Cannabis has been found to treat a number of conditions. It has been an effective treatment for cancer patients, PTSD, epileptics, arthritis, and many other conditions. Medical marijuana has currently been legalized in some form in over 20 states, but will your insurance cover for your cannabis? Unfortuantly the answer is no, and they have found many different reasons for why they will not cover medical marijuana. State legislators in New Mexico, for example, recently dropped a bill that would allow workers compensation insurers from having to pay for medical marijuana treatment. Yet insurance companies have no problem covering prescription pills and opiods. This could cause many people to choose prescription pills over cannabis simply because their insurance companies cover them. Since many of these states have allowed medical marijuana use there has been a drastic decrease in deaths caused by overdose. Include along the differences in side effects from prescription pills v.s cannabis and you can easily see why so many patients would prefer using cannabis over pills. So why are these insurance companies so against covering marijuana but will still easily cover prescription pills and treatments? Well here are a few reasons:
Technically under federal law marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug, and to their standard has proven no medical use and high potential for abuse. Another problem these insurance companies have is that it has not been approved by the FDA. Due to it being labeled under a Schedule 1 drug this makes it extremely difficult for the FDA to approve it because there cannot be studies conducted upon it to make it all possible. Although existing research does show that cannabis is safer than alcohol and tobacco, this alone is not enough to reschedule marijuana. Unfortunatley even if the FDA and the government did reschedule and approve cannabis, this does not guarantee that insurance companies will cover it. Some may approve while others deny it. Some emloyers do not even allow their employees to use cannabis due to drug testing restrictions and what they deem is usable in a safe work enviornment. All states require that employers establish a drug-free workplace, although some are able to determine what is technically considered a drug depending from state to state.Many workers are not protected and find themselves in a hard place having to decide between having a job or treatment from their conditions.
Due to the economy, many patients struggle alone to even be able to afford the medical marijuana they need to treat them. Costs of marijuana and products can cost up to $1000 a month alone. Some dispensaries do offer price breaks generally depending on their state regulations and what conditions the patients have. But unfortunatly it is not all across the board with all dispensaries. Also depending on a states laws some patients can choose to grow their own marijuana to attempt to cut costs, but when it comes down to it this is not always the cheapest option. If you grow indoor you have to then consider electrical bills, cost of supplies to be able to grow, and then wait for the cannabis to grow and see how much yield you even get from your plants. If you grow outdoor it really depends on the time of year and climates due to where you are living. Even then that doesn't insure your crop will always turn out great.
One can only hope that with the increase of states that allow marijuana use, and with research beginning to grow as well soon we can see some changes happening for the industry. Support for medical marijuana is the highest it has ever been in America, and more and more people are turning to medical marijuana for relief from their symptoms. More doctors are working with medical marijuana patients, and more states are exploring medical marijuana reform.