Ever since 1996, when the state of California passed the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, many other states have approved bills that have legalized medical marijuana. In fact, the most recognizable bill that you may have heard about is California’s Senate Bill (SB) 420 – which effectively legalized the usage of medicinal cannabis statewide and allowed for dispensaries to be opened and lawfully run – something that took place in 2003, when voters approved the legislation and then the state senate voted upon it to finalize the law. Now there are 15 states including the District of Columbia where medicinal cannabis has been authorized for patients who are suffering as a form of natural relief.
1. In order to track the efficacy of these programs and to ensure that they were not being abused, states also created what are called Medical Marijuana Programs and implemented them, primarily run and overseen by the Public Health Departments of each state. Many states where these programs are in place also have created registries to track legally authorized users in efforts to offer them legal protection from law enforcement. The registries issue medical marijuana cards to qualified and doctor approved patients, and the cards allow for law enforcement to verify the legitimacy of any cardholder, generally online and instantly via their onboard computer equipment in their patrol cars.
If you feel that you might be qualified to participate in a state run medical marijuana program, the best way to find out if you do is by looking up the laws of your state. Most states, with the exception of California, Colorado and Washington – which have the most proactive laws – require that you be suffering from a debilitating illness or chronic symptoms to get approved for their medicinal marijuana programs. Finding out if you do is actually a lot easier than you might think. In fact, there are now some great online resource websites that you can find merely by conducting a quick search engine query for them.
Such online networks allow for you to answer a few questions about your current medical situation, and then find out if you qualify potentially for such programs in your state. Even better, if you find out that you do qualify, many times they will match you with verified cannabis doctors who can evaluate you and recommend you for the program and a medical marijuana cards protected.