Part One: The State of Cannabis – How Free are You?

Part One: How Free Are You?

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

  • familyguy

    The President needs to address this issue immediately. Reschedule cannabis to class 3. This will for sure piss-off right wing republicans but they deserve it for bucking him on every issue. A republican president would be a disaster for cannabis legalization but for that matter I don’t know if Hillary Clinton can be trusted to perform the will of the majority on this issue. If Obama wants more support from people he needs to address this issue now. At least he would be respected for holding his ground!

    • Snakeman

      Agree one hundred percent ,change the classification. He himslelf
      feel it holds no more harmful the alcohol or tobacco.
      But I’ll go a step further I myself have been smoking since I was 11 it cost me my education.But here was the problem #1 it was the 70s and #2 it was a lot easyer to get weed then it was alcohol. To this day there are more 14 to 18 year olds who have more access to source’s to get it then me and I,m 56.And as far as which in my life time and life’s experience you will never stop an adult from recreational use if that’s up to the just like that beer some people seem to injoy.P.S.haven’t to many people smoke a couple joints and start a fight that I’ve seen you know wife ,kids, and friends. But alcohol that’s another matter!It needs to be regulated like alcohol and I don’t mean 18 years old but 21!
      There are millions over 21 who will never quite but in secret because the can loose everything in some states your job,your home,your kids everything. P.S.(again) I’d rather hang out with a stoner then a drunk. Iegalize it make it harder for kids to get it ,like I said if you want some pot now go ask a 15 year old he can help you easyer then an adult their too afraid of what it can cost them.P.S.( again) I always worked supported my own supply.Raised 5 kids all working some married. 6 grandchildren. My wife who is disabled PTSD,depression, and essential temors a form of Parkinsons diesease. CBDs work for Tremors.but not the others,only THC forms work for the others.And that’s my believe and opinion! Signed Snakeman

  • First off, thanks for the comment! I think that legislation is headed in a positive direction overall. Its just unfortunate that it’s going to take some time given all the red tape you have to go through. However, if we look at how far the industry has progressed over the last 10-15 years I think there is a lot to be proud of. While many states have passed(or failed) terrible legislation the first time around, bottom line is at least it is paving the way for amendments and future consideration where there was no road before. My hope is that, with positive examples like being laid out by progressive states like Colorado, eventually the case will be so strong that those in power won’t have a choice. We the people can take it out of their hands by continuing to pursue positive paths within the industry. It will just take a lot longer than it perhaps should.

  • Siggy Freud

    Also consider as a Medical marijuana card holder and concealed weapons permit holder, I can be sentenced to a mandatory 5 yrs. for carrying a weapon while committing a felony under federal law, while at the same time being completely legal in Oregon.