What I am about to say may seem controversial, even contrary to my chosen career path. After all, I work with medical cannabis. However, there is one part of the industry that I find issue with.
I do not like medical marijuana cards.
The sentiment stems from several reasons, but it all leads to the same destination. Medical marijuana cards are a staple of the industry that I sincerely hope to see changed in the future.
Qualifying Conditions are Exclusionary
Depending on the state you reside in, the qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card can vary. Some states have strict rules for allowance, and some remain more open. However, when you begin to look at the lists of qualifying conditions, they begin to leave much to be desired.
When living in Colorado, I explored getting my medical marijuana card for menstrual pain. However, I would have had to rely on another condition because menstrual pain was not a qualifying condition.
It is common knowledge that menstrual pain is often overlooked by the medical community, especially by older physicians. Surely the pain can't be that bad, right? While menstrual pain is just one excluded condition that bars thousands from receiving a medical card, there are hundreds that are left off, creating a finite list of what is considered a qualifying condition.
You Can Buy a Bottle of Wine But Not an Ounce of Cannabis
Once you turn 21, you can go to a liquor store and purchase whatever kind of alcohol your heart desires. But the medical marijuana market only accepts those with state permission to access cannabis legally.
Pushing anti-cannabis propaganda aside (why beat a dying horse with a stick anyway?), the double standards are outstanding. Imagine if you wanted to shop at a fast food chain or purchase a bottle of your favorite kind of whiskey, but needed the state's permission to do so. Fast food is arguably deserving of the hate filled propaganda that has been directed towards cannabis and has scientifically been proven to be harmful to our health, yet anyone can purchase as much as they want.
Medical Cards Threaten Your 2nd Amendment Rights
While you may live in a state with legal cannabis, it is still federally illegal. As a result, when you purchase a firearm and fill out the paperwork for your background check, it can present a problem for those with a medical marijuana card.
There is a question on the paperwork asking if you consume illegal substances, including marijuana. If you click yes, your application could be rejected. If you click no, then this could present a legal problem down the road if you had to use the firearm for self-defense (or other reasons).
Medical marijuana cards create a slew of issues, both legally and socially. And while this writer supports the cannabis industry, I personally believe cannabis should be accessible and not jeopardize our rights as Americans. It is my hope that as the cannabis industry evolves, we will do away with gatekeeping this wonderful plant from those who need it.