Medical Marijuana Laws Across the Country
Marijuana is in the news a lot lately, whether because of a new state making it legal, anti-marijuana protestors and politicians taking a stand, or some new medical case of a miraculous recovery or drastic easing of symptoms, all due to the fight both for and against this most coveted and disdained plant. However, this plant has actually been around for centuries, and it is only in the most recent passing century, (i.e. the 1900s) that marijuana became so taboo. In fact, marijuana has been used by many people and cultures, all across time, for multiple healing and spiritual purpose apart from recreation and has been documented as being helpful for people as far back as 2900 BC, when the Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi, noted that Ma (the term for cannabis in Chinese), seemed to be one of the most popular medical cures among his people at the time of his rule.
Despite this though, the conversation continues ebb and flow, with those against cannabis fighting hard to make sure it stays an illegal substance for both sale and use. Much to the relief of those who look to this plant to provide greatly needed recovery and relief however, pro medical marijuana activist seem to be pushing the movement forward at a slow, but steady pace. This process creates many questions among those who are interested in the process, need to partake of the substance for health reasons, or even just the naturally curious, and as more and more states pass laws legalizing the use and distribution of medical marijuana, the larger the number of questions people have, gets. It is our hope that this article will provide a comprehensive first stepping stone to understanding the laws that surround legal, medical marijuana usage, as well as which states specifically allow for the sale and consumption of this substance.
The first thing to know is which states allow users to buy and consume medical marijuana legally. The first state to legalize marijuana was California in 1996, when voters passed proposition 215 and the sale and consumption of the substance became legal for those with medical need. Since then, the number of states that allow medical marijuana to be bought and sold has increased drastically, now including 22 states such as Alaska, Colorado, Arizona, Connecticut, New York, Washington and more. This is great news for those who depend on pot to help ease the pains of chemotherapy, help with epilepsy, migraines and more, making the medicine they so desperately need more widely available (though most still think 22 states isn’t nearly enough progress, pushing for all 50 states to someday adopt the same way of thinking).
Now that you know which states it is okay to purchase and consume medical marijuana in, it is important that you also know some of the basic rules that go along with this, as there
are quite a few you will need to follow in order to stay out of trouble, and while every state differs to a degree on what is and is not allowed, a few general rules are as follows.
First and foremost, in order to receive permission to buy and consume medical marijuana, you will need to be seen by a doctor (licensed to prescribe marijuana), be diagnosed with one of the qualifying debilitating health issues and be over the age of 18.
Secondly, it is important that you look up exactly how much is allowed to be bought at one time, (for example, in some places like Colorado, a medical patient can by up to 2 oz a day), as well as how much can be carried on your person at one time, (again this varies by state, but make sure to look this up through the state in question’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division to make sure you are compliant). And the third and final rule (at least that is included here) is that, you will need to know where it is okay to smoke, this one however is pretty straightforward across the board, and smoking on public or government property of any kind is prohibited. Additionally, smoking outdoors is usually off limits even if it is in your own back yard.
There are a few great sites you can visit to gather more information on the rules and regulations surrounding medical marijuana, including the National Conference of State Legislation (http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx), or any state’s Department of Revenue Enforcement Division. Furthermore, there is a plethora of additional information out there, articles, journal entries, government sites, etc , that will be sure to provide you with all the information you need to both successfully buy and consume medical marijuana for yourself.