Are you applying for an MMJ card in New York? If yes, then that’s a good thing. You are opening your doors to a number of privileges including legal security and money savings. You wouldn’t have had access to it without a medical card. But, while applying for one has no harm whatsoever, being ignorant of the important facts before getting a medical card may lead to risky situations. For example, are you aware of the laws? Of the limitations? Any specific points to remember that can get you into legal problems if not followed?
I’m not making any assumptions but all of these questions have an answer. And you must learn of all these answers before applying for and using your medical card in New York. So read along and educate yourself on the important points that you must know before getting a medical cannabis card.
It is true that a medical card provides you certain privileges that do not extend to recreational cannabis. But it does not mean that you are not bound by any limitations. Cannabis comes from a history of legal struggles. And its legalization in 33 states of the US didn’t come easy. But despite the recognition as a medicine on the state level, the use of cannabis has to be kept under control. Even in a state like New York where you can only use cannabis with a medical card.
This is why, all states that have legalized medical or recreational cannabis, follow a medical marijuana program that lays down the marijuana laws of a state. All cannabis consumers have to abide by the laws to avoid any legal penalties. For example, in the city of New York, you can only possess a maximum of a 30 day stock of your medicine.
Now you know that when you are in New York, a medical card is a must to use medical cannabis. But before you apply for a medical card let me tell you that it will be a commitment. What I mean by this is that if you wish to keep using cannabis and enjoy the privileges, you will have to get a renewal for your medical card. This is because every medical card has a validity of only one year from the date of issuance. Upon expiry, you will have to apply for a renewal.
The good news here is that it is a pretty simple process. More than likely, the place you got your card from will have a renewal service too. So you can get in touch with them and resume your services. Or you can even get it done online. It’s just a 10 minute process before you receive your renewal on your email.
Not all states have the same laws
If you are one who crosses borders often and also uses medical cannabis, it is very important that you realize that every state follows a different medical marijuana program. And so has a different set of marijuana laws. Let’s take the instance of New York and California. While the former is known to have the strictest laws for marijuana, the latter is more liberal to a point where recreational cannabis is also legal. Similarly, California practices medical marijuana reciprocity which means that a medical card of any state can be used in CA. But the same cannot be said about New York. Also, you can find a lot of varieties of cannabis products in California whereas in New York, smokeables and edibles are not legally allowed.
So irrespective of the fact that you have a medical card or not, if you move from one state to another without being acquainted with their marijuana laws, you may have to face a legal persecution.
You can use medical marijuana if you’re under 18
That’s right. Even if you are under 18, you can use medical marijuanna. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. There are a number of restrictions that have to be followed. For starters, you will have to get a recommendation. Only if a licensed doctor finds your condition to be suitable for using cannabis, you will be given a recommendation.
Secondly, you cannot buy your own cannabis but you can have someone else to do it for you. They are called caregivers. They will look after your daily dose and be responsible to get medical cannabis for you. So you can designate 2 caregivers for yourself. They must be a citizen of New York and of the age of 21 years or above. If these conditions are met, they can register with the New York Health Department as your designated caregiver.
You can still get arrested
Cannabis has evolved from being called a gateway drug to medical aid. But even today, the legalities surrounding cannabis aren’t as simple as you may think. With a medical cannabis card in New York, you are allowed to use and buy cannabis without any legal trouble. But, if you ignore the medical marijuana laws of the state, you may still be arrested. For example, if you are found using your medical card to buy cannabis for someone else, it will be considered illegal. Or if you are found with more cannabis than you are legally allowed to possess.
Along with this, the fear of arrest comes from the federal laws. While medical cannabis is legal in New York, the federal government does not consider it as a medicine. So federally, cannabis is still an illegal drug. But you don’t have to worry as long as you are under the state jurisdiction and own a medical card. But if you enter federal jurisdiction, such as the air space after a plane takes off and the state borders, you are susceptible to an arrest.
Make sure your doctor is legit
While getting a medical card in New York is a 10 minute process, you must not be so quick in settling for a clinic or a doctor. With telemedicine, the number of unregistered clinics and doctors has increased. So you must make sure that your doctor is licensed by the New York Government and works in a clinic with a real location. You must be able to verify the address of your doctor or the New York Health Department will not accept your medical card.
Now that you have gone through some of the important points about a medical card, go ahead and apply for one right now. Just remember, choose a trusted source only.