Effective Medical Marijuana Laws
A significant number of states recognize the medical value of marijuana, but do not meet MPP’s definition of a “medical marijuana state.” In most cases, the laws are not operational and are not expected to become operational until federal law changes. In a few cases, the laws may become operational, but they will only include patients who use certain strains of marijuana that are very low in THC.
MPP defines a state as having an effective medical marijuana law if the state has enacted a law that meets the following four criteria:
1) patients are provided protection from criminal convictions for the medical use and possession of marijuana;
2) there is some realistic means of patients obtaining in-state access to marijuana that does not rely on federal cooperation, typically through private, state-regulated dispensaries and/or home cultivation;
3) the law allows for a variety of strains of marijuana, or extracts of marijuana, including both strains with higher and lower amounts of THC; and
4) the law allows patients to either smoke or vaporize marijuana or marijuana oils, or both.
MPP defines a state as having a “decriminalization” law if the state has enacted a law that imposes penalties other than jail time for possession of marijuana, at a minimum, for a first offense.
Some of the states MPP considers “decriminalization” states continue to classify marijuana possession as a crime, but they punish possession with penalties other than jail. In addition, a state may impose jail for subsequent offenses and still be counted as a “decriminalization” state by MPP. MPP’s model decriminalization bill imposes a civil fine for possession, with drug education and community service for minors.
Legalization and Regulation Laws