In Which States is Marijuana Legal?
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 03/03/2010 in Medical Marijuana Laws
Is pot legal for medical reasons? It depends on what state you live in. Even though marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the federal government, 14 states have made marijuana legal for patients suffering from certain medical conditions by removing state penalties on the use, possession and/or cultivation of marijuana for medicinal use.
California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1999 with the passing of Prop 215, paving the way for other states to grant qualifying patients access to the medicine they need. Earlier this year, New Jersey was the latest state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, as Gov. Jon Corzine signed a measure on his last full day on the job. In 2010, there are several more states expected to join the current list of medical marijuana states, which include:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
Additionally, Maryland has significantly lowered the penalties associated with the medical use of marijuana, allowing an affirmative defense for cannabis patients and a maximum fine of $150.
The limits on the growth, possession, and purchasing of medical marijuana vary state by state, as do each state’s qualifying medical conditions and the documentation needed to comply with the law. Some states require patients to register with the state and obtain a medical marijuana card (also referred to as a cannabis card), while others simply require patients to receive a medical marijuana recommendation from a state licensed doctor. To better understand the complex marijuana laws of each state, check out our marijuana law fact sheets.