In 1946 California legalized marijuana to be used for medical reasons. Since then 25 more states legalized medical marijuana dispensaries as well as the District of Columbia. In recent years Washington, Colorado, and Oregon went further by legalizing recreational marijuana use with Alaska soon to follow.
The regulations vary from state to state regarding what medicinal purposes marijuana can be used for and how much a person can be in possession of and transport.
For example: in Alaska if you are 21 years of age and older you can transport 1 oz usable; 6 plants (3 mature, 3 immature) but in Massachusetts you may have a 60-day supply for personal medical use (10 oz).
Alaska Approved Conditions: Cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity, and nausea. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
Massachusetts Approved Conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician.
25 Legal Medical Marijuana States & DC
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- District of Columbia
If you would like to read the specific Proposition/Bill for each state click on that state.
Pros and Cons of Decriminalizing Marijuana
Regulators go back and forth about the benefits of decriminalizing marijuana. By doing so it is said that when a market is regulated consumers are protected. It has been mentioned that freeing police up for other task saves money and puts the street sellers out of business. It may be years before adequate statistics are available to back up these claims but there has been reported evidence that major criminal markets are now losing money having lost some of its customers.
“There is now promising research into the use of marijuana that could impact tens of thousands of children and adults, including treatment for cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, to name a few. With regard to pain alone, marijuana could greatly reduce the demand for narcotics and simultaneously decrease the number of accidental painkiller overdoses, which are the greatest cause of preventable death in this country… Marijuana is a medicine, that should be studied and treated like any other medicine.”
— Sanjay Gupta, MD
Medical Correspondent for CNN
“It’s Time for a Medical Marijuana Revolution,” cnn.com
Apr. 20, 2016
“There really is no such thing as medical marijuana… The dangers and risks of marijuana use are well-known by the scientific community, even if they are downplayed by corporate interests wishing to get rich off of legalization. Apathy, lost productivity, addictive disease, deterioration in intellectual function, motor vehicle accidents, and psychosis are all among the negative outcomes. All from a product that has no demonstrated benefit. For nearly all conditions for which marijuana has purported benefits, we already have existing medications – safe medications – demonstrated to have value.”
— Stuart Gitlow, MD, MPH, MBA
Former President of the ASAM Board of Directors
Testimony to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
July 13, 2016
Legalizing marijuana has created jobs and a new income stream for entrepreneurs which means new taxes revenue to the government. Yes I know you didn’t ask me but here’s my opinion. Government did the numbers and figured out how much money it could make legalizing marijuana just like it did when they created the lotto thinking it would put number runners out of business. Good luck with that right now people play the neighborhood numbers and play the lotto.
Perhaps to some this is a win/win situation but lets look at some of the cons. Use of marijuana has been illegal for years therefore there hasn’t been that many studies digging deep regarding the health hazards and benefits of use.
Marijuana is made up of over 400 ingredients. One is a hallucinogen called tetrahydrocannabinol (thc). You could argue that legalizing marijuana gives anyone who wants the ok to indulge while driving a vehicle or operating heavy equipment. This could jeopardize safety of the user and the innocent. With alcohol there are blood alcohol laws to follow and onsite testing tools. Could something like this be set up for the use of marijuana?
Having worked with alcohol and substance clients for over 20 years my clients who smoked marijuana daily in the same breathe that he/she claimed marijuana calmed them also reported how use interfered with productivity, on the job and/or school. My alcohol dependent clients always had more difficulty admitting to like issues. Their focus was the fact that alcohol was legal and the people in their lives were the problem. Is this the attitude we can expect from marijuana users who live in states that have legalized marijuana? This is something to think about because the numbers of states that are legalizing marijuana for recreational use is increasing.
As A Community Member Be Heard
Residents of communities in states that have legalized marijuana could write and/or call their local and state representatives. Inquire about how will the tax revenue from medical marijuana dispensaries be used. Request that the money be applied at least in part to prevention programs for children or somewhere else that you are passionate about.
Ask your representatives will the legalization of marijuana for recreational use mean that drug screenings for jobs now omit that drug? Personally, I’m thinking that anyone who has the power to make decisions on behalf of my state, family etc. I don’t want to be under the influence on the job? ex. doctor, lawyer, indian chief. (lol I couldn’t help myself)
Notice I said under the influence on the job. There is no issue for me about people using marijuana if its legal I just want our representatives to think it all out and regulate accordingly.
Do you have any concerns about the legalization of marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes if so comment below?
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