Other than helping you receive a card, there are important ways that your marijuana doctor can help your life and ability to use cannabis. It’s important to find the right doctor who is able to think outside-the-box and do more than just certify you for a marijuana card. Below are just some examples of ways a good medical marijuana physician is able to help you in special circumstances calling for more than just certification.
Certifying a patient for a medical marijuana card may be only the first step in helping a patient use cannabis as treatment. There are often times when a patient’s family will not be comfortable with the patient using cannabis. They may feel that the patient is using it recreationally and getting a card for disingenuous validation. What good is having a card if the family the patient lives with does not believe the patient should be using it?
A good medical marijuana doctor will help in this situation by speaking with the family directly (once the patient provides a HIPAA release of information to do that). The doctor can be instrumental in helping the patient’s relatives understand why cannabis is a good option for them. Alternatively, the physician can write a letter to the family about the patient, explaining the benefits of cannabis and why it is an appropriate option for the patient. If the doctor can convince the family that cannabis is a reasonable choice and change their minds, the family will support the marijuana use as well. The doctor can also provide boundaries that the patient can agree to so the family accepts the cannabis use more easily. For example, the patient may agree to not smoke inside the house or only use in the evenings and never before important responsibilities (like driving, taking care of the kids, etc.).
Patients who are on probation or parole, especially for drug crimes or marijuana posession, can have difficulties from their parole officers. These officers are often skeptical of the patient’s use and feel that the patient is continuing to commit a crime. Usually, a medical marijuana card is enough to help quell their opposition. However, sometimes more is needed.
Cannabis doctors can provide a letter for the parole officer that explains the patient’s need for medical cannabis use. If they have prior convictions for drug charges they should mention this in the letter and say that despite this they still have a right to use cannabis to treat a state-approved qualified condition. This kind of letter is a very strong statement and if the parole officer reprimands the patient for their use, the patient can bring the letter to court. Typically, a judge will side with the patient against the parole officer when such a letter is provided in court.
When a job asks for a random drug screen or is suspicious of drug use and requests a urine drug test, showing an up-to-date medical marijuana card is very important. Unfortunately, in states where cannabis has only recently become legalized, that is sometimes not enough. In these situations, employers will have their HR departments ask the patient for more information, including a letter from the certifying physician. It is very important to have a good cannabis doctor that will provide such a letter. It can mean the difference between being fired and keeping your job, even when you have a marijuana card.
These letters to employers will often require information about the amount of cannabis used, the frequency and the types. Sometimes they even want to know the dosages, which can be tricky if the patient is inhaling cannabis. Employers will frequently want the doctor to answer a set of questions in detail and fax it back to them. Sometimes these questions can be so specific they ask what levels of THC are expected in the patient’s blood on a blood test. It is not easy to answer these questions so picking the right cannabis doctor is vital in such a situation. The riskier the job, the more likely the company will demand multiple pages of paperwork to be filled out. Jobs like this include interstate truck drivers, work with heavy machinery and healthcare professionals.
Patients are not allowed to cross state borders with cannabis but should continue their treatment while they are away from home. There are some states that allow non-residents from out-of-state to purchase medical cannabis if they have a letter from their certifying cannabis doctor. When patients travel to these states, they can contact their cannabis doctor for such a letter. Sometimes patients don’t know that the state they are traveling to has laws like this and they need the letter to be faxed or emailed to them while they are there. If their cannabis doctor is willing to work quickly and provide them such a letter, they will ask them to send a release of information HIPAA form, and then they can fax them such a letter. It is a truly special physician who will do this for a patient so ask your doctor during your cannabis card appointment if they would be able to do that for you if you travel.
Besides states, some countries are allowing patients to use cannabis with a doctors letter. Among them is Jamaica so if you plan on going to Jamaica and want to try their cannabis, request your doctor to write you a letter stating your diagnosis and that you are certified to use cannabis and bring that with you.
Rarely, patients who are going to college and are staying in a dormatory will require a letter from their doctor to be allowed to use cannabis legally in their dormatory.
There are other circumstances that are less common than these that require a doctors support and there will be new ones that are unexpected as more and more institutions accept cannabis as a legitimate treatment. Pick your doctor wisely so if you are in need of their help they can think outside-the-box and help you through unforseen circumstances.
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