Drug Law

It's Official: Now 750,000 Medical Marijuana Patients in U.S.

| by NORML
It's official: 16 states, the Capitol, and 750,000 legal marijuana users.

We don’t know his or her name, but somewhere in one of sixteen states and the District of Columbia is America’s 750,000th legal medical marijuana patient.  The United States reached the three-quarter-million-patients mark as Arizona began issuing patient registry identification cards online in April 2011.

Active Medical Marijuana State
# Legal Patients

California (1996)

No central state registry, only counties, estimate by Americans for Safe Access


Washington (1998)

No registry, estimate by author extrapolating Oregon’s 1.04% patient population to Washington’s population


Oregon (1998)

Alaska (1998)

No data online, verified by author’s call to Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics


Maine (1999)

Nevada (2000)

2008 figures from ProCon.org, awaiting return call from state for official number


Hawaii (2000)

2008 figures from ProCon.org, awaiting return call from state for official number


Colorado (2000)

Vermont (2004)

No data online, verified by author’s call to Vermont Criminal Information Center


Montana (2004)

Rhode Island (2006)

New Mexico (2007)

Michigan (2008)

Arizona (2010)


Fourteen of the seventeen medical marijuana jurisdictions have mandatory registries while two (California and Colorado) offer optional registries and one (Washington) has no registry system.  Delaware, New Jersey, and D.C.’s programs are not operational yet.  Most of the other state’s programs produce reports of patient registry numbers.  With Arizona signing up over 3,600 patients since mid-April, when it’s online-only registration went into effect, the fourteen operational programs have served well over 750,000 legal medical marijuana patients.

Quick Facts about Medical Marijuana States:

The 754,799 estimated and registered medical marijuana patients in America are legally entitled to cultivate 11,200,739 cannabis plants and possess 197.78 tons of harvested buds.

The seventeen jurisdictions with medical marijuana encompass over 90 million Americans and 162 votes in the 2012 Electoral College.

Patients make up over 3% of the population of Montana, almost 2.5% of Colorado, and over 1% of California, Oregon, and Washington.  After Michigan at 0.76% of population, every other medical marijuana state has less than 0.3% patients in its population.

Rhode Island and Vermont, two states where over 10% of the adult population uses marijuana monthly, have patient populations of 0.29% and 0.05%, respectively.

Most importantly, in all of these states, trains still run on time, fewer teenagers are using marijuana, economies still produce goods and services, traffic safety has increased, and hoardes of pot zombies aren’t roaming the streets in search of sttrraaiinns!