Herpes, mumps, elephantiasis, Cotard delusion, the boogie woogie flu. It doesn’t matter what kind of illness you have. If you have one, then you can get a certificate to use medical marijuana in Virginia. That’s according to cannabis advocacy group Virginia NORML, who revealed that Governor Ralph Northam signed a very permissive bill last Friday which gives patients “affirmative defense” for possession of designated cannabis-derived substances.
There’s some good news and some bad news in terms of the access to cannabis that it provides.
Bad news: the only legal forms of medical cannabis in Virginia are not going to get you very high. The state requires substances to consist of no more than 5% THC, and no less than either 15% CBD or THC-A, neither of which is psychotropic.
However, Leafly notes that you can actually turn THC-A active THC through decarboxylation, a heating technique common in creating cannabis extracts. But if patients want to get high that badly, they’ll probably just call a drug dealer.
Good news: It’s the easiest program we’ve ever heard of, in terms of attaining a doctor recommendation. While the “affirmative defense” certificate does not exactly give a patient permission to use medical cannabis, it should stop them from being charged or arrested for their use, so long as it’s within the limits of the law.
News Leader outlined a simple step-by-step process for acquiring a certificate:
- Print the Affirmative Defense Certificate.
- Take it to your physician and ask your doctor to sign it.
- Keep the signed certificate with your oil at all times.
- Present your certificate if questioned by law enforcement.
- If not accepted and charged with possession, call an attorney or ask for court-appointed counsel.
- Present your signed certificate 10 days prior to trial as directed.
So, if you’ve got a friendly doctor you know, you’ve got it made in the shade.