We've come a long way since cannabis was first decriminalized in Oregon in 1973 and then in New Mexico; medical cannabis history started in 1978, after public hearings the legislature enacted H.B. 329, the nation’s first law recognizing the medical value of cannabis…the first law.
After nearly a century of prohibition on cultivation, hemp is starting to again take root in America. With the passing of the 2014 Farm Bill, which featured Section 7606, states are allowed to implement laws allowing state departments of agriculture and universities to grow hemp for research or pilot programs. In 2014, The U.S. Justice Department announced a policy to allow recognized Indian tribes to legalize cannabis on their lands and The Squaxin Island Tribe in the Puget Sound area legalized and opened the United States' first tribal retail cannabis sales shop on their trust lands. The Suquamish Tribe followed later in the same year. And in 2016, The Pinoleville Pomo Nation in California announced a plan to grow cannabis and sell it to California medical dispensaries and The Puyallup Tribe made legal arrangements with the State of Washington to grow its own medical cannabis.
Here's a state-by-state breakdown:
Cannabis Legalization (9): Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont (also Washington, DC)
Cannabis Decriminalization (13): Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri*, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island
Medical Cannabis Legalization (30): Americans For Safe Access has a series of legal manuals describes the law on medical cannabis as it applies to patients and caregivers in various states. This series of publications was created by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a non-profit advocacy organization, to help individuals and their families better navigate the medical cannabis programs in their states. ASA has been developing information resources about medical cannabis for patients, their families, doctors, and elected officials for over a decade. (Updated 062718)
Click the state below to view that states legal manual or state department of health site for that program.
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida*, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota*, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York*, North Dakota, Ohio*,Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania*, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia* (also, Washington, DC)
* no smoking allowed
Medical Cannabis Legalization - CBD Oil Only (17): Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana. Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Hemp Legalization : At least 35 states passed legislation related to industrial hemp. State policymakers have taken action to address various policy issues — the definition of hemp, licensure of growers, regulation and certification of seeds, statewide commissions and legal protection of growers.
Arkansas, Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, Wyoming.
Cities That Have Legalized Cannabis (5): Breckenridge, CO; Denver, CO; Portland, ME; South Portland, ME; Washington, DC
Cities That Have Decriminalized Cannabis (43): Decriminalization does not mean that cannabis is legal, just that getting caught with it no longer results in jail time or a criminal record. Decriminalization means that a state or city has repealed or amended its laws to make certain acts criminal, but no longer subject to prosecution. In the cannabis context, this means individuals caught with small amounts of cannabis for personal consumption won’t be prosecuted and won’t subsequently receive a criminal record or a jail sentence. In many states, possession of small amounts of cannabis is treated like a minor traffic violation.
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Thank You Mayor Tim Keller!) Ann Arbor, MI; Athens, OH; Atlanta, GA; Bellaire, OH; Berkeley, CA; Berkley, MI; Chicago, IL; Columbia, MO; Detroit, MI; East Lansing, MI; Ferndale, MI; Flint, MI; Grand Rapids, MI; Houston, TX; Huntington Woods, MI; Jackson, MI; Kansas City, MO; Keego Harbor, MI; Logan, OH; Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Monona, WI; Mount Pleasant, MI; New Orleans, LA; Newark, OH; New York, NY; Orlando, FL; Lancaster, PA; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Pleasant Ridge, MI; Portage, MI; Port Huron, MI; Roseville, OH; Saginaw, MI; State College, PA; Santa Fe, NM; South Fulton, GA; Tampa, FL; Toledo, OH; Wichita, KS; York, PA
Cities That Have Made Cannabis Arrests the Lowest Priority (12): Eureka Springs, AR; Fayetteville, AR; Hailey; ID; Kalamazoo, MI; Oakland, CA; San Francisco, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Santa Cruz, CA; Santa Monica, CA; Seattle, WA; Tacoma, WA; Tampa, FL; West Hollywood, CA
Duke City Cannabis Decriminalization Legislation Meeting: 5 PM Monday, April 2nd 2018
Meetings are conducted in the Vincent E. Griego Council Chambers, basement level of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Center, 1 Civic Plaza NW, Albuquerque.
All meetings begin at 5:00 p.m. All meetings are open to the public.
As of 2018, some of the countries with the laxest cannabis laws were Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, India, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Uruguay, and some U.S. jurisdictions. Some of the countries with the strictest cannabis laws were Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, France, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates.
Legalization should be about Freedom and Good Health, not about how much we can tax a plant that has great Medical Value.
The legalization of cannabis for recreational use is a separate issue from safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use. And I’d caution policy makers against letting the debate surrounding legalization of cannabis for recreational use obscure the science and policy regarding the medical use of cannabis.
Today the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program has over 50,000 registered participants (most all of whom are voters) with 35 licensed non-profit producers or LNPP’s now growing 14,550 medical cannabis plants, as the program hits the end of its 10th year. The Medical Cannabis Program (MCP) was created in 2007, as the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, under chapter 210 Senate Bill 523.