The Medicinal Marijuana States and Possession

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It is remarkable if you look at where the fight for legalizing cannabis has come over the last two decades. From 1937 when the Marijuana Tax Act was enacted, until California took the first pioneering steps towards legalizing medical marijuana, this medicine, and a naturally growing plant, had been prohibited throughout the United States. In 1996, California became the first state in the United States to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes since prohibition had taken effect. Since 1996, 22 additional states and our nation's capital have followed. Washington, DC, as well as 4 of those states, Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, currently also allow for the responsible adult recreational use of cannabis as of this writing. This gives cannabis activists and those who can benefit from medicinal marijuana a lot to celebrate. Let's look at the specifics surrounding the legalization of medical marijuana within these states and possession.

 Alaska voters passed Ballot Measure 8 in 1998. This ballot measure passed with over a 50 percent yes vote. This initiative allows for patients to possess 1 ounce of usable cannabis as well as 3 mature and 3 immature plants.

 Arizona passed Proposition 203 with a 50.13 percent vote in 2010. This proposition allows for patients to possess 2 .5 ounces of usable cannabis as well as up to 12 plants for cultivation.

 California passed Proposition 215 with a 56% vote in 1996. This proposition allows for patients to possess 8 ounces of usable cannabis as well as 6 mature or 12 immature plants.

 Colorado passed Ballot Amendment 20 by a 54% vote in 2000. This Amendment allows for patients to possess 2 ounces of usable cannabis as well as 3 mature and 3 immature plants for cultivation.

 Connecticut passed House Bill 5389 in 2012. This House Bill allows for a 1 month supply of cannabis to be possessed by patients.

 Washington DC passed Amendment Act B18-622 with a 13 to 0 vote in 2010. This Amendment allows for patients to possess 2 ounces of dried marijuana legally.

 Delaware passed Senate Bill 17 in 2011 which allows for patients to possess up to 6 ounces of usable cannabis legally.

 Hawaii passed Senate Bill 862 in 2011. This bill allows for patients to legally possess up to 3 ounces of usable cannabis as well as 3 mature and 4 immature plants.

 Illinois passed House Bill 1 in 2013 which allows for patients to possess 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis over a 14 day period.

 Maine passed Ballot Question 2 in 1999. This ballot initiative allows patients to possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana as well as 6 plants.

 Maryland passes House Bill 881 in 2014. This bill allows patients to possess a 30 day supply of medical marijuana.

 Massachusetts passed Ballot Question 3 in 2012. This initiative allows for patients to legally possess a 60 day supply of medical cannabis.

 Michigan passed Proposal 1 in 2008. This allows for medical marijuana patients to possess 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis and 12 plants.

 Minnesota passed Senate Bill 2470 in 2014. This bill allows for patients to possess a 30 day supply of non-smoking medical marijuana.

 Montana passed Initiative 148 in 2004. This initiative allows for medical marijuana patients to possess 1 ounce of usable cannabis, 4 mature plants and 12 seedlings.

 Nevada passed Ballot Question 9 with a 65% majority vote in 2000. This initiative allows for patients to legally possess 1 ounce of usable cannabis, and 7 plants. Of those 7 plants 3 maybe mature while 4 must be immature.

 New Hampshire passed House Bill 573 in 2013. This House Bill allows for medical marijuana patients to legally possess 2 ounces of usable marijuana during a 10-day period.

 New Jersey passed Senate Bill 119 in 2010. This allows for medical marijuana patients to legally possess up to 2 ounces of usable cannabis at any time.

 New Mexico passed Senate Bill 523 back in 2007. This bill allows for patients to possess six ounces of usable cannabis as well as 4 mature and 12 immature plants.

 New York passed Assembly Bill 6357 in 2014. This allows for medical marijuana patients to possess a 30 day supply of non-smokeable marijuana.

 Oregon passed Ballot Measure 67 in 1998 with a 55% majority vote. This ballot measure allows patients to possess 24 ounces of usable marijuana as well as to legally possess 6 mature and 18 immature plants.

 Rhode Island passed Senate Bill 0710 in 2006. This bill allows for patients to legally possess 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis as well as 12 Plants.

 Vermont passed Senate Bill 76 and House Bill 645 in 2004. These bills allow for patients to legally possess 2 ounces of usable marijuana as well as 2 mature and 7 immature plants.

 Washington passed Initiative 692 with a 59% majority vote in 1998. This initiative allows for medical marijuana patients to legally possess 24 ounces of usable marijuana at any time as well as 15 plants.

A Chance for a Better Life with Cannabis

While most of these states have a small list of qualifying conditions, they are benefiting thousands of patients. Legal medicinal marijuana provides patients with a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals that in most cases does a better job of providing relief and provides a chance for a healthier life. Thanks to these pioneering states, the entire nation is learning how beneficial cannabis can be as a medicine as polls consistently show support for medical marijuana on a state and national basis. It is providing a chance for an improved quality of life for many individuals including military veterans and children alike.

Saving Lives and Relieving Pain

There have been many significant studies coming from states that have legal marijuana programs that are increasing our knowledge of marijuana as a chronic pain reliever. There is an epidemic of painkiller overdoses within the United States. Every year over 16,000 individuals pass away due to painkiller overdose. In the states where medical marijuana is legal for addressing chronic pain, they have seen a dramatic reduction in the number of overdoses as well as admissions to rehab for opiate addiction. A 25% reduction to be exact. Thousands of lives in the United States could be saved annually if medical marijuana was legalized for chronic pain alone. This is just one of the ways that legal medicinal marijuana can better our lives and our futures.

Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow

The negative propaganda surrounding marijuana is being debunked. Thanks to legal marijuana programs across the United States, we are truly starting to see just how helpful this one plant can be. It is boosting economies and saving lives. As time progresses, we can only expect to learn more great things about how cannabis can help improve life as we know it. Marijuana is not a gateway drug but it is a gateway to better health, better economies and a better future. We as a society are awakening to this fact and will not be denied legal access to this natural medication that we can benefit from in so many ways. We are becoming more educated and we are standing up fighting for this right that we have been denied for so long.