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In the great state of Colorado, there have been some major changes in the judicial department regarding the distribution and use of marijuana. It is now one of the fourteen states that has legalized the use and distribution of marijuana for medical reasons. Marijuana laws are still a hotly debated topic here because there are people on both sides of the argument who feel very passionately about their opinions.

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The Obama administration has put marijuana usage and distribution as a low priority for the D.E.A. This has led to a swell in the medical marijuana industry and now dispensaries are almost as common as liquor stores here in Colorado. But in order to see how it affects you, learning about these new laws is an absolute necessity. If you are planning to use or you are curious about what these new laws will bring to Colorado, then here are the basics laid out for you.

An important distinction that must be noted is that only those with a medical marijuana card can purchase it. In order to obtain one of these cards, the patient must have a serious illness like HIV, glaucoma, cancer, or any other illness that includes chronic and severe pain. Of course, the use of marijuana without a medical card is still an offense. But Colorado law has always been lenient on the use of the drug. Possession without a prescription, as long as it is under 1 ounce is only a petty crime. This means no jail time and a small fine much like a speeding ticket. CBD Oil In 

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The possession of the drug in larger quantities, however, is still considered a misdemeanor and illegally distributing the drug still results in a felony charge of up to four years in prison. The seriousness of not following the proper channels cannot be stressed enough. If you do plan on using marijuana for recreational or medical use, be sure to take every precaution. If you have been caught using or distributing, then hiring a criminal attorney familiar with marijuana law is recommended.

Whether you are trying to find ways to use marijuana or CBD Oil In

, if you are just curious as to all the changes that have been going on in Colorado, the above statements should clear things up a bit.

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1. Healthcare professionals are in favor of medical marijuana.

In a survey of Medscape, an online community for doctors and nurses, it was found that three out of four doctors and nine out of 10 nurses favor decriminalization of marijuana for medical use.

2. The vast majority of medical marijuana prescriptions are for life-threatening conditions.

Many people think the medical marijuana movement is an excuse for stoners to get legal weed, but according to the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center, 90% of MMJ prescriptions are for AIDS or cancer.

3. Marijuana has a neurochemical effect on pain.

A National Institute of Mental Health study has shown that rather than just "relaxing" a pain patient or "intoxicating" them, the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana suppress the transmission of pain signals in the brain.

4. Pot can be used medicinally to treat mental health disorders.

Many people think of weed as a medicine for glaucoma and pain, but it is also approved in different jurisdictions to treat mental disorders as varied as Tourette's, depression, anxiety disorders, and even anorexia and bulimia.

5. Medical marijuana can be stored without losing its potency for up to 60 months.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse performed a study that proved that medical-grade pot can be stored at freezing temperatures for up to 60 months without losing any potency.

6. Medical pot could reduce the number of medication-related deaths by 1,000 or more each year.

The FDA recently released a report that shows that 17 drugs used for symptoms ranging from nausea to pain (which could be replaced with medical MJ) were responsible for 10,000+ deaths between 1997 and 2005, at a rate of about 1,000 a year.

7. The University of Mississippi has been growing medical cannabis for over forty years.

The US government has a long-standing contract with Ole Miss to grow a variety of marijuana products for medical research. Each year since 1968, researchers at Ole Miss have been growing between 1.5 and 6.5 acres of medical MJ.

8. Legal medical marijuana appears to reduce illegal marijuana use among teens.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has found that in eight of the ten states with legal medical pot laws, illegal use among teenagers has dropped an average of 3 percent.

9. Smoking grass may reduce your chances of contracting lung cancer.

Despite claims to the contrary, an in-depth study at UCLA found no association between smoking pot and contracting lung cancer, claiming instead that marijuana "may have some protective effect."

10. Ganja can improve the immune system.

Is there anything weed can't do? Dr. Donald Abrams found in a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine that medical marijuana patients had "improved immune function" compared with patients who received a placebo.

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So you live in a medical marijuana state and have been approved to use marijuana to treat your medical condition... what's next?

Now it's time to find a reliable source for high quality medical grade cannabis. Depending on your individual state laws, medical marijuana can be legally purchased at dispensaries, clinics or coops. While each place is setup different, here are some basic things to look for when making your choice of primary caregiver:

The first step in choosing where to purchase your medicinal marijuana is to identify all sources in close proximity to your location. The best tool for this task is Google maps. So go to Google Maps and do a simple search for something like "Colorado dispensaries" and the results will be overlayed as location markers on the interactive map.

Once you have a list of a few clinics or dispensaries in your area, you can then start researching more information about each by searching for specific names. If you don't know the name of a particular place, you can do a simple Google search for something like "Colorado dispensary reviews" or "the best Colorado dispensaries" and find great user written reviews. Use the information you find in this step to narrow down your selection to the top 3 places to buy medical marijuana.

So now that you've done the proper research, it's time to actually visit the top marijuana dispensaries and clinics on your list. There is no better research than your own first hand experience so will you need to check these places out by yourself to really know which is the right source for you. One thing to keep in mind is that the medical marijuana industry is still so young that an industry standard for how these places operate does not really exist yet. What this means for you is every single dispensary or clinic that you visit will be a unique experience.

After visiting a few places, you will quickly see how the general atmosphere and layout of a cannabis clinic or dispensary can vary widely from place to place. Some places that you visit will feel like you're walking into a doctors office with their stark and clinical environment; while other places feel like your walking into a friend's comfy home. Whatever your preference, there is a medical marijuana source that is right for you!