As of 2015, it is against federal law for doctors to prescribe medical marijuana, notes WebMD. However, people living in a state where it is legal can get a recommendation from their doctor to receive a marijuana card if they are suffering from a condition the doctor thinks is treatable with cannabis.
Although many states have passed laws legalizing the use of medical marijuana, it is still against federal law for any individual to grow, sell, prescribe or give away marijuana for any purpose, explains WebMD. Specific laws regarding the possession and use of medical marijuana vary from state to state, but the government has the right to prosecute anyone in possession of marijuana, even if the person has a valid marijuana card.
Doctors in favor of medical marijuana may suggest it for treating severe pain, symptoms of multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, Crohn's disease or extreme loss of appetite or weight loss due to chronic ailments like HIV/AIDS, according to WebMD. Individuals who obtain marijuana cards are on an eligibility list and can purchase medical marijuana from authorized sellers or dispensaries. Although the Food and Drug Administration has not approved medicinal cannabis, the active ingredient in cannabis, THC, is FDA-approved. It is available by prescription and used to improve appetite and treat nausea.