How to Get A Medical Marijuana Card in Arizona in 4 Easy Steps

Categories: Perfectly Blunt

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Chitral Hays -- not his real name -- is Jackalope Ranch's resident expert on medical marijuana in Arizona. Each week in Perfectly Blunt, Hays delivers news, reviews, and must-know info.

So you know that pot is legal in Arizona. Well, not exactly legal, but voters did approve Prop. 203 three years ago, a statewide measure that allows qualified patients to get a card that allows for the legal purchase of pot from some sources. And now you want to know how to get your hands on one of those cards.

You've come to the right place.

See also: How to Make a Pumpkin Bong in Less Than Five Minutes (VIDEO)

In this first installment of Perfectly Blunt, we'll tell you how to get your Arizona Medical Marijuana Program ID. The procedure is relatively simple and, including the state fee of $75 to $150, will cost you an average of $300.

1. Find Out If You Qualify
In Arizona, you may only qualify for a medical marijuana card if you have one of the following conditions: HIV/AIDS; hepatitis C; cachexia; cancer; chronic pain; glaucoma; multiple sclerosis; seizures; epilepsy; severe nausea; ALS; Crohn's disease; or Alzheimer's disease. If you already know you have one or more of these conditions, you only need to get a recommendation. If you have symptoms of these conditions, you will need to be diagnosed first and then receive a recommendation.

2. Find A Medical Marijuana Evaluator
Even if you qualify, you still need a doctor's recommendation. You can visit your primary caregiver or bypass him if you feel he would refuse to refer you or are too private to ask. If you prefer, you can go to a medical marijuana evaluator, which can be an M.D., a naturopath, or a homeopathic doctor. MMJ doctors can be found online or in the classifieds.

Whatever type of doctor you visit, if they agree medical cannabis will help your condition, they will give you a permission slip. Usually, this visit costs about $150. If you shop around, you can sometimes get a better deal. This visit is not covered by insurance because it is considered alternative medicine.

3. Submit Your Application
First, you should review the state's guidelines at azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana. You'll need to be able to upload an ID photo, a scan of your driver's license or the equivalent, and your physician's sign-off. You'll also need to print, sign, and upload a form promising that you won't abuse or sell your medication. The form is also on the AZDHS website.

It's a little tedious, but it's not difficult. Some MMJ evaluators will submit this for you, but they might charge you an additional fee. After you've compiled everything, submit it to the state via the aforementioned website. It will cost you $150, but if you qualify in the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a.k.a. food stamps) program, you can pay $75.

Currently, Arizona's Medical Marijuana Program is only available online. That means you'll need computer access and you cannot do it in person.

A few weeks after submitting your application, you should receive an envelope in the mail with your card. Be sure to review the rules that are attached with it. Here's the rundown: You'll need to renew your card every year. You can carry up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana. You can grow your own marijuana if you live farther than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary. You cannot drive under the influence of marijuana, and you need to be extra careful that you don't get a DUI even if you're sober. You cannot smoke in public. Keep your medication away from children.

4. How To Get Marijuana
To get your medicine, you'll need to go to a state-licensed dispensary. There's a list of operating dispensaries on the AZDHS website. Patients can give marijuana to other patients, however, there cannot be any monetary exchange. Places like compassion clubs and delivery services exist within this a gray area of the law; they accept donations, but do not charge for purchases. It may be best to avoid these places and go to the state-licensed dispensaries, but that's your discretion. We'll explore more about compassion clubs, dispensaries, and other places to get marijuana legally in a future article.

Email the author at chitral.hays@gmail.com.

