Half of the U.S. States Have Medical Cannabis Programs: Find Out Where & Which Medical Conditions and/or Diseases Qualify Under These Programs

In the United States alone, each year, roughly 564,800 Americans are expected to die of cancer, which equates to more than 1,500 people a day. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease, and it has been found that one of every four deaths in the United States is from cancer. Furthermore, according to the National Cancer Institute, “Approximately 38.5 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer of any site at some point during their lifetime”, which is based on 2012-2014 data. These statistics may be shocking to some and appalling to many because too many people are losing their lives to cancer.

However, a life-saving and extraordinary natural medicine has the potential to significantly improve a person’s life in more ways than they could have ever imagined. Cannabis—a miraculous plant that has been used for thousands of years contains a surplus of medicinal benefits and properties that provide suffering individuals with an overwhelming amount of relief and an improved quality of life.

Cannabis Flower Bud (Blog Post Picture)

In addition, cannabis or marijuana (as the government likes to refer to it as) remains federally illegal on a national level, however, as time goes on, more and more U.S. states are implementing their own medical cannabis programs, which allows for individuals suffering from various medical conditions and diseases like cancer and many others to treat themselves with a natural form of medicine—cannabis.

By the 2016 year mark, half of America’s fifty states moved towards the legalization of medical cannabis, and a few additional states since then have approved medical cannabis programs, but have not put them into action yet. The current U.S. states that have medical cannabis programs in place include the following: Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., New York, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia, Florida, and Georgia (which allows for the use of only low THC oil at less than five percent THC by weight).

Furthermore, the following states have approved medical cannabis programs recently, but have not put them into action yet: Montana, North Dakota, Louisiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, and Florida.

Regarding qualifying medical conditions, diseases, and other debilitating illnesses that people suffer from, all states with medical cannabis programs in place approve patients for a medical cannabis card if they have cancer. Whereas, most states approve patients for medical cannabis cards with any of the following qualifying medical conditions and/or diseases: glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s Disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), severe or persistent muscle spasms including those under the category of Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy and seizure disorders, a chronic, debilitating disease(s) and/or medical condition(s) that produce one or more of the following: Cachexia (Wasting Syndrome), severe nausea/vomiting, seizures including those characteristic of epilepsy, and severe muscle spasms (including Multiple Sclerosis and other diseases causing severe and persistent muscle spasms).

Furthermore, in order to qualify for a medical cannabis card, patients must have a debilitating condition and/or disease that is on their state’s list of qualifying medical conditions, however, these individual lists vary from state to state. Over the course of the past few years, more states are putting medical cannabis programs in place in addition to adding more medical conditions and/or diseases onto the list(s), so that suffering patients can have access to this natural form of medicine.

Moreover, although each state has their own list of qualifying conditions, diseases, and/or illnesses, the medical issues below are not approved under all state medical cannabis programs, but they are approved under many state medical cannabis programs:

  • Hepatitis C: Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington
  • Alzheimer’s Disease: Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, and Rhode Island
  • Parkinson’s Disease: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia
  • Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS): Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia
  • Arthritis: Arkansas, Connecticut, California, Illinois, and New Mexico
  • Muscular Dystrophy: Illinois, New Hampshire, and New Jersey
  • Huntington’s Disease: New York, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia
  • Autism: Delaware and Pennsylvania
  • Anorexia: California, Maryland, New Mexico, and Washington
  • Sickle Cell Anemia/Disease: Connecticut, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia
  • Severe Nausea/vomiting from cancer or other medical conditions/diseases: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington
  • Tourette’s Syndrome: Minnesota, Arkansas, and Ohio
  • Fibromyalgia: Arkansas, Illinois, North Dakota, and Ohio
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York
  • Spasticity Disorders: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Washington, and West Virginia
  • Intractable pain: Arkansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington
  • Neuropathies: New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia
  • Spinal cord injury, disease, and/or damage: Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia
  • Terminal Illness: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, and West Virginia
  • Migraines: California and Connecticut
  • Ulcerative Colitis: New Hampshire, New Mexico, Arkansas, Connecticut, and Ohio
  • Severe and/or chronic pain OR a chronic debilitating disease that produces pain: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota (Chronic back pain only), Ohio, Pennsylvania (Chronic Neuropathic pain), Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington (Chronic renal failure only), and West Virginia (Chronic pain of Neuropathic origin)

There are many other medical conditions and diseases that qualify under certain state cannabis programs, however, the most common ones that qualify under most medical cannabis programs are listed above.

For more information on which specific qualifying medical conditions/diseases/illnesses your state’s medical cannabis program approves of, check out the links below:

Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana: http://norml.org/legal/medical-marijuana-2

Qualifying conditions, diseases, and/or illnesses for medical marijuana:

https://www.leafly.com/news/health/qualifying-conditions-for-medical-marijuana-by-state

As of 2017, half of the U.S. states have implemented medical cannabis programs and laws so that people can choose which form of treatment and medicine they would like to use rather than being forced to take pharmaceutical drugs and prescriptions that oftentimes make them feel worse. Cannabis has the ability to save lives and significantly improve a person’s well-being on a physical, mental, and emotional level.

Countless doctors, scientists, and researchers around the world support the use of cannabis as a form of treatment for many different debilitating medical conditions and diseases. An ending quote comes from Lester Grinspoon, a MD and professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, “Cannabis is remarkably safe. Although not harmless, it is surely less toxic than most of the conventional medicines it could replace if it were legally available. Despite its use by millions of people over thousands of years, cannabis has never caused an overdose death.”


Works Cited

“Cancer Stat Facts: Cancer of Any Site.” Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. National Cancer Institute, n.d. Web. 20 July 2017.<https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/all.html&gt;.

McBride, Angus. “General Quotes On Medical Use of Cannabis and Prohibition.” Medical Cannabis Report. Medical Cannabis Report, n.d. Web. 20 July 2017.<http://medicalcannabisreport.com/general-quotes-on-medical-use-of-cannabis-and prohibition/>.

Staff, Leafly. “Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana by State.” Leafly. N.p., 17 July 2017. Web. 20 July 2017. <https://www.leafly.com/news/health/qualifying-conditions-for-medical-marijuana-by-state&gt;.

“Working to Reform Marijuana Laws.” The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. NORML and the NORML Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 July 2017.<http://norml.org/legal/medical-marijuana-2&gt;.

“Working to Reform Marijuana Laws.” The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. NORML and the NORML Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 July 2017. <http://norml.org/&gt;.

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