Medical marijuana (MMJ) programs are continuing to improve and expand across the country. The majority of US states now have some form of MMJ treatment available to their citizens, and each year new states are joining the medical marijuana revolution and implementing their own MMJ programs.
States such as Oklahoma, which were once skeptical about MMJ, are now reaping the rewards that come with having a liberal, well-run MMJ program. Medical marijuana has massive medicinal value and provides enormous improvements to the quality of life of MMJ patients. MMJ is also big business and MMJ-friendly states are enjoying big economic benefits.
While medical marijuana is legal in most states, it is not yet legal at the federal level. So it is understandable that MMJ patients have concerns and questions about confidentiality. Are medical marijuana cards confidential? Does having a medical card show up on a federal background check? Can my employer find out I have a medical card? Does having a medical card go on your record?
Let’s find out the answers to these questions and discuss all you need to know about medical marijuana cards and your privacy.
MMJ Is An Essential Medical Treatment For Millions Of Americans
While marijuana is now legal for recreational use in an ever-increasing number of states, it is crucial to remember that medical marijuana is an essential medical treatment for millions of Americans.
Medical marijuana treatment is not an exotic luxury for MMJ patients. It is a necessary treatment that enables them to experience a massively improved quality of life.
Medical Marijuana Cards And Your Privacy
Because medical marijuana treatment is an essential medical intervention for millions of Americans, privacy is a crucial issue. A person’s medical situation and history is their own business, and there are laws in place that protect the privacy and confidentiality of people’s medical records.
The main law that protects peoples’ personal health information is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA prevents protected medical information from showing up on a background check.
Are MMJ Cards Confidential?
Medical marijuana cards are an integral part of many people’s health and wellness arsenal. Most MMJ card holders rely on their MMJ to get through the day relatively pain-free and to live a normal life. For this reason, medical marijuana cards are confidential in the large majority of cases, apart from certain specific scenarios related to employment.
Normally, only you, your doctor, your dispensary, and any other people you choose to tell will know you are an MMJ patient. However, certain jobs will want to know if you use medical marijuana because they have a legally protected policy of not hiring MMJ patients.
Do Employers Have To Know About Medical Marijuana Cards?
States laws differ on the question of whether an employer has to know about an employee’s MMJ card. Most jobs will have no requirement for employees to provide information about MMJ treatment. In the majority of jobs, the only stipulation will be that the employee not dose at work to the extent that they cannot fulfill their job.
However, most states have a list of jobs that are considered “safety-sensitive” and these jobs can have a “no MMJ” policy. Safety-sensitive jobs include:
- Nurses and medical practitioners
- Jobs that involve firearms
- Jobs that involve operating heavy machinery or driving
Safety sensitive jobs are entitled to have a policy of not hiring medical marijuana patients.
Can My Employer Find Out If I Have A Medical Card?
Your medical information is confidential, so an employer cannot demand access to it. However, for safety-sensitive jobs, most employers will insist on a drug test. If you refuse to undergo a drug test or fail a drug test, then you will not be hired.
Does Having A Medical Card Show Up On A Federal Background Check Or Any Other Records?
Medical marijuana cards will not show up on a federal background check because they are protected under HIPAA legislation.
Your medical marijuana card will appear on your personal medical records, which will be accessible to medical professionals who treat you. Your name will also appear on your state’s MMJ card registry. However, both your personal medical records and your state’s MMJ registry are confidential.
How Do You Apply For An MMJ Card?
If you would like a confidential medical marijuana card, the easiest way to apply is through MMJRecs. The team will set up an online consultation between you and an MMJ doctor in your state. Once the doctor has verified your suitability for treatment with MMJ, they will fill in the relevant sections of an MMJ card application form and email it to you. You can then submit the completed application form to your local MMJ authorities.
Featured image by Tim Mossholder on Pixabay