How to Prepare for a Medical Marijuana Evaluation [GUIDE]
If you live in one of the eight states where marijuana is legal for recreational use, you can ignore this guide. For readers living in the 21 states (plus D.C.) where you can only smoke weed with a medical marijuana (MMJ) card, this information is extremely important.
You can’t get an MMJ card unless you pass a medical marijuana evaluation. While sites such as NuggMD enable you to do everything online, most people still have to go through the doctor’s office procedure. If you don’t know what to expect from this evaluation, read on.
What is a Medical Marijuana Evaluation?
It is a mandatory process that is more or less the same as a typical medical evaluation. The important thing is to remain calm and relaxed; it isn’t an interrogation! It could last anywhere from 15-30 minutes and involves answering a few questions relating to your medical condition. After the evaluation, the physician will decide if you are a good candidate for medical marijuana and approve your use of an MMJ card if you’re deemed eligible.
Before You Arrive
Make sure you bring the following paperwork:
- Proof of ID: Can be a state driver’s license, state ID card or a current military-issued ID card. Some places accept a utility bill in your name, but most want photo ID.
- Medical Records: It is up to you to bring medical documentation that supports your application for medical marijuana. This includes recent records, list of current prescriptions, physician’s letter, and test results including MRIs or X-rays.
- Fee: The fee for the evaluation varies according to the physician.
- Miscellaneous: Applicants on legal probation will not be accepted. In some states, you can receive your MMJ card if you’re under the age of 18, but you must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.
The Medical Marijuana Evaluation
You will need to fill in a clinic questionnaire/intake form before you see the doctor. The evaluation should consist of the following:
- A good-faith examination by a licensed physician. Do NOT accept an evaluation from an assistant.
- The physician will collect the requisite diagnosis documentation.
- You can expect him/her to ask you a number of questions relating not only to your medical condition, but also your lifestyle, general health, and the treatments you are currently undergoing.
- He/she wants to get a good picture of the kind of person you are; they won’t recommend marijuana as a treatment to someone they deem irresponsible.
- The physician may conduct a few tests when reviewing your condition.
- After the evaluation is finished, the doctor will ask if you have any questions.
- Then, he/she will decide if you should receive an MMJ card.
Physicians are only interested in whether prescribing marijuana will have any real benefits for your condition. In general, the questions are pretty straightforward. For example, if you’re seeking medical marijuana to treat back pain, explain the situation in full. Then, he/she will probably ask variations of the following:
- Is the pain localized in the back or does it also radiate into your legs?
- Are you suffering from other medical conditions?
- Are you currently on any other medications?
- Are you a smoker?
- Do you consume alcohol?
- Have you used marijuana before?
Top Patient Medical Marijuana Tips
First of all, make sure you enter the doctor’s office with a friendly attitude. Whether or not you receive the MMJ card is at their discretion so you can’t expect them to help you out if you adopt a surly, Brian Dennehy attitude.
You must clearly illustrate that you understand the importance of medical marijuana. Outline why you believe it will help your condition. When explaining your symptoms, never hold back. Be very careful what you say; doctors are not impressed when you casually mention that you need marijuana to relax at the end of a hard day at the office. It is ideal if you can outline other treatment options you have tried and highlight the fact that they didn’t work.
Make sure you remain polite throughout and thank the doctor for their time, even if they say ‘no’!
I Got Approved for a Medical Marijuana Card – What’s Next?
First of all, congratulations! You can now embrace the power of marijuana to help you with chronic pain, social anxiety disorder or whatever condition you have that makes weed a necessary treatment.
Alas, there is no clear pathway because your next move depends on where you live. While an MMJ card is enough in some states, others require you to send the card and your documentation to the relevant state office. It is also important to note that an MMJ card is not necessary to buy weed in certain locations.
Assuming your state’s laws enable you to purchase marijuana with an MMJ card, you can start shopping around for a dispensary. The card and approval are crucial in states where marijuana is only legal for medical purposes. If you’re caught in possession without the documentation to back up your usage, you could find yourself in prison!
Please note that licensed physicians are forbidden from recommending dispensaries in the majority of states. Also, asking a doctor about the best place to buy weed shows an over eagerness that could harm your chances of being approved. Once you receive approval, find the best strains for your condition online.