The struggle of a medical marijuana consumer

Published Jan 4, 2021 01:00 p.m. ET
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Even in countries that supposedly have wide open and easily accessible medical cannabis programs, people struggle to find the medicinal support they need. It isn’t just one barrier that stands in the way between them and success. It’s a complicated process to navigate, and even if it sounds simple on paper, those who have done it have plenty to say about improvements that both could and should be made.

Since it’s challenging to show support for an issue that you do not entirely understand based on some sort of personal experience, we wanted to take a moment to highlight the steps that are typically taken by a consumer who wishes to use medicinal weed, right from the very beginning, to the end. It isn’t always a happy journey for everyone.

1. Find a doctor who approves of cannabis

Most modern doctors are willing to recognize that some benefit is to be had by utilizing the incredible elements produced by cannabis plants. Still, very few are willing to give their blessing, which is necessary to get the process started for a medical marijuana card. Some are actively dead set against this type of request, based on nothing other than a personal bias, which can often make this an awkward and even demeaning conversation to have if your doctor is one of the many who disapproves.

2. Hope that the doctor is willing to accept that cannabis might help

Say you manage to find a doctor who is open to the idea of cannabis, and you finally get the confidence to bring it up through more than casual conversation. What do you think their response would be? Though many pro-pot doctors see its obvious benefits, they are not measurable. Since there is no guarantee, it will work and no real way for a doctor to follow standard dosing with confidence, patients often have to convince them that this is the best option by trying every pharmaceutical option out there first. For those who are against prescription medications, this is incredibly discouraging.

3. If they can’t find a family doctor, then they’ll likely visit a weed doctor

When you can’t find a medical professional, who is willing to fill out the appropriate paperwork for you to obtain a medical marijuana license, you’re left with only one other option, and that’s a weed doctor. The term sounds wonderful and accepting, but it isn’t as endearing as you might think because your typical OHIP doesn’t cover these folks, so they charge a small fortune for their services, a move that often prices interested medicinal consumers out of the opportunity.

4. Even with a medical card in hand, self-medicating is tricky

Self-medicating with cannabis is no easy task. When our doctors and other various medical professionals are not educated on the science behind the plant, they usually have no idea where to begin when it comes to offering recommendations. This leaves consumers with valid prescriptions or medical cards to wander blindly into unchartered territory, which often results in an unsuccessful attempt at a medicinal treatment. If you don’t know where to begin, you can’t pick the right medicine, and that rarely works out well for anyone.

5. Those who can’t afford it often fall through the cracks

If you’re one of the thousands of medicinal consumers who can’t afford a fancy weed doctor or to fill a cannabis prescription, then you’ll probably just fall through the cracks of the current system. Unlike other prescription medications which are covered by the majority of insurance agencies and public healthcare systems, cannabis is seldom paid for by anyone other than the individual who needs it, and that forces many to go without, opt for pharmaceutical treatments, or to buy the complete wrong products to treat their symptoms.

In conclusion

Though some might say that we are very fortunate to live in a time when medicinal cannabis is both allowed and encouraged, medical patients know first-hand how flawed this system is. It’s time for a change, and only we the people can demand that our government do something to make that happen.

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