Medical Marijuana – State by State Confusion

Medical Marijuana - State by State Confusion

By Ed Coghlan

Not all the states are the same.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has issued Medical Marijuana Access in the US: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws.

It shows the vast array of differing state medical cannabis programs from the patient point of view. According to the press release, it will provide state lawmakers with timely tools they need to improve their medical cannabis programs to meet the needs of the patients.

The Harris Poll reports 81% of Americans favor the legalization of medical marijuana.  Nineteen states introduced legislation to legalize medical marijuana during the year. In addition, many of the twenty three states with current medical marijuana laws passed legislation to expand or improve their programs in 2015, including New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, California, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, Illinois, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. Other states, like Nevada and Vermont, expanded and improved their programs through new regulations.

“Too often, patients are denied life-saving treatments solely because they are using medical cannabis,” said California Assemblymember Marc Levine, champion of the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act (AB 258).

The report uses a point system to grade each medical marijuana law on: 1) patients’ rights and protection from discrimination, 2) access to medicine, 3) ease of navigation, 4) functionality, and 5) product safety protocols. The report  found that while many states have important elements helpful to patients, no state has yet established an ideal, comprehensive program.

Michael McGuffin,  President of AHPA, notes, “The report highlights how best practice guidance such as the Cannabis Committee’s Recommendations to Regulators documents can assist states in establishing regulations that ensure the quality and safety of cannabis products.”

ASA is asking their members to share the report with their state representatives. “With the increased interest in medical cannabis access around the country, it is imperative that we ensure that new and existing programs adopt regulations and standards that provide patients with safe medicine while protecting their rights,” said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. “This report will help policymakers create and maintain programs that put the patients first.”

How did your state do?

Letter-grades for all 23 state laws and Washington, D.C.: Alaska (D-), Arizona (B-), California (B+), Colorado (B), Connecticut (C+), Delaware (C), Hawaii (B), Illinois (B+), Maine (B-), Maryland (B), Massachusetts (B), Michigan (D+), Minnesota (C), Montana (D-), Nevada (B), New Hampshire (C), New Jersey (C), New Mexico (B+), New York (C), Oregon (B), Rhode Island (C-), Vermont (D+), Washington (B+), and the District of Columbia (C).

See your state in the list—tell us what you think?

If your state is not there—why do you think it hasn’t yet approved medical marijuana?

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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The report is obviously flawed if they are giving Washington State a B+

Brian Kelly

When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let’s have the compassion to allow them to have it.

Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

Support Medical Marijuana Now!

“[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana,” editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

“[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.” — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

“[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate.” — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

“Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

“The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

“[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

“When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

Brian Kelly

Nobody can deny the Medical effectiveness of Medical Marijuana. Below is a small sampling of the Professional Medical Organizations Worldwide that attest to Medical Marijuana’s effectiveness and Support Legal Access to and Use of Medical Marijuana. Along with over twenty U.S states that have already legalized medical marijuana. Are they ALL wrong? International and National Organizations AIDS Action Council AIDS Treatment News American Academy of Family Physicians American Medical Student Association American Nurses Association American Preventive Medical Association American Public Health Association American Society of Addiction Medicine Arthritis Research Campaign (United Kingdom) Australian Medical Association (New South Wales) Limited Australian National Task Force on Cannabis Belgian Ministry of Health British House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology British House of Lords Select Committee On Science and Technology (Second Report) British Medical Association Canadian AIDS Society Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs Dr. Dean Edell (surgeon and nationally syndicated radio host) French Ministry of Health Health Canada Kaiser Permanente Lymphoma Foundation of America The Montel Williams MS Foundation Multiple Sclerosis Society (Canada) The Multiple Sclerosis Society (United Kingdom) National Academy of Sciences Institute Of Medicine (IOM) National Association for Public Health Policy National Nurses Society on Addictions Netherlands Ministry of Health New England Journal of Medicine New South Wales (Australia) Parliamentary Working Party on the Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes Dr. Andrew Weil (nationally recognized professor of internal medicine and founder of the National Integrative Medicine Council) State and Local Organizations Alaska Nurses Association Being Alive: People With HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA) California Academy of Family Physicians California Nurses Association California Pharmacists Association Colorado Nurses Association Connecticut Nurses Association Florida Governor’s Red Ribbon Panel on AIDS Florida Medical Association Hawaii Nurses Association Illinois Nurses Association Life Extension Foundation Medical Society of the State of New York Mississippi Nurses Association New Jersey State Nurses Association New Mexico Medical Society New Mexico Nurses Association New York County Medical Society New York State Nurses Association North Carolina Nurses Association Rhode Island Medical Society Rhode Island State Nurses Association San Francisco Mayor’s Summit on AIDS and HIV San Francisco Medical Society Vermont Medical Marijuana Study Committee Virginia Nurses Association Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC) Wisconsin Nurses Association Additional AIDS Organizations The following organizations are signatories to a February 17, 1999 letter to the US Department of Health petitioning the federal government to “make marijuana legally available … to people living with AIDS.” AIDS Action Council AIDS Foundation of Chicago AIDS National Interfaith Network (Washington, DC) AIDS Project Arizona AIDS Project Los Angeles Being Alive: People with HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA) Boulder County AIDS Project (Boulder, CO) Colorado AIDS Project Center for AIDS Services (Oakland, CA) Health Force: Women and Men Against AIDS (New York, NY) Latino Commission on AIDS Mobilization Against AIDS (San Francisco, CA) Mothers Voices to End AIDS (New York, NY) National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Association National Native American AIDS Prevention Center Northwest AIDS Foundation People of Color Against AIDS Network (Seattle, WA)… Read more »

Brian Kelly

There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want our politicians to provide us safe, legal access to Medical Marijuana Nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.

The prohibitionist view on medical marijuana is the viewpoint of a minority of Americans.. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.

Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.

Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The majority of Americans have seen through the sham of medical marijuana prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.

With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a medical marijuana prohibitionist to do?

Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Medical Marijuana Legalization Efforts!

Brian Kelly

Fear of Medical Marijuana Legalization is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever.

So please, all prohibitionists, we beg you, give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Medical Marijuana a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

The prohibition of marijuana has not decreased the supply nor the demand for medical marijuana at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing sick patients and senior citizens in pain for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than daily handfuls of deadly, toxic, man-made, highly addictive, narcotic pain pills and other pharmaceuticals.

If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize marijuana when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Marijuana Laws.

Brian Kelly

Politicians who continue to demonize Medical Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, - Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days Are In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

The People have spoken! Get on-board with Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

Legalize Medical Marijuana Nationwide!


I’ve been in severe pain for years from arthritis tried the topical cream and was amazed at the results. Also have a problem with sleep and the tincture has also helped with that. I’m also impressed with what it’s doing for children with seizures.



Have you ever seen an alcoholic? What about an alcoholic without alcohol? What about prescription opiates and mind-altering mood stabilizers and…. Etc the list can go on.

Addiction to marijuana is one of the least severe addictions a person can have. If they are becoming maniacs without marijuana, that points at an underlying issue with the person, not the marijuana.

When used properly and responsibly, like any substance (even sugar), it can be safe and beneficial. Myself and many others use marijuana to help heal when these other drugs heal and destroy.

It’s not the marijuana that’s sickening, but your ignorance.

Kr: Marijuana has no addictive qualities in it. I have no idea what you’re talking about.



Sickening. Ive witnessed people hooked on this crap and they get withdrawal and act like maniacs.