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  • Writer's pictureAshley Slimak

Politician Bernie Sanders Considers Including Medical Marijuana Coverage in “Medicare for All”

Bernie Sanders Medical Marijuana
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is one of the presidential candidates who support increased availability to marijuana.

Twenty-five years ago, cannabis advocates were beginning to formulate the idea of medical marijuana. In 1996, California became the first state to allow residents in need to access marijuana legally for their medical conditions.

Today, 33 states and DC have legalized medical cannabis. This legal access is a big win for the countless individuals who use cannabis therapy as a means to relieve pain and enhance their quality of life.

But there are still patients who need medical marijuana, but cannot get it. This population includes not only those people who live in a state where cannabis remains illegal, but also many patients with access to medical marijuana.

The cost of medical cannabis is high, much higher than what many people can afford. And unlike other prescription drugs, health insurance providers do not cover medical marijuana.

This begs the question, why won’t insurance companies pay for medical marijuana today? They pay for many other prescriptions, some of which come along with more dangerous side effects than cannabis.

It is all due to marijuana’s legal status. Under federal law, cannabis remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Even though many states have legalized marijuana, federal law has yet to be amended to remove marijuana from its list of illegal substances. Before health insurance providers will cover medical cannabis, it must be legal at the federal level.

With one state after another passing laws to legalize cannabis, it seems like it will only be a matter of time before marijuana attains full legality. Unfortunately, many people need this medicine now. Every day that we wait is one more day that thousands of Americans needlessly suffer.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is one of the presidential candidates who support increased availability to marijuana. If elected president, one of Sanders’s plans is to legalize marijuana throughout the country.

According to Sanders’s National Policy Director Josh Orton, Sander’s primary reason for wanting to declassify marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug is to “undo the vicious consequences of the war on drugs.” However, he also understands medical marijuana’s value for patients across the United States.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary
One of the current concerns with medical marijuana patients, especially in Arkansas, is high dispensary prices.

As part of his Medicare for All plan, Sanders is open to covering medical cannabis. Access to affordable cannabis would be a game-changer. There are countless elderly patients, war veterans, and other Americans for whom marijuana’s therapeutic benefits could be life-changing—if only they could afford them.

The negative effects of high cannabis costs are felt by many patients in Arkansas. With some of the highest marijuana prices in the country, many patients are unable to access the medicine that they need.

We must all wait and see how the next presidential election goes. It may be many years before enough progress is made to have medical marijuana more widely available and affordable for those who need it most.


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Arkansas Marijuana Card Doctor

If you are an Arkansan suffering from one of these 18 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.

Click here to learn more about what Arkansas Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at (844-249-8714) and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.

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