medical marijuana card and background checks

Will a Medical Marijuana Card Show Up on a Background Check?

As of election day in November 2020, there are 36 states and four territories in the United States that have legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

This is wonderful news for millions of Americans who can benefit from using marijuana as medicine.

However, there are a number of questions that come up when you start to wonder about receiving a medical marijuana card in PA, and what this might mean for other aspects of your life.

For example, does having a medical marijuana card show up on a background check? Let’s take a look at the answer to this and other important questions about medical cannabis. 

Cannabis Treatments: What Do People Use Medical Marijuana For?

In the various states and territories where medical marijuana is legal, the laws regarding what conditions can be treated with cannabis are going to vary. You’ll want to look into the laws in your particular state to understand which conditions are considered valid for cannabis treatment.

That being said, there is research to support the notion that medical marijuana could potentially be beneficial for a number of different conditions. Some of these conditions include:

  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • Glaucoma
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Severe and chronic pain
  • Multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms
  • Severe nausea
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimer’s disease

These are only some of the conditions that medical marijuana could potentially treat. In some states, you might be able to get a medical marijuana card for mood disorders like depression and anxiety, and sleep disorders like insomnia. In other states, the list of conditions might be shorter and stricter.

Will a Medical Marijuana Card Show Up on a Background Check?

Even though public perception of cannabis has radically changed in the last several decades, there is still some stigma attached to the use of cannabis. An individual who receives a medical marijuana card in order to use marijuana as medicine might be afraid that having a medical card will leave them less able to obtain work, housing, loans, and more.

In general, you can rest assured that medical marijuana use is seen as a part of your personal health information. Your personal health information is protected by the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). What this means is that the information on your state-issued medical marijuana card will not be treated the same way that information from your driver’s license is treated.

Overall, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about in terms of a medical marijuana card showing up on a background check. Since this information is a part of your personal health information, it should not be publicly available. Even a dispensary typically can’t easily see any of your personal information and only have access to whether or not the card is valid.

HIPAA exists in order to protect patients from releases of their healthcare information, whether purposeful or accidental. There are very few legitimate uses of your healthcare information, such as research and your own medical treatment, and even in these cases you have to explicitly give permission.

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Will My Use of Marijuana as Medicine Show Up on a Background Check?

As stated earlier, having a medical marijuana card is considered a part of your personal health information and is therefore protected by HIPAA.

However, the legality of medical marijuana is still quite new. What this means is that if you have used marijuana illegally in the past and had a run-in with the law, then this likely will show up on your background check. Being convicted of possession of cannabis will surely end up on your background check.

How to Know You’re Protected for Sure: Run a Background Check on Yourself

If you are trying to get a new job and are unsure about what will end up on a background check, or if you do not trust the protections offered by HIPAA, the best thing for you to do is to run a background check on yourself. This way, you can see that this information is not available to prospective employers, landlords, lenders, and more.

This can be a good thing to do just so you know what your potential future employer will be looking at. If you run background checks periodically, it can keep you up to date on the information that other people have access to about you.

Medical Marijuana is an Alternative to Traditional Medications That Have Harmful Side Effects

The recognition of cannabis as a medicine by various states and territorial governments has been revolutionary for the world of medicine and health. Luckily, the government takes the protection of your personal health information seriously. This means that you don’t have to worry about your medical marijuana card showing up on a background check.

There is a long list of conditions that medical marijuana might be able to help with. The field of cannabis research is still young, so many more studies will be conducted in the decades that follow. That being said, there is a lot of evidence that suggests that medical marijuana is a beneficial alternative to traditional pain medications, antianxiety medication, antidepressants, and other harmful and addictive drugs.

Have you been considering getting a medical marijuana card but aren’t sure how to get started? Green Health Docs is here to help. Get started on the medical marijuana card process so that you can begin your journey to healing and health.