Last updated: May 22, 2018

 

With polls showing that 64% of Americans support making marijuana use legal and around 90% support for allowing medical marijuana, lawmakers are increasingly realizing the public supports marijuana policy reforms.

In January 2018, Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana legislatively, and the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a similar bill. Vermont’s new law will allow adults to grow and possess a limited amount of marijuana beginning on July 1, 2018, while a task force continues to explore regulating and taxing sales. Meanwhile, New Jersey’s new incoming governor has made legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana a goal of his administration, and the Senate of the Northern Mariana Islands (a U.S. territory) has advanced a bill to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults and patients.

Several other states considered allowing medical marijuana or replacing possible jail time with fines for marijuana possession.

In a handful of states, voters themselves will get to decide marijuana policy. On June 26, Oklahoma voters will consider a medical marijuana ballot initiative. In November, voters in Michigan will consider an initiative legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use. Meanwhile, signatures have been submitted for November medical marijuana ballot measures in Utah and Missouri. In the case of  Missouri, signatures have been submitted for three separate measures — two constitutional and one statutory.

The below lists 2018 state bills to adopt new laws to legalize marijuana for adults, to adopt comprehensive medical marijuana laws, or to replace possible jail time with fines for marijuana possession.

Click on the state names to learn more about efforts in your state and to take action in support of marijuana policy reform.


Marijuana Legalization Legislation

States with bills to legalize — and in most cases regulate — marijuana for adults: 22, plus the Northern Mariana Islands

  • Arizona (HCR 2037, would have put the question before voters; died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Connecticut (HB 5111, HB 5112, HB 5394, HB 5458, SB 487; HB 5458 was voted down in the General Law Committee; the Joint Committee on Appropriations voted to advance HB 5394 on April 5; the bills died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Delaware (HB 110, passed committee in 2017)
  • Georgia (SB 295, SB 344, SR 475, SR 614, the latter two would have put the question before voters as a constitutional amendment; the bills died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Hawaii (HB 449, HB 1464, HB 205, S 548; the bills died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Illinois (HB 2353, SB 316)
  • Kansas (SB 178, died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Kentucky (SB 80, died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Louisiana (HB 274, would remove penalties for cannabis, effective only if the legislature regulates and taxes cannabis; died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Maryland (SB 1039 and HB 1264, would have  put the question before voters as a constitutional amendment; the bills died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Minnesota (HF 926, HF 927, HF 2714, HF 4541, SF 1320; the bills died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Mississippi  (HB 474, died in committee)
  • Missouri (HB 1731, HB 1448; the bills died when the legislature adjourned)
  • New Hampshire (HB 656 passed the full House on January 9 in a 207-139 vote, but it was sent back to a second committee, which recommended interim study; the House approved the recommendation in a second vote, effectively killing the bill)
  • New Jersey (S 830, A 1348, A 3819)
  • New Mexico (SJR 4, HB 312; the bills died when the legislature adjourned)
  • New York (S 3040B, A 3506b)
  • Pennsylvania (SB 213)
  • Rhode Island (S2895)
  • Vermont (H. 511, H.490; Gov. Phil Scott signed H. 511 into law on January 22. It passed the House in a 81-63 vote on January 4, 2018 and passed the Senate in a voice vote on January 10. The new law allows adults to grow and possess limited amounts of  marijuana beginning on July 1, 2018. H. 490 would regulate and tax marijuana.)
  • West Virginia (HB 3035, died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Wisconsin (AB482)
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (SB 20-62, passed the Senate and was referred to the House Judicial and Government Operations Committee on May 22)

Meanwhile, eight states have already passed laws to regulate marijuana like alcohol — all by ballot initiative. In Michigan, a ballot question to legalize and regulate marijuana has qualified for the November ballot.


Bills to Remove Possible Jail Time — Often Imposing a Fine — for Simple Possession (“Decriminalization”) 

States with bills to stop jailing those who possess small amounts of marijuana: 12

  • Alabama (HB 272, died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Arizona (H 2014, died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Florida (HB 1203, died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Hawaii (SB 16, SB 169, HB 107, HB 1358, HB 1463; the bills died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Iowa (SF 266, died — did not advance before a legislative deadline)
  • Louisiana (HB 611, died when the legislature adjourned)
  • New Jersey (S472)
  • New Mexico (SB 141, died when the legislature adjourned)
  • South Carolina (H 3162, did not advance before a legislative deadline)
  • Tennessee (HB 831, SB 1116; the bills died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Virginia (SB 954, SB 111, HB 1063 — was defeated in a 7-1 subcommittee vote; all bills are dead — the legislature has adjourned)
  • Wisconsin (AB409, SB318)

Twenty-two states and Washington, D.C. have already decriminalized or legalized marijuana possession.


Effective Medical Marijuana Bills

States with bills to create comprehensive medical cannabis programs: 14

  • Georgia (HR36, would have put the question before voters as a constitutional amendment; it died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Indiana (S 307, HB 1106;  died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Iowa (HF 198, HF 199, HSB 132, died — did not advance before a legislative deadline)
  • Kansas (SB 187, HB 2348; died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Kentucky (HB 166, SB 118, SB 272, died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Mississippi (HB 1204, SB 2261, SB 2821, died in committee)
  • Missouri (HB1554, HB2321, HJR81; HB 1554, a very limited bill, passed the House 122-44 but did not receive a Senate floor vote; the legislature’s regular session has adjourned; there are also three ballot initiative efforts)
  • Nebraska (LB622, passed Judiciary Committee in 2017; Legislative Resolution 293CA — constitutional amendment that would be referred to voters; both bills died when the legislature adjourned in 2018)
  • North Carolina (H185, S579, S648)  
  • Oklahoma (HB 1877, died when the legislature adjourned)
  • South Carolina (S 212, H 3128, H 3521 — H 3521 was voted out of subcommittee 3-0 in 2017 and S 212 was voted out of subcommittee 2-3 on March 21, 2018, but neither bill received a floor vote before a legislative deadline)
  • Tennessee (HB 830, SB 1119, died when the legislature adjourned)
  • Virginia (HB 974, HB 1064, died in committee)
  • Wisconsin (AB 75, SB 38, AB482; the latter also allows adult use; the bills did not advance before a legislative deadline)

In addition, Oklahoma voters will decide the fate of a medical marijuana ballot measure in June, and signatures have been submitted for November ballot measures in Utah and Missouri. In Missouri, signatures have been submitted for three separate measures — two constitutional and one statutory. Twenty-nine states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam already have effective medical marijuana laws.


Don’t see your state?

If you live in a state that still prohibits marijuana and no lawmakers have taken the lead to change that, send your state legislators a note to ask them to stand up for humane and sensible marijuana policies. Take a few moments to email them in support of medical marijuana, decriminalization, or legalizing and regulating marijuanaAnd wherever you live, please ask your member of Congress and U.S. senators to support legislation to protect individuals who are complying with state medical marijuana and legalization laws.