Do You Have to Be a U.S. Resident to Get a Medical Card?

In the United States, access to medical care is a fundamental right. Of course, the amount of money you have to spend does dictate the standard of care. The Founding Fathers missed out on quite a few groups when they stated, “all men are created equal.”

Things get even trickier when it comes to medical marijuana cards. After all, MMJ remains a federally illegal substance. Thus, each state gets to determine its own rules and regulations. The difference between state and federal law brings up lots of challenges in general, and it certainly causes confusion amongst non-residents when it comes to medical marijuana.

The seemingly simple question of whether you need to be a U.S. resident to get a medical card becomes as complex as a 16-square Rubix Cube when you’ve finished dabbing concentrate. Let’s find out more about this issue below.

It’s All About State Guidelines

There is quite a long list of truly bizarre state laws in America. For instance, it’s illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes people to laugh in Alabama. Meanwhile, if you ever have the desire to paint a horse in Vermont, don’t do it, as it’s against the law. 

In South Carolina, it was illegal to vote for anyone other than Strom Thurmond for Senator for almost 50 years. All those allegations about him being a racist and a sex offender didn’t damage his credibility whatsoever. On another note, it’s disappointing that he didn’t use the slogan “This Strom Will Blow You Away” during one of his 578 campaigns.

In terms of getting medical marijuana, it’s a case of following state laws. One of the criteria, for instance, is having a qualifying medical condition. Another, which is vitally important as far as non-American residents are concerned, is state residency.

Applicants must provide proof of residency, such as a state ID or a driver’s license. In some states, it doesn’t matter if you’re not yet an American resident. As long as you can prove you live in the state, you can apply for its MMJ program. However, other states are much stricter and may deny your application. 

There Are Possibly Serious Consequences

So, you might now want to find out how to get an MMJ card in Florida or wherever you live after reading the above. Not so fast! I have some pretty terrible news.

There is a very high price to pay for buying or possessing marijuana as a non-resident. Suppose you go abroad on vacation or to visit friends and family in your homeland. When you come back, if you admit to an immigration officer that you have possessed marijuana in the past, this admission could cost you a chance of being approved for a green card.

This is because marijuana remains a federally illegal substance. You will meet this fate regardless of whether you’ve ever been arrested or convicted for a marijuana crime. What’s more, even green card holders can be deported for possessing more than 30 grams of the substance. This is still better than people applying for their green cards who can’t be found with ANY amount of weed.

If you’re carrying your MMJ card with you while going through immigration, you’re already confessing! So, if you’re a non-resident, you can get a medical marijuana card in some states. However, you should never leave your home carrying the substance or any paraphernalia. It is best even to avoid wearing a t-shirt with the marijuana plant on it.

This will lead to some very tense journeys home from the dispensary! Of course, in some states, you can have it delivered to your home. Also, you should not try to get employment in the marijuana industry.

Final Thoughts on MMJ Cards and American Residency

While we no longer need to deal with Strom Thurmond’s questionable rhetoric, we do have to put up with the fact that marijuana is an illegal substance, according to the United States government. Therefore, non-residents are skating on thin ice if they try to get an MMJ card.

So, while some states allow you to apply as a state resident, you risk deportation if you’re ever caught in possession of marijuana. Thus, it is up to you to decide if it is a risk worth taking. 

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