Medical Marijuana – State by State, Country by Country

Medical Marijuana - State by State, Country by Country

By Ed Coghlan. 

In the United States, the approval of medical marijuana is done on a state by state basis.

In Canada, it’s happening nationally.

On October 17, 2018, Canada will become the first G-7 Country to allow citizens to consume recreational marijuana. This is the fulfillment of a campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as the culmination of the cultural normalization of cannabis that has been ongoing since medical marijuana was approved in 2002.

Meanwhile, in the U.S.—specifically in Ohio—the state has added 71 physicians to the list of doctors able to recommend medical marijuana, bringing the total number to 293 certified since April.

Certified physicians can recommend medical marijuana to patients with one of 21 medical conditions. Patients will register for Ohio’s medical marijuana program through physicians, but the registry is not yet operational.

The conditions covered in Ohio can be found here.

In Oklahoma, or more specifically on the Cherokee Reservation in Oklahoma, the support for medical marijuana is less robust.

A Cherokee Nation official says medical marijuana won’t be legal on the Oklahoma-based tribe’s property even though the state’s voters approved use of the plant. Oklahoma voters in June approved use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The state health department is accepting applications from potential patients, growers, dispensaries and caregivers.

Let’s turn back to D.C.

Two major developments have transpired on Capitol Hill with regard to veterans’ access to medical cannabis.

Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) made history recently with the introduction of legislation, The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act, to facilitate medical cannabis access to military veterans suffering from chronic pain, PTSD and other serious medical conditions and to fund clinical trial research within the VA.  

However, Congressional leadership have also rejected bi-partisan language, known as the Veterans Equal Access Amendment, in fiscal 2019 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

Under existing federal regulations, physicians affiliated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are prohibited from filling out the necessary paperwork required to recommend marijuana in legal medical marijuana states. The amendment would have lifted this prohibition. 

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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My PM doctor (of 4 yrs) suggested MM a few months ago. I was reluctant to try it because I didn’t want to feel “high.” I researched it for a few months and then New York allowed doctors to prescribe MM in place of opioids and also declared “opioid dependence” as a qualifying condition. So I decided to try it.

I have so many issues that MM is supposed to target: pain, neuropathy, nausea (from other meds), and insomnia. I pay $70 a month for my opioid pain medication rather than go through my insurance (it’s $70 without insurance covering any portion of it) which gets crazy if I’m a day early with my script (although my doctor’s appointment is less than every 31 days, they don’t want the script filled even a day early. With my insurance NOT in the decision loop, my pharmacy will fill it under 30 days. Not all will (this is a mom and pop pharmacy and all the chronic pain pts that I know do better with independent pharmacies rather than chains when it comes to pain meds.)

Issues with MM?

1. Expense. Who can afford this? The LEAST amount of money I will spend at the mm dispensary this month is $700 WITH pain meds still doing most of my heavy lifting. The majority of my MM from the dispensary is CBD dominant so I avoid the “buzz,” and I looked on the internet for CBD oil from reputable places and that is just as expensive as my prescription CBD dominant product from the dispensary. I tried a few different CBD oils and would need another $200 a month JUST FOR non-THC CBD oil. To fully displace my pain meds - either totally through a dispensary or the combination of a dispensary and CBD from the web would each be a few thousand each month. Who has that kind of money consistently month after month?

2. Traveling. I cannot travel with my MM outside of New York. So when I go away for the weekend (which I often do), what do I do for pain meds then? I’d be on the floor writhing in pain if I couldn’t bring ANY pain meds with me.

Between the cost of medical marijuana and the inability to travel with it, I have no clue HOW this is going to replace all my medication. It seems as if a lot of pm doctors are trying to push patients THAT WAY without really knowing more about it. “Try medical marijuana instead of an opioid!” SOUNDS good, but the practical application in the real world is lacking.


Ed and pain warrior community,
Go to buzzfeed and check out the article “Inside the trump administration’s secret war on weed” they are telling everyone on thing and secretly doing another. Another BS story to tell the masses just like the opioids.


