Access to Medical Marijuana in the USA

The fight for the legalization of medical marijuana in the United States has been long and painful. California was the first state to apply for making cannabis legal for medical purposes in 1996. Later, many states followed suit. Finally, by April 2017, medical marijuana was legalized in 44 states, including Puerto Rico and Guam.

Marijuana is used to ease the symptoms and treat such conditions as AIDS, glaucoma, and cancer. Getting access to medical marijuana in the USA is still somewhat complicated. Considering all the nuances of medical marijuana dispensary construction, places where patients can get marijuana are limited. Meanwhile, getting the medication is hard as well.

1. Access To Dry Flowers

The majority of states, which allow medical marijuana, legalized the patients’ access to the dried flower of the plant. These flowers can be used for direct inhalation or processed for edible medication.

This means that the patients have access to the flowers only. Using the whole plant is restricted. Unfortunately, for many patients, restricting the access to the whole cannabis plant means they can’t get proper relief for their symptoms. Meanwhile, dosing for dry flowers and processed plants is harder to calculate.

2. Marijuana Delivery

Many patients who are in dire need of cannabis to treat their conditions don’t have the physical or economic capacity to travel to the destinations where marijuana can be dispensed. This is especially tough for patients, who are in hospitals or live far from the dispenser points.

Allowing access to the plants by delivery is a humane way to give patients an opportunity to receive their medication. However, some states believe that arranging delivery may lead to criminal activity, thus keeping the patients from getting their medication.

3. Formidable Prices

Today, medical cannabis can help many Americans deal with such serious conditions as chronic pain, AIDs, cancer, and more. Unfortunately, even though the marijuana is legalized in many states, it isn’t covered by insurance policies. Since the prices are high, many patients don’t have access to this important medication.

Ideally, such medication should be exempt from the sales tax in order to make it easier for patients to obtain it. Unreasonable taxes and prices may lead to criminal activities. Patients, who can’t afford legal cannabis, may try illegal ways to purchase the much-needed medication.

4. More Marijuana Dispensers

Affordable, quick, and safe access to marijuana is important to the patients, many of whom aren’t strong enough to endure travels. It’s important to have a sufficient number of marijuana dispensers in the area.

Unfortunately, some states still impose some certain limits on the number of dispensers, making it hard for patients with mobility issues to get their meds. The limited number of dispensers also stems from the strict rules dictating their location (1,000 feet away from schools, churches, residential zones, etc.).

5. Ownership And Employment Matters

Worry-free access to medical marijuana is also hindered by ownership and employment restrictions related to the marijuana business. Usually, these restrictions stem from background checks.

People with marijuana-related convictions often don’t have the right to work in the legal medical cannabis business.

6. Dispensary Restrictions

In some states, patients have to choose one dispensary from which they are planning to buy their medicine. They are not allowed to change the dispensaries as they wish. Even though such law makes it easier to regulate the business, patients may be faced with higher expenses and lost time.


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Categories: Lifestyle