Drug Law
Drug Law

Update on States' Medical Marijuana Laws & Proposals

| by NORML

By "Radical" Russ Belville

NORML National Conference begins on Thursday.  We’ll be streaming live all three days of the event, beginning our coverage on Wed, Sep 8, 5pm at the World Famous Oregon NORML Cannabis Cafe.  Josh Belville (my li’l bro!) will be entertaining with an acoustic guitar set, followed by Asha singing and playing the baby grand piano.

Our conference this year features Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), California NAACP head Alice Huffman, and former New Mexico governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

The final panel on Saturday looks at medical marijuana with respect to efforts to legalize marijuana for healthy people.  Stephen Gutwillig of Drug Policy Alliance will argue that medical marijuana is an inevitable step toward legalization.  Steve DeAngelo from Harborside Health Centers will argue that well-run medical dispensaries set the model for full legalization.  Steph Sherer from Americans for Safe Access will argue that medical marijuana is and should be an issue separated from legalization for all.  I get to follow these luminaries with my “The Box Canyon: Path to Legalization or to Permanent Medicalization?”

As part of that presentation, I have compiled all the existing medical marijuana laws in 14 states + DC, laws vetoed in three states, laws being voted on in two states, and bills defeated in 14 states. Explanatory notes follow after the break.  Download “Medical Marijuana Trends” in PDF.

NORML – Medical Marijuana Trends – Chart Notes

REG = Registry Card   BUY = Dispensaries   WORK = Pee Test Protections   TRAVEL = Reciprocity HOUSE = Renter Protections   TXPLT = Transplant Protections   KIDS = Custody Protections

CALIFORNIA:  Limits of 6 mature plants and 8 ounces are “a floor”..  “For any other ailment” language allows for all conditions even when not specifically named.

WASHINGTON:  Originally set limits as a “60 day supply”, later determined to be 15 plants and 24 ounces. No registry = arrest possible.

OREGON:  Originally set limits as 3 plants and 3 ounces, later amended to 6 plants and 24 ounces, traded for affirmative defense.  Likely to pass dispensary measure in 2010.

ALASKA:  All Alaskans are protected for 1 ounce of personal possession in the home.

MAINE:  Pain must be “intractable”

COLORADO: Dispensaries must now produce 70% of their cannabis “in house”.

VERMONT: Spasticity must be multiple sclerosis.

NEW MEXICO: May possess more plants with recommendation, some leniency for “any other ailment” if it is terminal.

CONNECTICUT (vetoed): 4 plants must be less than four feet tall.  Seizures must be epilepsy.

MINNESOTA (vetoed):  No home growing, qualifying conditions must be “terminal”, WORK and HOUSE protections have “unless it violates federal law” loophole.

NEW HAMPSHIRE (vetoed):  Conditions must be chronic or terminal with the listed symptoms.  Pain must not have responded to conventional medications.

NEW JERSEY: No home growing.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: No home growing.

SOUTH DAKOTA (voting in 2010): Pain must be “intractable”.  WORK and HOUSE protections have “unless it violates federal law” loophole.

ARIZONA (Voting in 2010): No home growing if within 25 miles of a dispensary.  WORK protections have “unless it violates federal law” loophole.

ALABAMA (Failed in 2009/2010): Spasticity must be multiple sclerosis.  Some leniency for “for any other ailment.”

DELAWARE (Failed in 2009/2010): WORK and HOUSE protections have “unless it violates federal law” loophole.

ILLINOIS (Failed in 2009/2010): WORK and HOUSE protections have “unless it violates federal law” loophole.

IOWA (Failed in 2009/2010): WORK and HOUSE protections have “unless it violates federal law” loophole.

KANSAS (Failed in 2009/2010): WORK and HOUSE protections have “unless it violates federal law” loophole.

MARYLAND (Failed in 2009/2010): No home growing.  Some leniency on “for any other ailment.”

MASSACHUSETTS: “A” caregiver may be reimbursed could equal limited sales.

MISSISSIPPI: 30 grams in possession per mature plant.

NEW YORK (Failed in 2009/2010): No home growing.  Strong support on “for any other ailment.”

NORTH CAROLINA (Failed in 2009/2010): 100 square foot of canopy for plant limit.

OHIO (Failed in 2009/2010): HOUSE protections have “unless it violates federal law” loophole.  200 grams in possession.

PENNSYLVANIA (Failed in 2009/2010): Some leniency on “for any other ailment.”

NEVADA, HAWAII, MONTANA, RHODE ISLAND, MICHIGAN, MISSOURI, WISCONSIN: No special circumstances.

TENNESSEE & VIRGINIA: Bills contained “prescription” language and would therefore be moot even if passed.