Marijuana 101: Getting Your First Medical Marijuana Card


How to get a medical marijuana recommendation can be a bit intimidating for a first timer medical marijuana patient. We at feel it shouldn’t be intimidating to get the care you need. It’s an easy, simple and a relatively fast process in many states with legal marijuana — the 18 being:

Note* medical marijuana registry states accept other states registry ID cards.

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Having recently received my medical marijuana card in California, I’ll be using that experience to help in this brief guide to getting your medical marijuana referral taken care of. Most of these are common sense considerations, and will vary a little state to state.

Here in Los Angeles you usually need to take care of a few things before going to see the doctor about a medicinal marijuana prescription. First off, you need to be a resident of the state of California like all other legal marijuana states — only Oregon allows out-of-state applications. Here in California you also need proof of your condition from your primary care physician or specialist doctor, assuming they are not the doctor giving you the recommendation. Paperwork is important so provide paperwork showing your medical condition in need of medical marijuana and also your government issued I.D.

Having the proper documentation of your medical condition can go a long way towards making the process run smoothly. My condition is vision related, for example, but my optometrist cannot give prescription or medication advice beyond lenses. I needed to show the doctor my initial diagnosis from my optometrist. With most consultation, doctors knowing your specific symptoms and how marijuana relieves them is important. It goes a long way towards making this process easy. Remember, you are seeing a medical professional, it is crucial to the legitimacy of medical marijuana to treat the constant as professional.

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My own doctor, Doctor Aldridge, was very pleasant and professional as I explained my particular symptoms. I found him after doing some significant research to make sure he was a legitimate medical professional, not some stoned-out-quack. I suggest anyone do the same and do some basic research towards the medical marijuana physician or clinic you intend to visit. Make sure they are reputable and in good legal standing with the state. My doctor, in giving me a general physical, noted I had high blood pressure. He explained this may well be because I was nervous, which was common for first time referrals. We then spoke about vectors, he recommended edibles and a vaporizer — over the traditional bongs, pipes, joints and blunts — for health reasons.

This nervousness led me to this advice: relax, it’s going to be okay. After you do some research on your state’s particulars, you should be doing just fine. You’re seeing a legitimate medical professional about a legitimate medical problem. They will be there to help you get the care and treatment you need. Just make sure to get all your paperwork and legal status in order, to make the process painless for both of you. After all, relieving pain is what we’re all in it for!

Once the relieving and simple task of obtaining one’s medical marijuana recommendation is complete, then you have your 420 card to enjoy the various medical marijuana dispensaries — enjoy…


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  1. felterupgood on

    What if you just want to find out if weed helps your condition? All these articles seem to indicate that
    you need to tell the doctor weed cures you from your pain/condition. It’s like saying “I tried weed and I liked it…”
    Why not just say “I want to know if weed is magically delicioius?”

    • P.T. Herbstreet on

      That’s a good point. I’ll keep that kind of thing in mind for future 101 articles.

      In my experience the Doctor did ask me if (and how, specifically) it helped my actual set of conditions. Though my condition is a bit crazy compared to what many sufferers go through, and I’ve been battling it my entire life.

      To answer your question though; if you aren’t sure if it will help, I recommend speaking to a Physician and getting an honest opinion from them on if they think it will help your condition.

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