What’s the Difference Between Medical Marijuana and Prescription Drugs?

medical marijuana and pills

Medical marijuana versus prescription drugs: which of these two options are the best for you?  The answer to this debate may surprise you!Opioid health risk and medical crisis with a prescription painkiller addiction epidemic concept as a group of people running away from a dangerous falling bridge of pills as a medicine addict problem with 3D illustration elements.

Many patients who suffer from chronic conditions have more familiarity with prescriptions drugs because of the ease of obtaining them legally from their personal physicians. Nowadays, prescriptions drugs are the de facto solution for most doctors to prescribe to their suffering patients. This is mostly due to both their efficiency against certain symptoms and also because of the government’s acceptance of these drugs. Even though these prescriptions drugs are extremely efficient, they unfortunately also often cause a number of side effects. Unfortunately, the legal over-distribution and the ease of abuse of these prescription drugs (due to primarily their incredible efficiency and strength) has created the current opioid and pill epidemic that we are witnessing in our country.

Prescription drugs include not only opiate-based medications but also a variety of other drugs that can cause addiction issues or other adverse effects such as anti-depressants and benzodiazepines. As a result of these dangers, if you are a patient that is using prescription drugs, you need to take extreme caution to avoid not only the extreme side effects but also the potential of developing a serious drug addiction. Prescription drugs addiction has also led many patients to an overdose or eventual death. Luckily, due to public perception and the increased legalization of medical marijuana throughout the United States, we now have another extremely efficient and strong alternative medicine in medical cannabis that negates almost all of the terrible side effects of prescription pills.

Let’s go ahead and look at some of the main differences between prescription drugs and medical marijuana:  

First things first, throughout the thousands of years that humans have used cannabis, not one death or overdose has ever been attributed to marijuana.  Secondly, medical marijuana does not cause users (even chronic users) to become physically addicted to it. While cannabis negates the most serious side effects of most prescription pills, it is also extremely effective against a wider variety of diseases and conditions.  As a result of all of these characteristics, it is astonishing that medical marijuana isn’t legal in any form on a federal level while dangerous prescription drugs such as opioids are completely legal to distribute to patients, no matter their downside.

Luckily, even though the federal government doesn’t recognize medical cannabis, individual states within our nation allow for its use for qualifying conditions. Even more luckily for us, Arizona just happens to be one of these medical marijuana states! So if you are currently using prescription medications for your condition but have started to get curious if medical marijuana could work for you, you have the option to find out if you could qualify to use cannabis legally in your therapy.

Now, you are probably wondering how to get a medical card in Arizona.

You will need to go into a medical marijuana certification clinic, such as us at Affordable Evaluations of Arizona, with a photo ID, your medical history and current documentation (within the past 12 months) of a condition that qualifies you for a medical marijuana card. Some certification clinics have doctors on the premises (we certainly do!) to provide you with documentation of your condition if you don’t already have it. At this point, you and the evaluators will fill out the necessary paperwork to send to the Arizona Health Department to finalize your medical marijuana card along with the $150 application fee to the state (unless you qualify for the $75 SNAP discount) and any other applicable fees to the marijuana certification clinic. Once you are approved, your medical marijuana card will be sent over mail.

If you have any questions about medical marijuana versus prescriptions drugs or how to get a medical card in Arizona, feel free to contact us here at Affordable Evaluations of Arizona, and we would love to help you out!

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