How Many States Have Legalized Medical Marijuana?
While the legalization of medical marijuana in some states has spurred legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes, more lawmakers are looking to align federal and state laws to facilitate its use for the treatment of a wide variety of ailments. The Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act, passed by the Senate last year, aims to streamline the process of applying for federal approval for research involving marijuana-derived medicines. medical marijuana id card ny
Iowa: Iowa legalized medical cannabis in 2016, but only around 5,000 of its residents have a medical card. The state’s Republican-controlled legislature is unlikely to expand the program, so only a small number of Iowans are registered as medical patients. However, a recent Des Moines Register poll found that 78 percent of residents are in favor of medical marijuana. As of January 2019, the state has spent more than $250 million on the drug.
New Jersey: Although the state has been on the verge of legalizing medical marijuana, it has been a long and tough road. It passed a medical marijuana law in 2010, but Republican Governor Chris Christie stymied the plan by restricting the list of qualifying conditions and raising the barrier to entry. But in 2018, incoming Governor Phil Murphy expanded the law and the state now has thirteen dispensaries serving the roughly 100,000 registered patients.
South Dakota: In October 2017, a state-level ballot initiative was approved in South Dakota. It was passed with 54% of the vote, and allowed adults over 21 to possess up to one ounce of cannabis. This amendment is intended to make medical marijuana legal for adults in the state. However, despite its passage, it will be revoked in 2021. And South Dakota may have a similar fate.
Colorado: The state’s 2014 ballot initiative legalized marijuana for medical use. In addition to medical marijuana, Colorado also created a recreational market. This industry has been largely white and male. Colorado is still working on laws to create more equitable programs and ensure that people who need it will be able to afford it. The state has also been slow to address issues related to social equity in the marijuana industry. However, Governor Jared Polis recently signed a bill that will create a social equity program, which will help communities most negatively affected by the drug war.
There are numerous medical conditions for which cannabis is prescribed. While many states have approved marijuana use for nausea, some require that patients must have a diagnosis from a doctor. The state that permits marijuana use is often the best place to start looking. In addition to treating nausea, medical cannabis is also helpful for patients with wasting syndrome, such as cachexia. Cachexia causes weakness and appetite loss, and consuming THC-rich cannabis may help alleviate these symptoms.
While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, it has been legalized in several other states. In Maine, for example, residents could buy up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational use in licensed dispensaries. In Massachusetts, marijuana dispensaries first opened their doors for recreational use in November 2018, and now adults can buy up to an ounce of the drug. However, it remains illegal to consume marijuana in public. Nonetheless, the legalization of medical marijuana has been a boon to many.