Where does your state stand on Cannabis legislation?
Part 2 of our series takes us from Louisiana to North Dakota (Here is Part 1 if you missed it!). We’ve compiled the latest information on each state to give you the most comprehensive state-by-state listing on the Internet. 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.
Louisiana – Louisiana House of Representatives recently approved a Medical Cannabis Legalization bill 70-29. Gov. Bobby Jindal plans to sign the bill. If he does it would make Louisiana the first state in the southeast with a legal medical dispensary system. Recreationally Cannabis remains illegal. However, Gov. Jindal is expected to sign another bill shortly that will decriminalize Cannabis, instituting a fine rather than jail time. Louisiana has the highest rate of incarceration in the US so this would certainly lift some weight off their justice system.
Maine – Medically Legal with Restrictions – Expected to be recreationally approved by 2018.
Maryland – Medically Legal with Restrictions – 52% Support Recreational Cannabis Legalization. In the same survey, comparing tobacco, sugar, alcohol and cannabis, 46% say tobacco is the most harmful, followed by alcohol (22%), and sugar (13%). Only 8% think marijuana is more harmful to a person’s overall health than tobacco, alcohol, or sugar. – 2015 Survey
Massachusetts – Medically Legal with Restrictions – Expected to be recreationally approved by 2017.
Michigan – Medically Legal with Restrictions – Proposal of recreational legislation expected in 2016. 51% Support Recreational Cannabis Legalization provided it is regulated and taxed the same as alcohol. Largest support groups are Democrats(64% in favor) and Ages 18-29(77% in favor). – 2015 Survey
Minnesota – Medically Legal with Restrictions – 2013 Survey – 65% Support Medical Cannabis Legalization in cases of serious and terminal illnesses provided it is obtained via a doctor’s prescription.
Mississippi – Medically Legal with Extreme Restrictions – Recreational Cannabis has been decriminalized whereas a $250 fine and civil summons has replaced arrest and jail time. Supporters are currently working to garner the 100,000 signatures needed to place Ba lot Initiative 48 in front of voters in 2016. That ba lot would decide on legalization, taxation and regulation.
Missouri – Legislation in process for Medical Cannabis Legalization. 58% Support Recreational Cannabis Legalization(10% increase from previous year). – 2013 Survey
Montana – Medically Legal with Restrictions – Only 30% Support Recreational Cannabis Legalization. An effort to obtain funding for future legislation failed when collectors fell well short of the 200,000 signatures needed.
Nebraska – Recently State Senators voted 27-12 in favor of a measure that would legalize medical Cannabis for patients with cancer, epilepsy and other chronic illnesses. Recreational Cannabis legislation remains distant in the future.
Nevada – Medically Legal with Restrictions – Expected to be recreationally legal by 2018, but recently proposed 2016 legislation could knock the door down sooner – would come with a 15% tax that would go directly to funding K-12 education in the state.
New Hampshire – Medically Legal with Restrictions – However, patients are continuing to fight for legal protection and access. Recreationally, a 2015 bill to decriminalize Cannabis was tabled by the State Senate and may be revived as early as January 2016. 57% of voters polled continue to support the recreational legalization of Cannabis. – 2015 Survey
New Jersey – Medically Legal with Restrictions – However cost of medical Cannabis remains the highest of any state in the country. For example, the average New Jersey patient is charged 469$ for the same amount they could receive in Oregon for as little as 99$. Recreationally, numerous bills are currently being considered as it relates to decriminalization, regulation and or taxation. However, Governor Christie has threatened to veto any legalization measure if it passes.
New Mexico – Medically Legal with Restrictions – 2013 Survey – 52% Support Recreational Cannabis Legalization provided it is taxed and regulated similar to alcohol.
New York – Medically Legal with Extreme Restrictions – The regulations that have been implemented by the Department of Health were recently called ‘needlessly restrictive and gratuitously cruel’ by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried. Recreationally, Cannabis has been decriminalized since 1977 and reports state it could legal as early as 2015. However, given the poor support and treatment surrounding the medical community, it would be surprising if the recreational arena received a better welcome.
North Carolina – 2015 Medical Cannabis Legalization bill failed to garner committee support. 69% – Support Medical Cannabis Legalization for reasons such as cancer. Recreationally the support numbers are much lower. – 2015 Survey
North Dakota – Attempt at Medical Cannabis Legalization have failed miserably. The most recent example was a 67-26 denial of House Bill 1430 on Feb 18, 2015. The bill centered on medical Cannabis and the amount a patient could obtain. Recreational support is nearly non-existent.
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!
Stay tuned for Part 3 – Ohio – Wyoming