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28 comments
azdude83
azdude83

What if you are suffering from PTSD? I am on many different types of meds and I hate taking so many meds for this. I heard I could get my card because of my PTSD from the military and hopefully stop taking so many damn meds for it ?? T or F ?

illwilled19
illwilled19

Who gives a shit about Arizona and their Racist Bigoted state laws , give us info on when we here in Florida ,where some of the best Cannabis both Medical and Recreational are available ,but we are forced to become Criminalized by our Right to choose our own Meds , instead we remain subject to the pill pushing fraudulent Docs who are making a fortune along with big Pharma using our society as their moneymaking machines , It's time to Decriminalize something that has been around since the beginnings of History.

irisdreams
irisdreams

After you get your card, check out Herbal Wellness Center in the west valley. They just opened, and are giving away medication to the first few customers! 

Lori Carson
Lori Carson

why do you need a card - unless the cops are looking in your window right now.....

1wayfaringpilgrim
1wayfaringpilgrim

"You cannot drive under the influence of marijuana, and you need to be extra careful that you don't get a DUI even if you're sober." - from bullet pt. 3, paragraph 4.

Seriously?  Be extra careful that you don't get a DUI even if you're sober?  If you're sober, there is no way in hell that you would get a DUI !!!!

Maybe somebody was using their "med" prior to writing this article?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Great article.

Now we need one that explains what you do when the Feds bust you, based off the information you just voluntarily gave to the state organizations and therefore the Feds.

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but until we get something better than a talking out of both sides of their mouth platitude from the feds, who can come in at any time and screw you if they want, no matter what state law says, signing up for a state run program is the same as placing your hand in the cuffs yourself and just waiting for someone else to close them.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

Would love to comment on this article.  You are doing a service to the public.  Thanks. 

In Section 4 of the article entitled "How To Get Marijuana" you left out a method (although you mention it earlier in the article).  One may grow their own marijuana if they live farther than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary.  You don't tell us how to determine what the 25 mile limit is.  It is very important to understand that Cannabis is an herb which grows like a weed.  No costly equipment, no fertilizers, no bug killers necessary - just sprout the seed in a starter pot, grow it for a few weeks and viola' MEDICINE.  The best use is as a salve for pain in the joints.  It's better than all the "hot ice" style of pain salves and FREE.

Since the State does not provide this information to anyone except caregivers or patients, it would be a public service for New Times to provide a list of the locations of the approved dispensaries and a description of how to locate your area's dispensary - or more particularly determine if one is outside the 25 mile limit which would allow the patient to obtain FREE cannabis through growing their own.

Here's how to determine what area you are in:

http://www.azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana/chaa/index.htm

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@azdude83 

True I think - all it takes is a phone call and/or clinic visit to find out

youareterrible
youareterrible

@illwilled19 Most of the words you capitalized didn't need to be capitalized, you also seem to have a total disregard for grammar. Just  "beginning of history" would have been appropriate, since there is only one history that you are referring to, it's beginning doesn't need to be pluralized. I could go on with how stupid you are but seeing as I am a product of a terrible public school system (Arizona) and you are still dumber than I am, I don't think you could do anything but spit out insults. Go Smoke another Unnecessarily capitalized Pole.

gunslingerfire
gunslingerfire

@illwilled19 Hey dumb-ass... WE the PEOPLE in AZ actually voted Medical Marijuana into existence.  So you can suck a dick, and continue to drive around in your humid-ass, redneck, geriatric, State of Florida; in a state of natural stupor. 

geasley6
geasley6

@benmcclees where is it located and how much was it? if you don't mine you can email me at geasley6gmail.com

ImDoubleDee
ImDoubleDee

@1wayfaringpilgrim  

In fact, you can get a dui in AZ for sleep deprivation, or from taking too many asprin and admitting it, or from being dumb enough to tell a cop you smoke weed. All it takes is a positive blood test for THC and they can shaft you. I know this for a fact. I caught a DUI for alcohol and went through all the b.s. classes, read the paper work, signed the forms, and paid a couple limbs for the ink. With that said, "even if you're sober," you bet your ass!

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@1wayfaringpilgrim 

Clearly you are unaware of how the law was written here in AZ and how under the existing law, you can test positive for a DUI on MJ, while not being intoxicated, since MJ breaks down AFTER intoxication into the substance that is tested for.

