Can I Use My SSI Government Money to Buy Marijuana?
In some cases, you can use your social security disability funds to buy marijuana, if you have a medical condition. While the SSA strictly prohibits medical marijuana, other states have legalized the use of the drug for specific medical purposes. Your case will likely depend on the judge’s opinion, which can vary. For example, a judge may not allow you to use marijuana for pain relief, but might allow you to purchase it to relieve symptoms. In addition, SSA takes substance abuse into account when determining whether or not you should qualify for disability benefits. If you feel this is the case, you can look for alternative sources of funding for your medical marijuana use.
Medical marijuana is legal in Missouri
Missouri has made the use of medical marijuana legal. The state’s medical marijuana laws allow qualifying patients to grow up to six plants in a single, locked facility. Those patients who want to cultivate their own plants must apply for a Missouri DHSS ID card within 30 days of receiving the certification from their physician. They can only grow marijuana that does not result in any psychoactive effects and they must keep the plants dry. They must also label the plants with their patient’s name and ID card.
The Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association, which advocates for legalizing the drug, says the state has more than $30 million in sales for the drug in March. That number is approaching $1 million a day. A GOP member attached a controversial change to the bill regarding equity, revising the language to exclude biologically female women. The law also specifies that the state department of revenue will set the tax rate for adult-use marijuana, but not the medical version.
The medical marijuana law in Missouri will become effective on December 6, 2018. The health department must create regulations to implement the law. The department has to finish the process by June 2019. It could take an extra six months before the first medical marijuana prescriptions are issued. However, the first medical marijuana ID card could be issued as early as late 2019 or early 2020. If you have any questions, contact the Missouri Department of Health. There are many questions regarding the medical marijuana laws.
While adult use of marijuana is still illegal in Missouri, possession of a small amount of marijuana for medical purposes is legal. To obtain an ID card, you must register with the state. Missouri does not allow the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, and possession of less than 10 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine with no jail time. However, a recent Missouri law, HB 2238, allows qualifying patients with epilepsy to use hemp extracts containing 0.3% THC and 5% CBD.
Other states have legalized medical marijuana
In the last decade, the number of states that have legalized medical marijuana has steadily increased. In October 2017, New York became the 15th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. However, retail sales will not begin until late 2022 at the earliest. Each of the states listed above had already legalized medical marijuana prior to the full legalization of the drug. However, this is not necessarily an endorsement of recreational use of marijuana.
Some states have enacted medical marijuana laws that allow physicians to “prescribe” marijuana. While prescribing marijuana is illegal under federal law, it is considered protected free speech between the doctor and patient. Additionally, most states with medical marijuana laws have some form of patient registry, which protects patients from arrest if they are caught in possession of the drug. However, in other states, there are still some legal issues surrounding the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
In California, the legalization campaign initially hit a snag. A major donor dropped out of the campaign, which changed the entire dynamic. The group was originally planned as a $1 million effort, with paid canvassers. But the organization was able to collect the nearly ninety thousand signatures needed to make the ballot. Although the campaign was not able to achieve its goal, it is important to note that the campaign is still alive and well.
In addition to California, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada, other jurisdictions have legalized recreational marijuana. And Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have recently legalized medical cannabis. Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have also legalized it. The federal government supports these efforts. In fact, many states are considering legalizing recreational marijuana. That’s not a bad thing. So, before you vote for recreational marijuana, make sure you educate yourself on this issue. The sooner you know, the sooner you can get the right medication for your condition.
In addition to recreational marijuana, Vermont has also legalized medical marijuana. SB 76 and SB 7 were both passed by the state legislature in 2004, and both have been enacted into law. The latter was blocked by the state supreme court. However, in January 2019, a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the state passed the state senate, but failed to pass the house of representatives. And in Utah, HB 3001 passed the state legislature.
SSA takes substance abuse into account when determining disability benefits
In applying for disability benefits, you will be asked questions about alcohol or drug use. Substance abuse and addiction is a criminal offense, and spending disability benefits on these drugs or alcohol can lead to denial of benefits. You must explain your drug and alcohol use to the SSA, and it will consider them material. Although they don’t influence the final decision, they will be considered when evaluating your case.
Substance abuse may be a non-material impairment that does not hinder your ability to work. However, if your medical records show that you suffer from alcohol or drug use, the SSA will consider substance abuse when determining your disability benefits. The SSA uses medical experts to determine whether your substance abuse has worsened your physical or mental impairment. If your substance abuse has worsened your condition, you may still qualify for SSDI benefits.
Whether your substance abuse causes your impairment is a complicated issue. Because these regulations are federal law, every circuit has interpreted the regulations differently. The Ninth Circuit, Second Circuit, and Eleventh Circuits place the burden on the claimant to prove that their substance abuse is not material to the determination of disability benefits. However, the Eleventh Circuit has interpreted the substance abuse regulations to apply to drug and alcohol addiction.
If your addiction is a factor in the SSA’s disability determination, you should seek medical evidence. Your treating physician’s notations about substance use in medical records will be taken into account. Many substance abuse conditions may be materially affected by moderate alcohol or drug use. To avoid wasting your claim on a faulty or invalid application, you should get a medical review. So, make sure your doctor knows your situation and that you’ve taken measures to stop it.
If you’re a disabled veteran, your addiction to alcohol or drugs may also prevent you from winning disability benefits. The Social Security Administration will deny your claim if your substance abuse interferes with your ability to work. In addition to the legal definition of disability, the SSA has specific rules regarding substance abuse. If a drug or alcohol addiction interferes with your ability to work, SSA will conduct an evaluation to determine whether your addiction has led to your disability.
Alternative sources of funding for medical marijuana
A recent legislative change in California has opened the door for cannabis businesses to seek funding from alternative sources. The state legislature established the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund to receive a portion of marijuana sales tax. The funds are to be spent on health care, substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, and law enforcement. One source of funding for cannabis-related businesses is the School Health Professional Grant program, which addresses behavioral health issues in schools and aims to reduce bullying. Another source is Early Literacy Grants, which help ensure that reading is part of the K-3 curriculum.
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