Where does your state stand on Cannabis legislation?
We at Cashinbis have compiled the latest information on each state to provide you the most comprehensive state-by-state listing on the Internet. ‘The State of Cannabis’ is a three part series leading up to the 4th of July. To many, Independence Day represents a time to celebrate being the most free country in the world. But how free is your state when it comes to Cannabis legislation? Simply keep reading to find out. Keep in mind that this information is ever changing and this list will be updated as new information becomes available. In addition, each state has its own idea as to how to regulate, enforce and tax Cannabis legislation so we encourage you to find out more about your state. The only way to stay ahead of the green rush is to stay informed.
Alabama – Currently debating Senate Bill 326 that would legalize medical Cannabis for patients having a serious medical condition. In 2014 Gov. Bill Brentley signed Carly’s Law, intended to introduce medical Cannabis options for epileptic conditions. However, the bill only provides a defense from prosecution. Meaning legal medical possession could still amount to arrest and jail before being dismissed. In addition, the bill only allows CBD-rich Cannabis extracts, which is a very specific part of the plant and excludes most other patients. Lastly, and this is important for every state, the bill requires a ‘prescription’ from a medical doctor. It remains federally illegal to ‘prescribe’ Cannabis because it is still classified as a Schedule 1 substance. Instead patients need to obtain a ‘recommendation’. Long story short, Alabama lawmakers did a great job of making medical Cannabis legal….and impossible to get. In terms of recreational use, support is improving but nowhere near caught up to the medical side.
Alaska – Medically and recreationally legal with restrictions.
Arizona – Medically legal with restrictions– 2015 legislation both for and against further medical legalization failed to pass. 56% Support recreational cannabis legalization provided it is taxed and regulated similar to alcohol. Future legalization could depend heavily on California and Nevada. – 2013 Survey
Arkansas – 2012 Voting – 48.56% Supported medical Cannabis legalization which failed the bill. Arkansas remains one of the harshest states in regards to Cannabis laws.
California – Medically legal with restrictions – 2016 recreational use legislation expected to pass. 55% of likely voters support recreational Cannabis legislation. About three-quarters of adults (74%) who have tried marijuana say it should be legal, while only a third (35%) who have never tried it favor legalization. Residents aged 18 to 34 (61%) are more likely than older adults to say marijuana use should be legal (47% age 35 to 54, 52% age 55 and older). – 2015 Survey
It remains federally illegal to ‘prescribe’ Cannabis because it is still classified as a Schedule 1 substance. Instead patients need to obtain a ‘recommendation’.
Colorado – Medically and recreationally legal with restrictions – 58% Show continued support – 47% Have never tried Cannabis – 80% Have not used recreationally since recreational sales began Jan 1st, 2014. – 2015 Survey
Connecticut – Medically legal with restrictions – 2015 saw the introduction of 4 key bills. Two involve allowing seriously ill minors access to medical treatments(currently Conn is one of only a few states that denies medical Cannabis to minors). The other two bills center on decriminalization and recreation legalization. Results of those bills are not finalized. 63% Support recreational Cannabis legalization. 67% Support reducing current Cannabis crimes(small quantity) from a felony to a misdemeanor. – 2015 Survey
Delaware – Medically legal with restrictions – On June 2nd, 2015 the Delaware House of Reps passed legislation decriminalizing Cannabis. Possession offenses will now come with a $100 fine instead of arrest and jail time. The bill is currently on its way to the Senate and will then, if it passes, be signed into law by Gov. Jack Markell. Markell has already voiced his support, saying he would sign the bill into law. 56% Support recreational Cannabis legalization. %68 Support decriminalization – 2015 Survey
Florida – 2015 Legislation garnered 58% of the 60% needed to pass into law. Activists recently announced intentions to resubmit for 2016 ba loting. 84% Support medical Cannabis legalization – 55% Support recreational. – 2015 Survey
Georgia – 2015 bill introduced to repeal ban on medical Cannabis use for cancer and glaucoma died when it failed to advance before the crossover deadline of March 13th. 84% Support Medical Cannabis Legalization – 46% Support recreational Cannabis legalization. – 2015 Survey
Hawaii – Medically legal with restrictions – 2015 bill supporting recreational Cannabis legalization failed. However, with recreational support at an all time high, legalization seems imminent. 69% of Hawaii voters think that jail time for marijuana offenses is inappropriate, and an overwhelming 57% favor legalizing marijuana for adults and regulating it like alcohol. – 2015 Survey
Idaho – 2015 Legislation passed the House of Representative and the Senate before being vetoed by Gov. Butch Otto. 61% Support medical Cannabis legalization provided it is obtained via a doctor’s prescription. – 2010 Survey
Illinois – Medically legal with restrictions – Gov. Bruce Rauner is currently overlooking bills that would extend the state’s medical Cannabis pilot program another year, taking them through 2018. In addition, a second bill would add PTSD to the list of qualified medical conditions treatable in the state. Two final bills awaiting the Governors signature would decriminalize Cannabis possession and ensure the equal treatment potential offenders. All bills are expected to be signed into law in 2015. 60% Support removal of criminal penalties pertaining to recreational Cannabis use. – 2015 Survey
However, with recreational support at an all time high, legalization seems imminent.
Indiana – Medically and recreationally illegal – Two bills were introduced this year that would allow for the creation of a state medical Cannabis program. Both failed when they failed to advance before the crossover deadline February 25th. Multiple sources list Indiana as one of the last states that could potentially legalize Cannabis. However, in a twist of irony, the ‘First Church of Cannabis’ has been established in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Iowa – 2015 medical Cannabis legislation was left in limbo when the Iowa legislature adjourned its 2015 session on June 5th. Multiple Cannabis policies were in progress, some of which had already passed through the Senate. These bills would have improved both the medical Cannabis system in Iowa as well as reduced the penalties for recreational possession(From 6monthsjail/$1,000fine for a single gram to 30daysjail for up to 5 grams). Advocates are hopeful for a 2016 passing of these bills. 81% Support medical Cannabis legalization provided it is obtained via a doctors prescription. – 2014 Survey
Kansas – Illegal medically and recreationally. Both 2015 bills failed to pass when they failed to advance before the crossover deadline February 27th. 70% Support medical Cannabis legalization – 54% Support recreational Cannabis legalization provided it is taxed and regulated similar to alcohol.
Kentucky – Illegal medically and recreationally. 2015 acts to establish a medical Cannabis system as well as legalize medical use died when they failed to advance out of committee by March 24th. 52% Support medical Cannabis legalization with less support for recreational use. – 2014 Survey
Coming up in Part2 – Louisiana to North Dakota
On a scale of 1-America, how free do you feel? Would you like to add to this report? Join the conversation by commenting below!
Photo credit: Blake Verdoorn