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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Arkansas

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Arkansas?
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In the United States, some states permit the use of medical marijuana. In those states, patients can get a card from a doctor to ensure that they aren’t breaking any state laws.

Arkansas is one of those states that has passed legislation on medical marijuana use. Arkansas passed its own version of a medical marijuana law in 2015.

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for over 3,000 years.

The first recorded use of the drug was by Emperor Shen-Nung in 2737 BC. The Chinese emperor prescribed marijuana to treat toothaches and sore eyes.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Arkansas

Cannabis was introduced to Western medicine in 1839 by W.B. O’Shaughnessy, who learned about it from Indian hemp doctors he met while working on assignment during the 1830s Opium War between Britain and China.

In 1850, Czar Nicholas I of Russia commissioned a study into what became know as “cannabis indica”, which found that the plant had medical benefits comparable to opium without the side effects.

Fast forward to today, and marijuana is only growing more prominent and more widely-used each year. One of its most effective selling points has been its medical benefits.

What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is a plant that can be consumed through inhalation or administered to the skin as a topical cream. It’s recommended that you consult with your doctor about what method is best for you depending on your lifestyle and medical conditions.

Medical marijuana can help relieve chronic pain, seizures, nausea, and other symptoms that are hard to control. The medical form of this drug comes in forms such as oils, tinctures, edibles, and vaporizers. Patients who suffer from chronic pain may also use medical marijuana as an alternative to opiates or benzodiazepines because it poses fewer health risks.

Patients with glaucoma may also benefit from medical marijuana because it causes the person’s pupil to dilate, resulting in a reduction in intra-ocular pressure.

Finally, medical marijuana can be used to reduce side effects of chemotherapy so that cancer patients can improve their quality of life.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Arkansas

In the state of Arkansas, patients can get a card from a doctor to ensure that they aren’t breaking any state laws when they obtain medical marijuana.

HB 1013 was signed into law in 2016 and amended Section 12-12-401, which prohibits the sale, transfer or cultivation of cannabis and basically links the possession and distribution of cannabis to illegal drug trafficking. However, Subsection B reads: “The provisions of this section do not apply to: (i) The use by a qualifying patient who is licensed under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment.”

Therefore, if you want to get a medical marijuana card in Arkansas, you need to:

  1. Be registered with the state and have a valid identification card
  2. Have an illness that’s approved by the Medical Marijuana Commission
  3. Get a physician’s approval and receive written certification documenting your condition and treatment options
  4. Register as a medical marijuana patient with the Arkansas Department of Health
  5. Bring any necessary documentation to the ADH office in Little Rock or at one of their satellite locations
  6. Receive information about how to obtain your medical marijuana card and follow-up instructions from the ADH office you visited

For more information, visit the Arkansas Department of Health’s website.

The Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Some of medical marijuana’s health benefits include reduced pain, improved sleep, and relief from nausea or epileptic seizures.

If you live in Arkansas and suffer from one of the medical conditions approved by the state, getting a medical marijuana card may be a treatment option for you.

The list of legal conditions includes:

  • Cancer associated with severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting
  • Debilitating psychiatric disorders
  • Seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Glaucoma (if it has caused visual problems or damaged the optic nerve)

A doctor will need to fill out paperwork for you in order for you to apply for an MMJ card.

The Risks of Using Medical Marijuana

Marijuana Addiction

The main risk of using marijuana is the possibility of addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in six people who use marijuana will become addicted to it.

Additionally, marijuana may be addictive by exposure, meaning that repeated exposure to the drug can lead to addiction. This is often seen in people who frequent the same spaces as those who smoke the drug often.

There are many other risks associated with using marijuana, including the following:

Nicotine Addiction

A study in New Zealand found that current marijuana users were more likely to have smoked tobacco than people who had never used marijuana. This is seen as evidence that there is a link between marijuana and nicotine addiction.

Birth Defects

Marijuana has not yet been proven to be safe for pregnant users . It may cause birth defects, including lower intelligence, hyperactivity and decreased ability to perform tasks that require concentration.

Decreased Motivation

Marijuana use has been associated with decreased motivation, which can lead to difficulty achieving goals and completing tasks. This lack of motivation may last long after the effects of the drug wear off, especially in chronic users.


Patients should talk to a doctor about the potential benefits and risks of medical marijuana before deciding whether it’s right for them. Doctors can determine which treatment will be best depending on their state’s laws, the patient’s condition(s), and other factors.

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