I read a recent press release about a new medical marijuana clinic opening in Michigan. I have authored articles in the past about how to get a medical marijuana card in Oregon (my home state), and figured I would explain how to get one in Michigan as well. It’s a lot easier than most people think.
First off, you have to have an ‘approvable condition.’ In Michigan, these include; agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cancer, Crohn's disease, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, nail patella, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe nausea, severe & chronic pain, seizures, severe/persistent muscle spasms. You might be thinking to yourself, ‘I know I don’t have some of those conditions, but I do have aches and pains, and have had muscle spasms/nausea in the past. But I am confused as to what constitutes enough of these pains/spasms/nausea in order for it to be ‘severe, persistent, and/or chronic?’
The parallels of Michigan and Oregon are extremely similar; the process from the start until you physically get your card is pretty much identical, including the fees involved. The only part that is different is the limits, which I will explain later, and provide links. In no way am I recommending that a person fake a condition, I am simply telling people how I got MY medical card, and how people can do the same thing in Michigan. Be responsible! Here is a step by step of what I did in Oregon, and how to apply it in Michigan:
Day 1 — I went into my personal doctor and said, “My wrists and hands hurt from overuse. I don’t know if it’s carpal tunnel syndrome, or arthritis, or if I’m just a hypochondriac, but I really do have pain in my hands and wrists. I type a lot, write a lot, text message a TON, and generally do a lot of activities with my hands.” I could tell that my doctor was suspicious that I wanted painkillers, so I told him, “I DO NOT want painkillers. Are there natural ways, such as stretches, that I can do to alleviate my pain?” My doctor told me to take an over the counter painkiller and come back in 30 days if the symptoms didn’t subside. Considering the pain had been with me for a couple years at that point, I was certain that I would be back. Especially since I refuse to take painkillers of any kind that are not natural remedies. Pills are no good in my opinion.
Day 31 — I went back to my doctor to inform him that I still had the pain in my hands and wrists, and that I didn’t take the over-the-counter painkillers for the reasons I stated previously. I asked him once again, “Are there any natural things I can do to relieve my pain, such as stretches or changes in my daily activities?” My doctor gave me a couple of wrist braces that I was supposed to wear when I experienced the pain. I pointed out that I have this pain, at least mildly, at all times. He instructed me to wear the braces constantly. This was incredibly unrealistic, as I couldn’t even safely wear them when I was driving. At this point I had two options; go to expensive physical therapy and wear braces all day, or I could go to another doctor that would prescribe me a medical marijuana card.
***In order to get a medical marijuana card, you DO NOT have to get your doctor to prescribe it. What I just did in my two visits to MY OWN DOCTOR was establish a ‘chronic pain,’ which is defined in Oregon as ‘two visits for the same pain in the last 12 month period of time.’ Check with Michigan to see what their definition of ‘chronic pain’ is, but in all of my research it has always been 2 visits in a 12 month period of time, and that’s what I am told by my friends who have medical cards in Michigan. You don’t have to use ‘chronic pain,’ you can use any ailment that is approved by Michigan. However, chronic pain is an approvable condition, and back spasms, a ‘bad back,’ gimp leg, bum arm, wrist pain, frequent headaches, etc, are all ‘chronic pains’ as long as you go in 2 times in a 12 month span of time.***
Once I had two visits on my record, I had my medical records faxed from MY DOCTOR’S OFFICE to the MEDICAL MARIJUANA CLINIC where a doctor would sign my forms. Most clinics do not take new patients; they only take patients with ‘established conditions.’ Go to YOUR doctor and ‘establish it,’ much like I did on day 1 and 31. Then fax your records to the nearest medical marijuana clinic (note — not all medical clinics are the same, research and find one that has a good reputation).
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Center is the clinic that I read about in the article, and their prices are the same as the clinic I go to in Oregon. I think the fees are reasonable, which is why I have gone back for multiple years to renew. After that fax gets to the clinic, and you come in with the proper fees, CONGRATULATIONS. The only thing left to do is get the paperwork to the appropriate state government agency (in Michigan it is MDCH). You are now in the medical marijuana club, medicate yourself responsibly!!!! The limits in Michigan are 2.5 dried ounces and up to 12 plants in an enclosed, locked facility (no outdoor gardening!). In Oregon, per card, we can have up to 24 dried ounces, 6 mature plants, and 18 immature plants. Plus, outdoor gardening is prime time in our spring/summer weather, so we grow the trees BIG IN OREGON.
P.S. - If you can get your regular doctor to sign the damn forms, you can side step this entire process. Maybe someday medical doctors will do what’s best for their patients, instead of letting social norms and personal political views dictate how they treat their patients…