In California, for what conditions is medicinal marijuana commonly prescribed?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Medical marijuana has been shown to help with numerous medical problems including pain, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, spasticity, and weight loss. In California, medicinal marijuana is most commonly recommended to patients suffering from chronic pain, AIDS, and mood disorders.

Medical Marijuana Laws in California

Medical marijuana laws in California do not necessarily limit what illnesses doctors can treat with marijuana–but provide general guidelines. Medical marijuana is usually prescribed for debilitating conditions like chronic pain or symptoms of AIDS. But eligible patients can range anywhere from cancer patients to those suffering from glaucoma.

In general, doctors can’t simply recommend medical marijuana without a justifiable medical reason. Before a doctor can recommend medical marijuana as a treatment option, the doctor must go through a patient’s conditions. The doctor must then make a recommendation in the same way the doctor would in prescribing any other treatment program.

Although medical marijuana laws in California don’t limit the use of medical marijuana by condition, you should keep in mind that the state program is administered by counties. Each county can set and establish additional parameters for regulating the use of medical marijuana programs. Before considering medical marijuana as a treatment option, you may want to visit with a criminal attorney in the county where you reside to review any restrictions specific to your county of residence. 

Medical Marijuana Use in California

Whatever requirements are applicable to your condition, you should take care to comply with all of them. You are not permitted to use marijuana for medical purposes just because your condition is one that is generally accepted as appropriate for medical marijuana. Your doctor must determine that medical marijuana is a viable treatment for your condition. You and your doctor must apply for and receive a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC).

Failure to comply with any of the California state or county requirements, or obtaining marijuana before your card is approved, could result in charges being filed against you for unlawful possession of marijuana, despite your medical condition.

Getting Help

If you have questions about your criminal exposure or the procedures for obtaining a Medical Marijuana Identification Card, consult with an attorney in your area. 

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