Even as the medical marijuana movement gains ground, obstacles and challenges crop up and threaten to undermine the wider spread acceptance of cannabis into mainstream medicine. To date, no less than 23 states and Washington DC in the United States have passed legislation that effectively legalized marijuana for medical use. Two of these – Colorado and Washington State – have even made it legal to smoke marijuana recreationally. A number of other states are also working on laws that would legalize marijuana to varying degrees.
All these developments point to a society where the idea of marijuana as a medicine has definitely taken hold. Although a number of doctors remain hesitant to prescribe medical marijuana, more and more will likely offer marijuana cannabis as an option for a wide variety of symptoms and health conditions.
In the midst of all this, it is interesting to note that medical insurance programs in Canada continue to refuse coverage for cannabis treatment. This is especially troublesome considering that even a single consultation for the purpose of obtaining a marijuana prescription can cost as much as $400. This in itself is a serious issue, and several patients have voiced concerns about physicians charging so much for what is essentially filling out paperwork as mandated by the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulation laws that takes effect on April 1, 2014.
At present, the fees paid by patients for uninsured medical services are set by doctors according to their discretion, although the B.C. Medical Association does impose guidelines for the recommended fees for various marijuana-related services. Even as the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulation took effect though, there has yet to be a definite guideline for the fees related to the completion of medical marijuana firms. Some doctors provide the service virtually for free, but some may charge as much as $80, $250, and even $450 for consultation.
Amazingly enough, the fees charged for such services aren’t unusually high when compared to the provision of uninsured services that conform to BCMA guidelines as well. At present, there are no plans to regulate the fees because medical services are generally regulated on a provincial level. There is also no federal government policy that allows for the subsidization of medicinal marijuana, New Orleans for the reimbursement of doctors that prescribe cannabis.
For many medical marijuana advocates, the situation is unacceptable. For legitimate patients – many of them stricken with terminal illnesses such as cancer or AIDS – to have to pay for what is essentially a marijuana prescription strike many as outrageous. A proponent of socialized medical care for patients with certain diseases, Bill Chaaban of Creative Edge Nutrition said that patients should not have to pay for “visit(s) or a