Worried About MMJ Card Rejection? Here’s What to Say to the Doctor
A significant majority of American states now have a medical marijuana program. Millions of people have completed their applications and gained their MMJ cards. One of the key components of the process is receiving a doctor’s written certification. In most states with programs, you can’t complete the online form without it.
Given the importance of the doctor’s recommendation, it is understandable that you may feel nervous before the consultation. After all, if they say ‘no,’ you won’t have access to legal marijuana (unless you live in a state that offers recreational weed). Therefore, you must know what to say, how to act, and what to avoid during the appointment. This article outlines all of this information and much more.
Feeling Nervous? Here’s Some Information to Calm You Down!
The fact that marijuana remains a federally prohibited drug concerns some prospective MMJ applicants. In theory, the United States Government could perform a major crackdown and start arresting people. Indeed, one former attorney general threatened to do just that. However, there is practically no chance of the federal government ever intervening. California legalized MMJ in 1996, and there has never been any real chance of federal repercussions.
You should note that as long as medical marijuana is legal in your state, discussing the possibility of using it with your doctor is NOT a crime! In 2002, the federal judge in the Conant v. Walters case ruled that the First Amendment right to free speech includes receiving information. Therefore, the physician can’t contact law enforcement because you started discussing MMJ. However, the doctor is also not allowed to prescribe medical marijuana either.
Far from being taboo, medical marijuana is rather mainstream. Some doctors, attorneys, athletes and reputable entrepreneurs use the substance to help manage the symptoms of various conditions. Countless people consume MMJ daily, which has no negative impact on job performance or their ability to complete daily tasks.
This means you should not worry about your reputation being besmirched by responsible usage of cannabis. You should also hold no fears about it causing you to become a “stoner” or other nonsensical terms.
Furthermore, a growing body of evidence suggests MMJ positively impacts many people’s lives. You are not trying to attain your medical card to get high. Instead, it is all about finding a way to manage your illness and hopefully improve the quality of your life.
Here’s How to Prepare for Your Consultation
Hopefully, the information above makes you feel better about approaching a doctor. Depending on where you live, it may be easy or difficult to locate a “marijuana-friendly” physician. Most state programs don’t provide guidance on how to find a suitable medical professional. You can perform a Google search for MMJ doctors in your area.
Alternatively, you can use the MMJCardOnline service to save time and money. We have partnerships with some of the best providers of medical marijuana consultations in the United States. By using our services, you gain access to potentially dozens of MMJ-friendly physicians. Moreover, if your state permits online appointments, you could complete the process from the comfort of your home.
Once you’ve booked your consultation, it is time to get prepared.
Ensure You Meet Your State’s Qualifying Criteria
In almost every location with an MMJ program, you must be 18+ and a state resident. There are exceptions with certain states allowing out-of-state visitors to get a temporary card. However, in general, if you aren’t a resident that meets the age requirement, you won’t get MMJ.
The other big consideration is whether you have a qualifying medical condition. Please check your state’s list, as it can vary from place to place. Common qualifying conditions include:
- Crohn’s disease
The only good excuses to get a medical card revolve around qualifying medical conditions.
Gather Your Medical Records
Although the consultation probably won’t last more than 15 minutes, it involves the doctor reviewing your medical history. Most doctors will not provide written certification if you can’t prove that you’ve tried conventional treatments first.
First, consider the medical condition you’re trying to get medical marijuana for. Then, create a table that outlines the main symptoms of the disorder, the treatments you’ve used, and what has and hasn’t worked.
For instance, if you have chronic pain, perhaps you have tried OxyContin. It offered a reasonable degree of relief at first, but after a few weeks, it became less effective. You can point out that you want to avoid increasing the dose because it is already causing side effects such as dizziness, vomiting, and itchiness.
Please note that certain treatments don’t involve medication. For example, you may have tried cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression, which counts as a treatment.
Ultimately, you must have your medical records ready for the appointment. If you use an online service, send the documents before the consultation.
Show an Understanding of MMJ
Above all else, you must demonstrate that you know a great deal about medical marijuana. This shows that you’re serious and don’t just view weed as a way to get high. Conduct research into MMJ before the appointment and take note of the possible benefits for your condition, the potential side effects, and how you think it could succeed where other treatments have failed.
