A qualifying patient is a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.
A physician is defined as a licensed medical doctor (MD), osteopathic physician (DO), naturopathic physician, or homeopathic physician.
A debilitating medical condition is defined as:
Positive status for HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Crohn’s Disease, or Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces one or more of the following:
Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
Severe and Chronic Pain
Seizures (including Epilepsy)
Severe and Persistent Muscle Spasms (including Multiple Sclerosis)
Other conditions that may be added by ADHS
In order for a qualifying patient to legally possess marijuana, he must have been issued a Registry ID Card issued by ADHS. An application for a registry ID Card must include written certification issued by a physician within 90 days immediately preceding the application that the patient suffers from one of the above diseases or medical conditions. It must include information on the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver, if any (see designated caregiver section). The Registry ID Card is valid for one year, then it must be renewed. The card will contain the qualifying patients name, address, and date of birth, as well as a photograph of the qualifying patient. It will also indicate whether the cardholder is authorized to cultivate marijuana for medical use.
A qualifying patient may legally acquire 2 ½ ounces of usable marijuana in a 14-day period, except if he is authorized to cultivate marijuana. Usable marijuana does not include seeds, stalks, or roots of the plant or the weight of non-marijuana ingredients combined with marijuana for consumption as food or drink. If a qualifying patient is more than 25 miles from a dispensary, and his Registry ID Card states he is authorized to cultivate marijuana, he may cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility.
Once ADHS has received an application for a Registry ID Card, it has 10 days to verify and approve or deny the card, then 5 days to issue the card. If ADHS fails to issue a Registry ID Card with 45 days of a valid application, a copy of the application is deemed a valid registry ID Card.
A qualifying patient is presumed to be engaged in the medical use of marijuana if he is in possession of a registry ID Card and does not possess more than the allowable amount of marijuana.
The new laws do not authorize a person to engage in any task under the influence of marijuana that would constitute negligence or professional malpractice. It is illegal to possess or engage in the medical use of marijuana on a school bus, on the grounds of any preschool, primary, or secondary school or in any correctional facility. It is illegal to smoke marijuana on any form of public transportation or in any public place (public place is not defined in the new law).
It is still illegal to operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana. A qualifying patient is not considered under the influence solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.
If a person is under 18 when applying for a registry ID Card as a qualifying patient, the physician must have explained the risks and benefits of the use of medical marijuana to the custodial parent or guardian of the qualifying patient. The custodial parent or guardian must submit written certifications (see above) from two physicians. The custodial parent or guardian must specifically allow the qualifying patient to use medical marijuana, must be the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver, and must control the acquisition, dosage, and frequency of the medical use of marijuana.