Current Laws on Medical Marijuana: How Doctors are Helpless

Doctor hand holding bottle with medical cannabis close up

Ever since the first states started approving legislation for medical marijuana, the subject has been the basis of many headlines. The medical marijuana movement has coincided with immense advancements in medicine, which is fortunate for such a young movement. As a result, money has been poured into research and experimentation on a global level. 

In the US, the medical marijuana situation is better than ever for patients. More than half of all states and territories have decided that medical marijuana is a legal choice for their citizens. Despite this surprising unraveling of events, there is something missing.

A hole exists in the system of medical marijuana attainment. It lies in the health system. Although you can get medical marijuana, doctors cannot prescribe it to you. They can only formally recommend it as a possible solution for your maladies.

Prescribing medical marijuana is a punishable offense for any medical worker, regardless of the location or level of expertise. So why do hardworking medical experts face jail time and a loss of their medical permit for advising people as they were extensively trained to do?

Despite the excitement about medical marijuana, there is much to attend to. Let’s dig into the nitty-gritty of one of the most pronounced problems in American healthcare.

What does the law exactly say?

According to the statutes of federal law, no doctor or medical worker is allowed to issue an explicit prescription for medical cannabis. In most cases when this happens, doctors face a permanent loss of their medical license, along with suspended or immediate jail time.

Additionally, your doctor is forbidden from telling you where can you purchase cannabis. No matter your condition, the doctor cannot advise you on what strain to choose or how much to take. This isn’t just concerning smoke-able marijuana. CBD, vape products, edibles – everything with even one bit of cannabis is out of the jurisdiction of your doctor.

But wait… Lawmakers were clever enough to prevent any bypassing from happening. The law goes both ways. Dispensaries are also banned from having any on-site medical experts or even the slightest connects to private practices or state medical facilities. They also risk losing their permits and facilities for messing with anything related to medicine.

Medical experts are banned from prescribing medicinal products, while medicinal dispensaries can’t consult medical experts. How does that make sense?

The basis of an unfair system

In the United States, state law is present in every state and territory, but something else has the top priority when it comes to legal matters. The federal law stands above any state legislation or statute. Regardless of the attitude of one state’s senator or citizen, any sort of decision, movement or plan is halted unless the Congress approves such a decision on a federal level. The federal law encompasses all of the states, regulating the inner workings of the country from above.

This happens with medicinal marijuana and doctors because the health care system falls into the category of federal responsibility. Despite how illogical this system sounds, a nation of 300+ million is regulated by a centralized government, not a state-oriented system.

As long as federal law forbids the sale, consummation, and prescription of cannabis, no doctor will be able to do so. 

A grimmer background

Medical marijuana doesn’t have a chance to be federally-approved anytime soon. Even the most committed activists know this. Why is this the case? The answer could take several times to elaborate on and provide evidence, but a simpler version would be – powerful people have too much to lose.

Many politicians and officials have their shares in big pharmaceutical companies. Given the fact that marijuana would instantly replace medications from the aforementioned big pharma companies, they would suffer huge losses.

How can you bypass this problem?

Like we’ve said, doctors can prescribe medical marijuana, but they can recommend it. A doctor can’t tell you to go and get medical marijuana for your problems, but he or she can state that medical marijuana may be the solution for your problems. Any definite statements are a big no-no. As long as it stays in the realm of a potential solution, there is nothing to worry about.

So, how can your doctor help you get medicinal marijuana? You can get your MMJ card by having your doctor confirm that you have a condition which requires medical Mary Jane as a potential treatment. With that confirmation, you can obtain the card and buy cannabis in regulated quantities, of course. This depends on the state you live in, as some are stricter when it comes to issuing medical marijuana cards.

Another way your doctor can point you in the right direction is showing you research. By providing you with data, he allows you to conclude the plausibility of medicinal marijuana all by yourself. Using this method, you can smoke freely and your doctor gets to avoid jail.

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