For example, you can take 1 hit on a joint and you will test positive for MJ use for up to 2 weeks... but you are not intoxicated for even an hour.

In addition, even a test for THC will still show THC at much lower than intoxicating levels for up to a week after smoking a joint, but again, you are not stoned for a week, yet the level they have in the law is EXTREMELY LOW - about the same as having the alcohol level set at 0.01 instead of the 0.08 it is now.

Next time learn something about the law and science of the subject you are commenting on, it will save you from looking like an ass.

illwilled19
illwilled19

Feds ? Shit the local Goon squad , I mean TNT always looking to fill their quotas to get new toys for their depts ala Surfside , and maybe even some good shit for their little dimes on the side .... I'm more afraid of officer Friendly thwn the Feds , their looking at the Goons , or at least I hope they are to see the abuse of power they enforce on a daily basis wiping all laws with their ass .

fireserphent
fireserphent

@Flyer9753 OK, I get the paranoia. Fuck the feds. However, you're already risking being illegal. The local cops are a much bigger threat. The feds want to fuck with people that have lots of money, because they're thieves, duh. That's like the mafia going after you for pennies. 

When you're sick and dying from cancer or shitting into a bag because you have Crohn's disease and maybe you just don't want to buy shitty ass weed from a shitty ass cook at a Mexican restaurant (which is what I was doing before I got my card) or risk getting arrested for holding a joint, then you'll reconsider. It's a life or fucking misery situation for a lot of patients. The AZDHS doesn't give a flying fuck about the people they're approving, they're doing the bare minimum because it's law. This guide should help people with serious illnesses.

You want a disclaimer? Here's one: Weed is still illegal. It's still a risk to use this ancient, tried-and-true medicine because the federal government has no compassion for you and they want your money. (This is explained on the AZDHS website as well.)  Use at your own risk. You already are.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@fireserphent 

In this situation, when you are willingly giving the information needed to arrest you to the arresting agency, their is no comparison to local enforcement. 

Please do not misunderstand my comment. You will find no bigger supporter of full legalization and revitalizing the Hemp/MJ industry in this country and on this planet for more reasons than I can list here, most if not all of them I suspect you already know.

I also have seen firsthand the problems with the diseases that MJ is a wonderful medicine for and the attendant problems and side effects of 'western' medicines treatments - some of which work, some don't but almost all which work better when combined with MJ for many many reasons.

I applaud the guide and do not bemoan anyone getting a card, but just as you point out that MJ is still illegal with attendant risks, there also needs to be a realistic acknowledgment of the risks that getting a state card also brings.

People will decide for themselves the amount of risk they are willing to take and the method in which they take it.

I never asked for a disclaimer and I am unsure why you are even going down that road. It sounds very 'attackis' or 'defensive' - if you took offense at my comment, I apologize since none was intended, at all. 

All that I was saying is that both sides of the coin need to be considered for all their aspects, nothing more.

I sincerely hope that MJ/Hemp becomes legal for all, as it appears it is going and will continue to fight tooth and nail for that to happen. AZ's implementation has been a sham and that is tragic in more ways than can be counted. 

fireserphent
fireserphent

@Flyer9753 @fireserphent I wasn't trying to come across as attacking you. Might have been the swearing and how tired I was when I wrote that, but I was never offended. (I do hate how subtext is so hard to read in online discussions, don't you?) I made the disclaimer comment because in your original comment you stated that something needed to be added. I think we both agree on a lot of these things and that's what's important.

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@Flyer9753 @fireserphent 

The feds aren't interested in chasing individual users of pot.

There certainly are risks to obtaining a medical pot card, you will be in a database, you do run the risk of getting extra attention at a border, you may find it impacting your ability to get a security clearance from the feds.

But do understand that getting a pot card does not mean you are using pot, it is merely a permission card.  Given the draconian penalties the state of Arizona imposes on illegal possession of pot it is far better to have the card than not if you are a user.



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