become a patient and when I went, I noticed how many people didn't seem to be in pain."
How dare you put your alleged medical needs above those of others! ONLY your medical conditions are relieved by weed? And since you do not list ANY of your medical issues or how those came to be there is no way for any of us to know for SURE if your pain is greater than or your need for relief is greater than anyone else’s! Are you NOT familiar with ALL the medical conditions Cannabis is currently being used to treat? Not everyone suffers the same way or at the same time or to the same degree! How does someone "use the system" anyhow? What system are you referring to? Sounds to me like your issues are with the physicians who are issuing the recommendations’. If that’s the case then you also have an issue with the California Medical Board as well as the Office of Inspector General! Oh and all the medical schools and their required curriculum too...Or maybe you have an issue with the special program these physicians are required to register with prior to issuing these recommendations’!
Are you and those with your medical issues the only ones allowed to experience the relief of being able to purchase quality medicine to help with quality of life on the regular? You’re the only one that shouldn’t have to chance being arrested over a plant used for medical purposes? Who are you to say whether or not I am just getting stoned with my buddies (unless your there too getting stoned with those same buddies you wouldn’t know now would you?!)
I am also glad 15 states have passed laws allowing for medical use of cannabis...It’s my desire to see ALL 50 states pass similar laws. The DEA's raids on dispensaries IS NOT what’s preventing the "federal level of the government" from getting on board with the states’ rights to pass and enact these medical marijuana laws...Its WAY MORE COMPLICATED AND SORTED THEN THAT MY FRIEND...
Your comment in its entirety does nothing but make you look uneducated and self centered to say the least and really makes "random joe's" like myself or anyone other than YOU (to hear you say it)angry! Its none of your fricking business what my or anyone else’s medical conditions are that can be relieved by the use of cannabis! As a matter of fact, confidentiality laws are in place for a reason! The doctor patient relationship is personal and between a doctor and his patient...No one has the right to speak their mind regarding anyone else’s medical needs other than their own! I think you should apologize to everyone who has read your comment...
I personally get my evaluation from medicann, and the DO require dr's proof that you require medical marijuana! So , YES, their are illegitimate dr.s handing out cards with no proof of medical need! they should be dealt with accordingly b4 they ruin it all for the legitimate patients!
420chick is right and people are only considering her "emotional" (as one commenter said) because she's a woman speaking out against that kind of bs notion a lot of patients spread.
You don't know for sure if someone is lying to get a card unless you yourself have done it or personally know people who told you they have. Don't EVER assume that because people in the office seem chatty and okay that they ARE okay. Your pain does not suddenly become invalid just because a person who isn't in the same kind of visible pain as you is also getting medicine. Rather than accusing people of lying, be glad that medicine is available here in California. Don't throw those of us with serious mental illnesses or other forms of pain and suffering that come and go under the bus - for some of us with these conditions, Cannabis is literally a life saver.
People are three-dimensional, and you can still be friendly and talkative whilst suffering. Just because that person may not appear to be suffering 24/7 doesn't mean that the suffering they do endure at times isn't worth being treated. That shows your lack of understanding in the field of mental illness, and is really ableist in that respect.
I know that I only got my card because my partner - who doesn't even smoke or like the smell of weed - suggested I get it because we were desperate as I was getting so bad with anxiety and depression (and PTSD from rape) that I couldn't leave the house. Or, if I did, I'd have a breakdown. It wasn't until I got my card and medicated on days where my primary meds weren't working that I was able to be up and active - and eating, which I started to do less and less before getting my card (and was on the brink of collapsing most days as a result because of how dizzy I'd get). I'm actually finding that it's easier for me to talk to people without assuming they'll harm me, because if I get the right strain of medicine, it's easier for me to analyze situations in an almost therapeutic sort of way. I've started using cannabis to also help with my years-long severe fear of ants. Before cannabis I would have panic attacks at the site of an ant, and if I saw more than one in a room I would not enter that room for days, sometimes months. Ever since a group of ants got into the kitchen, I have not been able to cook food for myself because I start to itch and feel sick and nervous.
However, with cannabis, doing that has become easier which has definitely had a positive impact on both myself and my relationship.
You wouldn't know these things though if you saw me in a clinic. So please, don't assume. Give other potential patients the benefit of the doubt unless they tell you they're trying to get a card for solely recreational purposes (and if they are... well shit, why? B/c the people I've known in the past who were recreational smokers also were going through things like parental abuse, or racism, or some other abusive structure that had a negative impact on them - so you never know what motivates someone to smoke and whether or not they're making the right choice in doing so). If someone goes into a clinic to risk judgment or rejection from the doctor, then they may very well have a valid reason for being there. You don't get to decide what's valid and what's not if you do not have experience and education in all of the things in which people use cannabis for.
A lot of us have been suffering with things that have almost killed us throughout our lives and find cannabis is a great medicine to help work those things out. Not everyone needs to be having episodes at the clinic - in fact, if you have anxiety, you may do everything in your power NOT to have an attack - and since most people invalidate mental illnesses like that as being REAL, painful conditions that are completely capable of ruining and possibly ending your life (because they truly fucking are)... yeah. Cannabis can help - I use it when my primary medication made specifically for anxiety/depression isn't helping, and it's made a HUGE difference in my ability to function on a day to day basis. Eating an entire meal is often an overwhelming and difficult process, and when my anxiety and depression peak, I can go for days without eating. Or sleeping, and when I do sleep, it feels like I never did since the chemicals in a brain impacted by mental illness can hinder your ability to have a full sleep cycle.
Weed aids me with that - some days, it's the only thing that keeps me eating so that I don't collapse, it gives me the chance to experience what it's like to not feel