Last updated: May 15, 2017

 

Nearly 70% of Americans live in states that have reformed their marijuana laws by allowing medical marijuana, imposing a fine — not possible jail time — on marijuana possession, or making marijuana legally available and regulated for adults’ use.

With polls showing that 60% 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. Bills have been filed in 34 states to rethink failed marijuana policies, and West Virginia became the 29th state with a comprehensive medical cannabis law on April 19, 2017, when Gov. Jim Justice signed S.B. 386 into law.

For the first time in history, a state’s legislature — Vermont’s — has sent a governor a bill to make marijuana possession and cultivation legal for adults’ use. It is not clear yet whether Gov. Phil Scott (R) will allow the bill to become law. Meanwhile, New Hampshire appears poised to become the final state in New England to decriminalize marijuana. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) has said he will sign the bill, which has passed both chambers in different forms and awaits a concurrence vote in the House.

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


Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Legislation

States with bills to legalize and regulate marijuana: 22 + D.C.

  • Arizona (H 2003)
  • Connecticut (S.B. 11, H.B. 5194, H.B. 5539, H.B. 6518)
  • Delaware (HB 110)
  • Georgia (SB 295, did not advance before end of session)
  • Hawaii (HB 449, HB 1464, HB 205, S 548)
  • Illinois (HB 2353, SB 316)
  • Kansas (SB 178)
  • Kentucky (S 76, did not advance before end of session)
  • Maryland (SB 0927, SB 0928, HB 1185, HB 1186, did not receive votes before the legislature adjourned)
  • Minnesota (HF 926, HF 927, SF 1320)
  • Mississippi (S.B. 2379, H.B. 1443, H.B. 1444, these bills died in committee)
  • Missouri (HJR 21, constitutional amendment)
  • New Hampshire (HB 656 has been retained in committee; SB 233, which would have made possession and cultivation legal and set up a study committee on regulating production/sales, was killed 19-4)
  • New Jersey (A 2068)
  • New Mexico (H.B. 89, S.B. 278, these bills died in committee; SJR 19, died with adjournment)
  • New York (S 3040, A 3506)
  • Pennsylvania (S.B. 213)
  • Rhode Island (H 5555, S 420)
  • Texas (HJR 64 and SJR 18, constitutional amendments, neither were considered by committee before deadlines passed)
  • Vermont (H. 490; H. 167 was amended to legalize and regulate marijuana in the Senate and approved in 21-9 vote; also H. 170, which would make it legal for adults to grow and possess marijuana but does not set up a regulatory system, passed the House in a 75-71 vote; S. 22, which was amended by the Senate to include the language of H. 170 plus a study commission to consider a regulatory system, passed the Senate and House and will go to the governor’s desk)
  • West Virginia (H. 3035, did not advance before end of session)
  • Wyoming (HJR 11, constitutional amendment, failed)
  • Washington, D.C. (B22-0030, being blocked from consideration by Congress)

(Eight states have already passed laws to regulate marijuana like alcohol.)


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: 13

  • Alabama (H 269)
  • Arizona (H 2002, pre-filed)
  • Florida (HB 1443, SB 1662)
  • Hawaii (SB 16, SB 169, HB 107, HB 1358, HB 1463, these bills all died in committee)
  • Iowa (SF 266, this bill died in committee)
  • New Hampshire (H 640, which the House approved in a 318-36 vote on March 8, 2017)
  • New Jersey (A 2050, A 2614 — makes marijuana legal but does not impose regulation, subject to voter approval)
  • New Mexico (SB 258, which passed the Senate in a 33-9 vote, but died in the House)
  • South Carolina (H 3162)
  • Tennessee (HB 831, SB 1116)
  • Texas (HB 81 was approved by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on April 10 and heads to the Calendars Committee; SB 170 was never scheduled for a hearing and did not advance)
  • Virginia (SB 908, pre-filed, HB 1906, SB 1269)
  • Wyoming (H 157, failed in committee)

(Twenty-one 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: 16

  • Indiana (S 255, H 1316, H 1303)
  • Iowa (HF 198, HF 199, HSB 132, these bills did not survive the legislative session)
  • Kansas (SB 187 and HB 2348 died in committee; SB 155 no longer an effective medical bill)
  • Kentucky (S 57, did not advance before the end of session)
  • Mississippi (H.B. 179, died in committee)
  • Missouri (S 56, S 153)
  • Nebraska (LB622)
  • North Carolina (H 185, S 579, S 648)
  • Oklahoma (HB 1877)
  • South Carolina (S 212, H 3128, H 3521)
  • Tennessee (HB 830, SB 1119)
  • Texas (SB 269, HB 2107, SJR 18— a constitutional amendment, HJR 111 — a constitutional amendment; HB 2107 passed the House Public Health Committee but was not scheduled for a floor vote before a deadline)
  • Utah (SB 211)
  • Virginia (H 2135, died in committee)
  • West Virginia (SB 386 passed the Legislature — 28-6 and 76-24 — in early April and was signed into law on April 19)
  • Wisconsin (S 38, SJR 10)

(Twenty-nine states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam already have effective medical marijuana laws.)


Don’t see your state?

If no lawmakers have taken the lead in your state, 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 marijuana.