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Forty Percent Of U.S. States Have Now Passed Medical Cannabis Laws


states america us medical marijuanaBy TheJointBlog.Com

With the recent approval of New Hampshire’s medical marijuana legalization measure, 20 states have now passed a medical cannabis law, either through a voter-approved initiative, or through a legislative proposal. It’s worth pointing out that this makes 40% of the entire United States.

This is exciting, and inspiring. As advocates of cannabis law reform, we obviously understand that this isn’t enough – and even in the 20 medical cannabis states the laws aren’t perfect – but we can’t lose sight of the fact that it’s an astonishing turn of events that in 17 years, from the passing of Prop 215 in California in 1996, to the victories over the past several years, things have advanced quickly, and public opinion has shifted drastically; in fact, polling shows that over 80% of those in the U.S. support legalizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes (some of the most recent polling shows it as high as 85%). This is huge, and shows that even after decades of intense propaganda, the public can still be swayed with logic, compassion and facts.

Things aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

The Illinois Legislature has recently approved a measure legalizing medical cannabis, which the governor isn’t expected to veto. This makes state number 21. New York – whose House has approved a measure legalizing medical cannabis; it awaits a vote in the Senate – could turnout to be the 22nd (as could any number of other states).

Soon – if not by next year – 50% of the U.S. will have legalized medical cannabis, or at least passed some form of positive medical cannabis law. The states that continue to prohibit medical cannabis will topple quickly from there, simultaneous with the uprising of recreational legalization.

The pressure on the feds is mounting like never before.

Source: The Joint Blog


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Johnny Green


  1. angela heckathorn on

    I just moved from California to Ohio I was wondering if it is going to be legal here any time soon.

  2. Mary Sheerin on

    Hi John. I live in Pa. and our representative’s here have said they will never let marijuana be legal for any reason. They are now using scare tactics to keep uneducated people ( pertaining to marijuana ) afraid of crime etc: escalating. I wish people would realize how beneficial it is medically. If they checked it out for medical reasons they would change.their mind’s fast. We need your help–please.

  3. We still have 32 states that DONT have medical cannabis laws and and only 18 states that do! Those 32 states holding out on us are the reason why marijuana remains 100% illegal federally and the raids and peoples lives ruined continues. Those states continue to hold us back. As long as a majority of states continue to remain ignorant about marijuanas medical benefits, then nothing is going to change.

  4. claygooding on

    Johnny,,DC has bills being introduced to decriminalize marijuana possession now and a legalization bill planned for the fall,,things are moving,,if congress does not vote down either bill they will go into effect within a certan number of days,,just as their mmj program did.

  5. Then by that same measure, as I clearly stated, Florida and Georgia have “medical cannabis laws” on the books that do, effectually, nothing. Should we count words on paper that do nothing as a victory?

  6. Whether or not it’s a good law, Maryland has in fact passed a “medical cannabis law”.

  7. I’m confused. If we’re counting Illinois as potentially #21, with NH as #20 — who is #19?

    I know it wasn’t Maryland. Maryland is #18.5, if anything. Their medical cannabis law is 100% ineffectual, as it only establishes a law to allow for a research program that could be based out of a medical school, but Hopkins and the University of Maryland’s medical school *both* say they’re not participating. Keep in mind Maryland isn’t a large state. I don’t think there are any other medical schools that could participate — so the law does nothing.

    Unless there was a 19th State I don’t know about.

    Technically, Georgia passed a medical cannabis pilot program in 1980 — “The Controlled Substances Therepeutic Research Act” championed by Mona Taft after her husband’s battle with cancer. It passed 50-0 in the Georgia Senate. I think Florida passed a similar one a year or two before. But *neither* program was ever implemented (the federal government under Reagan wouldn’t allow it), which is why we don’t count them in our tally of medical cannabis states — also why I don’t think we can/should count Maryland as #19.

    We can/should celebrate Illinois and New Hampshire, certainly. And yes, possibly NY, though I have my doubts about Cuomo signing such a bill — men that want to be President, sadly, don’t have the gumption to swing for the fences when it comes to controversial issues.

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