I would love some grass but as all pain paitients know it is either hrass or opiates but not both.LOL!


Amen Jay!!! Hayden, you are 1005 Correct!

Debra Kurtz

I do not want to take marijuana, the small dose of oxycodone that I formally took before it was cut so low as to be ineffective helped me. The government is trying to force this down our throat. They could make a lot of money out of marijuana.

sandy auriene sullivan

Im a MMJ patient in Florida and the products available HELP. Concentrates in particular help significantly; and enough variety in strains for one to help just about everyone….access being the hurdle most face. [it’s cheaper than blackmarket here and I get a 10% discount which the black market certainly doesn’t do; nor does it warranty quality of product…] But it is worth having that card in Florida just the way the law is now. The law will improve over time but there’s a great deal of options on the table that help me more than I expected with my experience level [recreational to medical toker….before legalization]

Without prohibition on marijuana several large police agencies would have little left to do… one of those is the DEA, they like the War on Drugs just fine. It’s their job. Much like ICE it’s a department we didn’t need that came out of the scheduling from Nixon [ICE came due to 9/11 for *terrorists* not as used now…].

Much like Harry Anslinger’s concern about legalization of alcohol leaving him without a job; the criminalization of MJ ensured he still had one and Nixon created the schedule we’ve been under since he left in disgrace.

[he grew the government quite a bit; some good and some BAD; just as 9/11 grew the central government in an attempt to have all agencies on the same page…. but it becomes farcical as each budget is based upon last years use of the budget so there’s a lot of stupid stuff happening to justify the job… their political organisation for the DEA is one of the largest contributors to keeping MJ in…. schedule ONE]


Pete sessions is the reason all these Bill’s etc never have a chance.

William Dorn

Our government only cares for their bank accounts.


People, by definition, the “government”, has lost control (transparency of monetary expenditures……long ago in the actual benefit pain The fact that so many millions of people/patients would not have been reduced to a “pittance” of life enhancing/saving .medication by so few “experts” that have NEVER experienced continuous pain from disease or injury or their families experienced disease or either they don’t really give a damn. It IS all about personal monetary gratification and this premise that is the ruling factor against documentation that opiate medication to documented pain management patients but, this FACT does not matter. People that have unfortunately fell on difficult times and hardships just is irrelevant. People such as Kolodny and Frieden, and others that have positioned themselves into assumed positions of “authority’ are actually being listened to to represent the 10 million or so patients that can NOT help that we suffer from disease and injury that can NOT be managed effectively by the last medication and therapy if you will “can” help patients to live life in a reality other than un manged pain. BUREAUCRACY! In other words and in more common language……[edit]!!!!!,has taken over ANY effing common sense EVEN when MILLIONS of patients that have done very well with researched medication for pain management even if MILLIONS of patients have reported a better, more active, necessarily active to live life with effective opioid medication even when the effing “experts” state that suboxene and subutext like chemicals can help those of us diagnosed with lifetime, continuous, severe pain that places we the patients in a pain fog without opiate medications in an effective dosage, The powers that be, the effing “:EXPERTS” without pain generating disease and injury claim that they know what we, the people in unbearable, continuous pain KNOW what we nee from those that suffer NO PAIN…….whatsoever. I would call this asinine. Who BETTER to find a pain management solution than we……the patients with lifetime severe, pain management issues suffered for decades? The “experts” clam they can “help” us OR is it to simply place us, the pain management patients on a “back burner” and all while those that have lost a lived one who made a very stupid decision to get high and it cost them their lives by using either legal or illicit opiate medication WITH other substances to “get a high” on a party night and cost them their lives?????????


Why dont the government treat our heroes better. These men and woman TRULY love this country, so much that they fight, lose limbs and DIE for us and mostly for the very government that turns their back on them. Especially when they come home hurt or disabled for life! This breaks my heart and I’m so sorry for the way you all have been treated. To all that serve and have served this country thank you and God Bless each and everyone of you…You are this countries TRUE HEROES.