Companies and nonprofits in California have found a way around the lack of insurance coverage for medical marijuana prescriptions. By working in cooperation, they have established programs that allow those who meet certain criteria to get free weed for medical use.
The criteria depends on the individual groups and the services they offer. For example, some groups focus helping women or veterans, according to the Los Angeles Times. All of them focus on providing support to low-income medical marijuana patients.
People need these groups and the free weed they offer. Even though California made medical marijuana legal 26 years ago, it remains illegal at the federal level. That means when it comes to medical marijuana prescriptions, insurance companies won’t cover the costs.
California’s Medical Marijuana Program
California led the way on making medical marijuana legal. The state, which many now consider the worldwide capital of cannabis (or, at least, Los Angeles), made it legal for people to use marijuana for medical purposes in 1996.
The state medical cannabis program gives people advantages over simply buying recreational cannabis. For example, the state allows people to buy products with more THC, buy more cannabis at one time and possess more cannabis. They also can grow plants at home, as needed for their medical conditions.
People in the program obtain a medical marijuana ID card, then get a prescription from a doctor. The program covers a long list of conditions.
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
- Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
- Chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Persistent muscle spasms (for example, spasms caused by multiple sclerosis)
- Seizures (for example, epileptic seizures)
The state also allows doctors to prescribe cannabis to treat “chronic or persistent medical symptoms” that limit a person’s ability to conduct major life activities or that create the chance of serious harm to a person’s safety, physical health or mental health.
That opens the door to using medical marijuana for many different issues. Unfortunately, the illegal drug status of cannabis at the federal level means insurance companies won’t pay for it.
How People Get Free Weed in California
People in California can check their eligibility to get free weed through Dear Cannabis, a community of California cannabis companies united to help those in need connect with the medical cannabis they need. The companies came together because of a belief that the marijuana industry should be rooted in community and healing.
Some are eligible to receive cannabis delivery from Eaze, the San Francisco-based cannabis delivery company. Eaze works with a number of groups on “compassionate deliveries,” including Bay Area Americans for Safe Access, Operation EVAC (which stands for Educating Veterans About Cannabis) and Weed for Warriors Project, according to the Times.
The Weed for Warriors Project works with veterans to get them access to medical marijuana. Project Co-Founder and CEO Sean Kiernan told the Times that for many veterans, compassionate cannabis programs have made a significant impact.
“For the veterans who are over drinking, we found that when cannabis was available, they drank less,” he said. “So. what we’re seeing is where cannabis is available and accessible to our veteran community, we’re seeing lower suicides, lower overdoses, lower domestic violence because alcohol makes you mad, right?”
Eaze reports having delivered more than 100,000 THC-infused products since late 2019. They make compassionate deliveries of free weed in the Los Angeles area, San Jose, Sacramento and the Bay area. The groups they work with vet all applicants, so those interested should contact the various organizations that offer free medical marijuana or Dear Cannabis, rather than Eaze.