Finding a Doctor
ASA feels the safest and most responsible thing to do is to talk with your current doctor about medical cannabis. However, we understand that many doctors are unfamiliar with the medicine or are afraid of getting in trouble. Health insurance is also considered a luxury in the United States, so many patients do not have a regular doctor. In addition, some patients are concerned with their current health insurance company finding out about their use of medical cannabis.
Ask for a written recommendation. Here is a sample doctor's recommendation for those of you in CA and look on ASAs state-by-state guide to download the form needed in other medical cannabis states.
Be prepared to tell your doctor specifically what condition or symptoms you treat with cannabis therapeutics. Honestly describe the amount of marijuana you use, how often, and by what delivery method.
If your doctor will not issue a recommendation, you may want to visit a medical marijuana specialist.
Talking with your current doctor
Be forthright with your doctor. There is nothing wrong with discussing medical cannabis with your doctor. A federal court (9th Circuit) has ruled that, under the First Amendment, doctors may not be punished for recommending medical cannabis. Doctors are accustomed to patients bring ideas to them about best treatment options and cannabis therapeutics should not be any different.
If your doctor is completely unfamiliar with medical cannabis, she will be hesitant to recommend it, so bring documentation to support your experience. ASA has created a series of educational booklets for this very reason. Our Condition-based Booklets or other research can be found at www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/patientresources.
There are a number of physicians and clinics available for medical cannabis consultations. Before consulting a medical cannabis specialist, patients should already have medical records of diagnosis and treatment or a physician referral. Be aware that:
You should take your medical records with you to the appointment.
It generally costs $100 or more to see a medical marijuana specialist.
Paying the money does not guarantee that you will get a recommendation