States That Allow Medical Marijuana in 2011.


With the new year comes new laws, including those that apply to medical marijuana in the United States. With the rapidly changing social and political landscape more and more states are passing pro-marijuana legislation.

States that approved of marijuana friendly ballot initiatives (orange on the map), but who may not have officially approved marijuana for medical use include Arizona (Prop 203), Vermont (Governor Shumlin helped pass existing MMJ laws), Connecticut (Governor Malloy supports decriminalizing pot), and Massachusetts (all 9 jurisdictions in which the question was asked support taxing and regulating marijuana like cigarettes and alcohol).

On the other side of the table, states failing to move forward in support of marijuana law reform (in gray on the map) include South Dakota, which failed to pass Measure 13, allowing medical marijuana in the state. Similarly, Oregon did not expand their existing laws with lack of support for Measure 74. New Mexico elected a stated anti-marijuana advocate to to post of governor, and in California Proposition 19 did not pass, preventing the legalization of pot in the state.

States that do allow medical marijuana are listed below, and are shown in beige on the map.

As always it is important to remember that marijuana remains illegal federally, and if you use medical marijuana in your state, it is best to consult an attorney who is familiar with the most up to date legal standings. Below you can find the current states that allow medical use of cannabis and what the current law permits.

  • Alaska – Nov 3, 1998.

    Initiative 8 passed with 58% of the vote and took effect Mar 4, 1999.

    Allows 1 oz usable; 6 plants (3 mature, 3 immature)

    Approved for: Cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity, and nausea.

  • Arizona – Nov 2, 2010.

    Proposition 203 passed, just barely, with 50.15% of the vote.

    Allows 2.5 oz usable; 0-12 plants

    Approved for: Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms.

  • California – Nov 5, 1996.

    Proposition 215 was the first in the country to allow medical marijuana and took effect Nov 6, 1996. SB1449 was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in October and took effect Jan 1, 2011 decriminalizing possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana. Proposition 19 failed to pass, and would have legalized marijuana for personal use.

    The current law allows: 8 oz usable; 18 plants (6 mature, 12 immature).

    Approved for: AIDS, anorexia, arthritis, cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, migraine, persistent muscle spasms, including spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, including seizures associated with epilepsy, severe nausea; Other chronic or persistent medical symptoms.

  • Colorado – Nov 7, 2000.

    Ballot Amendment 20 garnered 54% support, and took effect Jun 1, 2001.

    Allows 2 oz usable; 6 plants (3 mature, 3 immature).

    Approved for: Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS positive, cachexia; severe pain; severe nausea; seizures, or persistent muscle spasms.

  • Hawaii – Jun 14, 2000.

    Senate Bill 862 passed the House 32-18, and more narrowly in the Senate 13-12. It took effect Dec 28, 2000.

    Allows 3 oz usable; 7 plants (3 mature, 4 immature).

    Approved for: Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, conditions producing cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms (multiple sclerosis & Crohn’s disease.)

  • Maine – Nov 2, 1999.

    Ballot Question 2 legalized medical marijuana, taking effect Dec 22, 1999.

    Allows 2.5 oz usable; 6 plants.

    Approved for: cancer, glaucoma, HIV, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s, nail-patella syndrome, chronic intractable pain, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe nausea, seizures (epilepsy), severe and persistent muscle spasms, and multiple sclerosis.

  • Maryland – 2003.

    While technically illegal, the Medical Marijuana Affirmative Defense Law has been in place since 2003. Medical marijuana is considered a mitigating factor in state trials, and the maximum penalty for medical use is a $100 fine.

  • Michigan – Nov 4, 2008.

    Proposal 1 passed with 63% of the vote and took effect Dec 1, 2008.

    Allows 2.5 oz usable; 12 plants.

    Approved for: “debilitating medical conditions” – cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, nail patella, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, epilepsy, muscle spasms, and multiple sclerosis.

  • Montana – Nov 2, 2004.

    Initiative 148 legalized medical marijuana with 65% approval and took effect that day.

    Allows for 1 oz useable and 6 plants.

    Approved for: Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, conditions which produce cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, (multiple sclerosis or Chrohn’s disease)

  • Nevada – Nov 7, 2000.

    Ballot Question 9/Assembly Bill 453 legalizing medical marijuana passed with 65% of the vote, and took effect Oct 1, 2001.

    Allows 1 oz usable; 7 plants (3 mature, 4 immature).

    Approved for: AIDS; cancer; glaucoma; and any medical condition or treatment to a medical condition that produces cachexia, persistent muscle spasms or seizures, severe nausea or pain

  • New Jersey – Jan 18, 2010.

    The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act took effect Oct 1, 2010.

    Allows 2 oz usable.

    Approved for: Seizures, intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, glaucoma; severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, cachexia, or wasting syndrome resulting from HIV/AIDS or cancer; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer, muscular dystrophy, or inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease. Maybe prescribed for any condition which leaves the patient less than one year to live.

  • New Mexico – Apr 2, 2007.

    Senate Bill 523 took effect on Jul 1, 2007.

    Allows 6 oz usable; 16 plants (4 mature, 12 immature).

    Approved for: severe chronic pain, painful peripheral neuropathy, intractable nausea/vomiting, severe anorexia/cachexia, hepatitis C infection, Crohn’s disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with intractable spasticity, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, and hospice patients.

  • Oregon – Nov 3, 1998.

    Measure 67 legalized medical marijuana and passed with 55% of the vote and took effect Dec 3, 1998. Measure 74 would have expanded the scope of the existing laws, but failed to pass.

    Current law allows: 24 oz usable; 24 plants (6 mature, 18 immature).

    Approved for: cancer, glaucoma, positive status for HIV/AIDS. Any medical condition or treatment for a medical condition that produces cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures (epilepsy), or persistent muscle spasms (multiple sclerosis)

  • Rhode Island – Jan 3, 2006.

    The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act passed the state House (52-10) and Senate (33-1) with a super majority, enough to override the governor’s veto. Another super majority vote (House 51-12, Senate 28-5) gave the amendment permanent status as state law Jul 21, 2007.

    Allows 2.5 oz usable; 12 plants.

    Approved for: cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, any ailment that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome, chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures (epilepsy), or severe and persistent muscle spasms

  • Vermont – May 26, 2004.

    Senate Bill 76 (passed 22-7) and House Bill 645 (passed 82-59) went into effect Jul 1, 2004.

    Allows 2 oz usable; 9 plants (2 mature, 7 immature).

    Approved for: Cancer, AIDS, HIV, multiple sclerosis, or a disease, medical condition, or its treatment that is chronic, debilitating and produces severe, persistent.

  • Washington – Nov 3, 1998.

    Measure 692 legalized medical marijuana passed with 59% of the vote and took effect immediately.

    Allows 24 oz usable; 15 plants.

    Approved for: Cachexia, cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, glaucoma, intractable pain, and multiple sclerosis.

  • Washington, DC – 1998.

    Medical marijuana was first passed in the federal district in 1998 with a record high vote of a approval coming in at 69%, however funding for the program was blocked by an act of Congress. A new measure was passed in May, 2010 and with the Democratically controlled Congress failing to intervene within 30 days, plans for 8 approved dispensaries are now in progress.

    Allows for 2 oz useable, other forms TBD.

    Approved for: HIV, AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, cancer, other chronic conditions, or medical conditions for which the use of medical marijuana is beneficial (chemotherapy)

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