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RECOMMENDING CANNABIS IN CALIFORNIA
Medical professionals recommending medical cannabis must possess a license to practice medicine or osteopathy in California issued by the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California. This license must be in good standing and meet the following requirements:
- Take responsibility for an aspect of the medical care, treatment, diagnosis, counseling, or referral of the applicant (patient).
- Perform a medical examination of the applicant (patient).
- As a result of the medical examination, document in the patient's medical record that the patient has a serious medical condition and that the medical use of marijuana is appropriate.
- Have the patient sign an authorized medical release of information. The county program cannot process the patient's application without the appropriate authorization for release of medical information.
- Provide to the patient copies of the medical records stating that he or she has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition and that the medical use of marijuana is appropriate.
The form for the Written Physician Documentation of Patient’s Medical Records and Physician Statement can be found here.
Qualifying Medical Conditions include:
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
- Cachexia (Wasting Syndrome)
- Chronic pain
- Severe Nausea
- Persistent muscle spasms (for example, spasms caused by multiple sclerosis)
- Seizures (for example, epileptic seizures)
- Chronic or persistent medical symptoms that either:
- Substantially limit your ability to conduct major life activities
- May cause serious harm to your safety, physical health or mental health
Medical professionals have a legal right to recommend cannabis as a treatment in any state, as protected by the First Amendment. Established by a 2004 United States Supreme Court decision to uphold earlier federal court rulings that found doctors and their patients have a fundamental Constitutional right to freely discuss treatment options.
More resources for medical professionals can be found here.
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