Considering the medicinal benefit of it, the legalization of cannabis in various parts of the country has been a welcoming move. Millions of Americans have already got a 420 card and are using the herb to treat their medical condition. And there are many on the way of getting it. Even the process of obtaining a 420 card is very simple. All you need to do is go to a medical marijuana doctor and ask for the recommendation. And if you are a resident of America, you can get it without any trouble.
But what if you are not from the US?
A lot of people visit the US as tourists or even as immigrants. And they, obviously don’t have a permanent residency here. What if they want to use cannabis as a medicine? Can you get a medical cannabis card if you are not from the States? Let’s find out.
How a US Resident Get a Medical Marijuana Card?
In order to understand if a foreigner can get a medical marijuana card in the US, let’s first take a look at how a resident normally gets it. Let’s understand the whole process of getting a medical marijuana card.
You should note that marijuana is still not legal at the federal level and is categorized as a schedule I drug. However, owing to the separation between the powers of federal and state governments, states can run their own marijuana programs in their jurisdiction. Currently, there are 33 states of the US where you may get a medical cannabis card, given you have one of the qualifying conditions, which may vary from state to state.
Though there are a few differences between the process of getting an MMJ card as per the state, the basic process is pretty much the same. First, you need to find a good medical marijuana doctor. After that, you’ll have to go for a simple 420 evaluation process. This is where your doctor will check if you have a qualifying condition or not. Also, your doctor will check your eligibility, including your residential status. If you are not a resident of the state, he will reject your application right away. Once you are done with your 420 evaluations, if everything goes as per the plan, the doctor will provide you with the recommendation.
In some states, you may need to go through a few more steps, which may include registering yourself under the state’s medical-marijuana program on their official website.
As you see, the overall process is quite simple if you are a state resident. Now let’s see what happens if you are a foreigner.
Can a Non-Resident Get an MMJ Card?
The answer to this question can actually be two-fold. Being a non-resident, you may or may not get a medical marijuana card depending upon your situation in the country. See, you may be a foreigner visiting the country, or you may be a person who is American but is living in another country. In both the scenarios, the result of your MMJ application may vary.
Let’s see how.
Being a Person Visiting The Country
If you are a person who is visiting the country as a tourist or are living here illegally, which needs to be mentioned, the chances of you getting an MMJ card are pretty thin. Most marijuana programs have a strict requirement for the applicant to be a resident of the state. And as you are not even an American, let alone a resident of the legal state, no medical marijuana doctor will provide you with the recommendation.
However, if the situation is the other one, you might have a chance.
Being an American Living in a Foreign Country
If you are an American, who’s been living in another country for some time, you perhaps may not have proof of residency here. And most states need you to be their resident to give your legal access to cannabis. However, there are a few places that may not have this rule. For instance, in the state of California, Hawaii, or Oregon, you may be able to get a medical marijuana recommendation even if you don’t live in the state. You just need to have your proof of citizenship, which may include your driving license or your passport.
Getting an MMJ Card Being an Immigrant
Okay, so now we know that you may get an MMJ card even if you are not residing in America. You just need to be a citizen of the country. But now the question is- what if the status of your residency is a bit more controversial?
Given the amazing GDP and extraordinary growth opportunities, a lot of people from all over the world come to America looking for a better lifestyle. However, the journey from being an immigrant to a citizen of the US is not at all easy. This means, there are a lot of people who are living in the country on a temporary basis.
So, can you get your hand on medical marijuana being an immigrant?
Well, if you are an immigrant, no one can stop you from getting an MMJ recommendation. In most states, there is no law requiring you to be a full citizen of the US to gain access to medical cannabis. You just need to be a resident of the state and should have proof of it, such as a green card. So, as long as you are living in the country legally, you can get an MMJ recommendation. Even the process of getting the recommendation is the same for immigrants. Find a doctor, pass your evaluations, and get your MMJ card.
However, many medical marijuana experts suggest you should avoid using cannabis as an immigrant. And there are genuine reasons for it. Let’s see.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Get an MMJ Card Being an Immigrant
Medical marijuana experts say that even if you can get an MMJ card on a green card, you shouldn’t. This is because if you want to gain citizenship in the USA, you need to follow a few very strict rules, and one of which is no drugs.
But you are using cannabis in a legal state. Then why is this a problem?
See, as I said before, cannabis is still a Schedule I drug at the federal level. And the immigration and citizenship of the country are handled by the federal government only. Having said that if you are involved with marijuana in any way, you may lose your chances of becoming a citizen of the country. In many cases, you may even lose your current status and get deported. And that’s probably isn’t worth it over a plant.
However, if you are in a situation where you must use cannabis, these few tips may help you:
- Before using the herb, talk to a legal advisor.
- Do NOT carry marijuana when in public.
- Never talk about cannabis or its use with a federal official.
So, now you know that you can get legal access to cannabis even if you are not from the States. You just need to have proof of residency and should qualify for using cannabis. However, should you do it or not is the decision for you to make. I hope the above information helps you make the correct choice.