Also, it is helpful to ask questions about medical marijuana to show a genuine interest. Perhaps you want to know whether it can cause interactions with other drugs you’re using. Alternatively, you may wish to find out if there are some activities (beyond the obvious) you shouldn’t do when using MMJ.
All of the above shows that your case is genuine and increases the likelihood of the doctor saying ‘yes.’
Things That Could Cause the Doctor to Refuse Certification
Although most states have a high approval rate, many patients fail to get the physician’s recommendation. There are several reasons for this:
- Bias: Some doctors won’t certify prospective MMJ patients because they’re uncomfortable doing so. This is often due to a bias against marijuana. It is almost impossible to change such a doctor’s mind, unfortunately.
- Doubts About the Patient: If you’re not well-prepared, you could easily give the impression that you only want marijuana for recreational purposes. A physician will not risk their license to help you in this situation.
- Lack of Knowledge: Many medical professionals in the United States know little about medical marijuana. In this situation, you need to be extra well-prepared to overcome any doubts they have. Alternatively, use one of our providers, as they only work with physicians who have studied MMJ in great detail.
- Incomplete Medical Records: A failure to provide detailed medical records will almost certainly lead to rejection.
- You Don’t Have a Qualifying Condition: You can easily navigate this hurdle by researching your state’s rules.
- Disqualifying Medical Conditions: A physician won’t certify patients with certain conditions. These may include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and severe depression. Individuals who have attempted suicide or were previously in a psychiatric hospital will also be rejected.
- A History of Substance Abuse: As a certain percentage of marijuana users will develop a dependence, physicians will not certify anyone with a history of abusing alcohol, heroin, or other addictive substances.
You’re with the Doctor; Now What?
Even though the physician is well aware of the purpose of the consultation, many patients still find it hard to bring up the subject of MMJ. One way to start the conversation is to discuss a “friend” who is benefiting from medical marijuana. Another option is to casually mention a book or documentary on MMJ.
It is also a good idea to ask the medical professional if they know about medical cannabis. You should never assume that the doctor is current with marijuana literature.
From there, it is a question of honesty about why you’re there. Discuss previous treatments and how they have failed to provide relief. Continue by mentioning research into MMJ on your condition, which shows its benefits.
The doctor will review your medical records and can quickly determine whether you’re telling the truth. There are no guarantees, but you have a high percentage chance of success if you meet the qualifying criteria and show evidence of trying other treatments.
Hopefully, things go well, and the doctor sees you as a viable candidate for MMJ. Incidentally, a large proportion of people who use our partners receive written certification, so give it a shot!
What To Do If the Physician Won’t Certify You
Unfortunately, the doctor may say ‘no.’ Remember that they have no legal obligation to approve anyone, regardless of whether they are eligible for medical marijuana.
Rather than getting angry in the doctor’s room, thank them for their time and leave. You could ask the physician for a referral if they are open to it. Otherwise, look for another marijuana-friendly medical professional in your area. Assuming that your state’s official MMJ website doesn’t give you options, look at what our providers offer. If, for any reason, they can’t provide the service, continue checking online.
Individuals who can’t access medical marijuana should consider CBD. As long as products come from the hemp plant and contain a maximum of 0.3% THC by dry weight, they are widely available in most states. Another option includes taking herbs with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties, such as burdock root, turmeric, and passion flower.
Final Thoughts on What to Say to Get a Medical Card
You are not certain to get a physician’s approval for MMJ, even if you live in a state with a thriving program. If you don’t prepare properly, there’s every chance the medical professional will refuse to provide the written certification you need to complete your application. In other instances, the doctor’s personal beliefs mean there’s no chance of them giving you what you need.
Nonetheless, you can improve your chances of getting an MMJ card by doing your research. Find out more about how marijuana can help your condition and prove that you’ve tried other treatment methods. Ultimately, if your state has a medical marijuana program, walking into a doctor’s office to discuss MMJ usage is NOT a crime.
If you’re struggling to even book a consultation, contact our partners today. They will help you schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If your state allows online consultations, you could get in a virtual room with a licensed physician today!