How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York
As I’m writing this it has been 20 minutes since police began raiding my neighbor’s crib. This isn’t the first time, but with the daunting cloud of gentrification looming over my neighborhood of Washington Heights I’m positive it’ll be one of the last I’ll experience.
I’ve witnessed my fair share of drug busts and drug-related arrests, including those involving marijuana. But today Mary Jane is living a life in New York as a decriminalized plant.
With the unveiling of medicinal marijuana legalization, it placed Big Dick New York State in the game. Your local pitchers on the corner or delivery men ain’t the only ones who got that Sour.
So here’s a guide to getting your medical marijuana card.
The Big 12
The first thing you want to do is have a doctor diagnose you with one or more of the following severe and debilitating symptoms or life-threatening conditions:
- ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spinal Cord Injury with Spasticity
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Huntington’s Disease
- Chronic Pain/PTSD
- Opioid Use Replacement
Note that doctors will undoubtedly find certain conditions above to be serious, easily qualifying you for a medical marijuana card. However, for those of you who are trying to fake the funk, particularly the fraudulent Chronic Pain and PTSD victims, you’ll have to prove that your condition has degraded your health and functional capacity with intolerable side effects. Additionally, you’ll need at least three months of documented pain and alternative therapeutic failures to qualify.
If you’ve recently been injured, or if you haven’t been diagnosed don’t fret because you might get lucky. If a registered practitioner from the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) anticipates that you will endure three months of pain they can choose to still offer you a prescription.
For postoperative patients, you may choose to try medical marijuana instead of opioids, while chronic pain victims already using opioids may choose to switch to medical marijuana.
What’s My Age Again?
To apply for a medical marijuana card you need to be 21 years or older.
For children under the age of 18, or individuals otherwise unable to consent to medical treatment, they’ll need the representation of a parent/legal guardian, an appropriate person appointed by the parent/legal guardian, or an appropriate person approved by the New York State Department of Health (NYDOH) who’s 21 years or older to apply for them.
That person must also apply for a medical marijuana card to be able to purchase the products for the patient.
Finding a Practitioner
The NYDOH offers a comprehensive list of practitioners who are registered by the state to write you a medical marijuana prescription. You can find that list here. Likewise, you can also apply online with Cannabis Doctors of New York.
You’ve Been Approved! What’s Next?
Now you need to register yourself as a part of the MMP. You can find the instructions here, which will ask you to sign in to your NY.Gov account. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to sign up for one. It will then link you to the appropriate online forms.
You’ll need to show proof of New York residency through a New York State Driver’s License/Non-Driver’s ID, a utility bill indicating your current address, or a copy of your current lease in New York. Temporary residents will need to show proof of temporary residency with a utility bill, hospital bill, or a document approved by the NYDOH.
Be prepared to pay a $50 dollar application fee. This is waived for patients and caregivers if you choose the Bill Me Later option. It’s important to note that you’ll need to renew your certification each year and pay the fee again.
Once you’re done, you can print out a temporary medical marijuana card while you wait for your real one to arrive in 7-10 business days.
So you have your medical marijuana card and you’re ready to use it. But where do you go? Here’s a list of New York dispensaries.
Remember that marijuana is not recreationally legal. Bullshit. I know. But until it is, keep in mind that flowers are not a part of medical marijuana consumption. Medical marijuana is only available as oils, capsules, and vaporization. Growing marijuana, even with a card, is also not legal.
Most raids I have witnessed over the last 30 years aren’t of your stereotypical traphouse. Which you may have heard about on one of Spotify’s generic rap playlists, that include your favorite Macklemore, Drake, and G-Eazy songs. Instead, those apartments being raided were homes to many low-income families of color. Keep that in mind each time your entitled existence, laden with pumpkin spice and cultural appropriating techniques uses a medical marijuana card in New York.
Photo Credit: hightimes.com