Watch CBS News

Cannabis Confusion Is A Common Problem With Medical Marijuana

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter 

HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – This past November, medical marijuana was legalized in Florida.

Since then, medical clinics have started the process of taking patients, but a pair of Hialeah doctors is hoping to clear up some cannabis confusion.

Nurses and doctors at the Miami Hialeah Medical Group claim that ever since medical marijuana became legal in Florida they have been inundated with calls and visits.

"We get 15 to 20 calls a day, 15 to 20 people come in and 50 to 60% think this is some sort of shop and that they will get medical marijuana and that they will get high off of it," says Dr. Edwin Parrilla.

Doctors Edwin Parrilla and Dr. Israel Grinberg say they are eager to clear up what they call cannabis confusion.

"They have no idea that what we are doing here is something totally different because we are here to help people who have real bad diseases," said Dr. Grinberg.

The doctors want to get the message out that recreational marijuana users are wrong to think that they will get the same euphoric high from medicinal marijuana than they do when using the recreational drug.

"Medical Marijuana with high THC that causes euphoria is just for cancer patients. The low THC and high CBD is for the rest of the illness like HIV, Muscle Spasms, Glaucoma and all other illnesses that are currently approved by the State of Florida," said Dr. Parrilla

Getting a prescription for medical marijuana involves several steps all mandated by the State of Florida -- You need a certified doctor and all of your medical records.

You'll then undergo what is referred to as a three month qualifying process

Doctors evaluate if all other methods of treatment have been exhausted before prescribing medical marijuana

At the end of three months you are directed to the Florida Department of Health where you can obtain a cannabis card and  with that card you can head to a marijuana dispensary. There is only one in South Florida. There are seven other dispensaries located around Florida.

"The only form that you are going to get is the oil one and the vaporized one. You need a medical device but you will not be able to smoke marijuana that's not approved here in the State of Florida, said Dr. Parrilla. The whole process is very new here in Florida

The Miami Hialeah Medical Group started accepting patients earlier this year. They expect them to get their cannabis cards in a couple of months

"Again if it's needed, if you have a condition that qualifies you to get some kind of relief with the medical marijuana use ok so we are willing to help but it has to be real medical reasons, emphasized Dr. Grinberg.

Again, you have to be registered by a certified doctor in the state to start the process of obtaining medical marijuana. Also the treatment is not covered by insurance.

Each visit during the three month qualifying process starts at about 250 dollars a month.

The best place to start if you are looking for information is the Florida Department of Health.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.