Many felons may struggle with medical conditions either during incarceration or afterward. Some of these may be chronic conditions that traditional medical treatment might not alleviate. There are alternative treatments available, including treatment by medical marijuana.
This blog post will address the issue of whether or not a felon can get a medical marijuana card.
- What is a Medical Marijuana Card?
- How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card
- Where to Get Medical Marijuana
- An Opportunity for Felons?
- Recommended Action
What is a Medical Marijuana Card?
A medical marijuana card is technically called a medical marijuana recommendation (MMJ). It’s a legal requirement for all patients who are using cannabis for medical reasons.
Medical marijuana is a natural and alternative medicine for patients to increase their quality of life and allow them to be free of the debilitating effects of medical conditions. Cannabis has become known as one method of treatment for a variety of medical conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Muscular dystrophy
Marijuana has also been demonstrated to help with other illnesses including depression and anxiety.
Medical marijuana is available in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia. Those whose physicians have recommended medical marijuana for certain illnesses and chronic conditions are exempt from criminal prosecution in states that have a medical marijuana law. Some states allow only terminally ill patients to use marijuana legally.
Someone is then able to use marijuana as an alternative medicine to alleviate and treat diagnosed diseases, ailments, illnesses, and chronic symptoms.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card
In states where medical marijuana is legal, patients are approved by a medical marijuana:
- Card registry process
This is accomplished by a physician with a medical marijuana license. A medical marijuana card can be obtained through the Department of Health Services in the state in which someone resides and is typically valid for a one-year period.
When a medical marijuana card expires, it can be renewed by going through the same process as when it was originally approved. The renewal process involves of verifying someone’s information and receipt of a new medical marijuana registry card and new marijuana identification number.
While the laws regarding how much marijuana a patient can possess varies between states, the typical guidelines allow the patient to possess as many as six mature marijuana plants and up to eight ounces of processed marijuana.
Despite concerns of patients that their name will appear on a master list of marijuana users through the DEA, there is no organized database of such names. The record of medical marijuana evaluation is protected by Federal laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Where to Get Medical Marijuana
A physician’s recommendation will allow a medical marijuana patient to receive medical marijuana through a dispensary. There are two different types of dispensaries, depending on what items they carry: a medical and recreational dispensary. A medical dispensary is only allowed to sell marijuana according to a licensed physician’s recommendation.
Requirements to make a purchase at a medical dispensary are:
- To have a physician’s written recommendation (medical marijuana card)
- To be at least 18 years old
- To register there for legal purposes
- Privacy for consultation
- To have purchases tracked
Currently, 29 states permit medical dispensaries.
An Opportunity for Felons?
While the laws vary between states, the basic regulation requires someone who wants to obtain a medical marijuana card is subject to a criminal background check. Typically, a felon who has been convicted of a felony drug offense is disallowed from getting a medical marijuana card.
Anyone who uses marijuana without a medical marijuana card in his or her state of residence is acting illegally. Those who use marijuana illegally are subject to civil and criminal penalties depending on their state of residence. A medical marijuana card ensures that someone is a registered patient within his or her state which helps avoid possible legal issues.
If a felon applies to obtain a medical marijuana card, he or she needs to be honest in reporting any conviction. A felony that isn’t disclosed but is discovered on a background check is fraud, punishable by possibly being sent back to prison.
Felons have enough of a challenge, typically being seen as dishonest, untrustworthy, and unwilling or unable to follow directions from authority figures. Also, a felon should contact an attorney for proper legal advice.
Having their record expunged can give them a clear record and the chance they need to succeed in getting a medical marijuana card. Expungement of a criminal record allows anyone to honestly state on an application that he or she has not been convicted of a crime.
It is quite challenging, but it could be worth it for a felon wanting to obtain a medical marijuana card. To give him or herself the best chance for success by having his or her record expunged could make the critical difference.
Documenting any programs, education, or training he or she has completed will be beneficial. These are positive steps for a felon to take to provide strong evidence of being of “good moral character.”
Having support from family, friends, or even previous employers is essential. Felons don’t have to be defined by their crime. We are not defined by our mistakes but by how we recover from them. They can begin again and live an honest life no matter how challenging it might seem.
What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to get a marijuana card with a felony? What was that like for them, and how did they achieve success? Please tell us in the comments below.