For Legislators

Learn more about the legal status of medical cannabis

View the legislation status of Cannabinoid legalization in your state:    NY    MD

The legalization of cannabinoid medicine has already had an enormously positive effect on many states within the US.
See how improved cannabis legislation could benefit your state.
In many states, the legalization of cannabinoid medicine can lessen the need for pharmaceutical products such as opiates and other potentially addictive treatment methods.

Read about the medical benefits of cannabinoid legalization

“New evidence indicates that the proliferation of medical marijuana laws and dispensaries around the United States is strongly associated with fewer people dying from overdoses involving heroin and pharmaceutical opioids. The most likely reason is that people are finding marijuana more helpful than opioids in managing different types of pain.”
-Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of Drug Policy Alliance

New research has found a possible correlation between the legalization of medical marijuana and lower rates of death by prescription drug overdose. The annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose could be down as much by as much as 25 percent in states where medical marijuana is legal, compared with states where medical marijuana remains illegal.


These findings would support the notion that wider medical marijuana availability could contribute to a large-scale reduction in the growing number of deaths attributed to prescription painkillers. This would be an especially beneficial effect for states whose residents are struggling with opioid dependencies.


Source: State Medical Marijuana Laws Linked to Lower Prescription Overdose Deaths, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Source: Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, The Journal of the American Medical Association

The legalization of medical cannabinoids has already proven to have enormous economic advantages in several states. Benefits include reduced government spending as well as increased tax revenue.

View economic benefits of medical cannabinoid legalization

“This report concludes that marijuana legalization would reduce government expenditure by $7.7 billion annually. Marijuana legalization would also generate tax revenue of $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like all other goods and $6.2 billion annually if marijuana were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco.”
-Jeffrey A. Miron, Harvard University Economics Professor

In Colorado, the medical cannabis industry has been making record profits, leading to massive economic benefits for the state. Public interest in medical cannabis has never been greater, and as a result marijuana sales have skyrocketed. Implementing pro-medical cannabis legislation could help your state find a new revenue source which could be used to fund new state programs.


Excise taxes on marijuana sales have been used to fund education programs, and of course the presence of new dispensaries and cannabis organizations means more jobs for citizens of the state. In 2014 and 2015, Colorado made almost $800 million in medical marijuana sales alone, showing that medical cannabis has the potential to be an enormously valuable product in terms of sales.


Source: Colorado marijuana sales skyrocket to more than $996 million in 2015,

Cannabinoid legalization can lead to great improvements in state infrastructure, as well as the fortification of social programs. Medical cannabis can greatly benefit even non-patients within a state.

See how your state can benefit from medical cannabis legislation

“Not only do I think carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to ideology on this issue, but I’m also on record as saying that the more we treat some of these issues related to drug abuse from a public health model and not just from an incarceration model, the better off we’re going to be.”
-Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States
State advantages of medical cannabis legalization

College funding

A new set of college scholarship funds have been created using money raised from marijuana taxes. The funds draw from a pool of about $3.5 million that was available thanks to the legalization of cannabis in Colorado.

Job creation

Medical cannabis legalization has been shown to result in the creation of many new jobs for a state. Analysts have estimated that since its legalization in Colorado, up to 200,000 new jobs have appeared in that state.

Decreased crime

The decriminalization of cannabis has coincided with decreased crime rates in certain states. In addition to higher public safety, this also means less state spending on jails due to lower incarceration rates.

Youth aid

In Colorado, over $8 million from taxed marijuana sales went to youth education, mental health, and community-based development programs. Tax revenue from medical cannabis sales can greatly benefit aid programs for state citizens.

The legalization of cannabis in many states has resulted in the creation and expansion of several innovative social programs. The additional revenue brought in by marijuana sales allows for greater flexibility when it comes to planning state budgets, resulting in better opportunities for both the politicians and residents of a state. Taxes earned from cannabis sales represent a new state income source that can be used for anything from education scholarships to job creation.


Source: Pot-funded Scholarships Available, The Pueblo Chieftain

Source: Job Growth In The Cannabis Industry Continues, 200,000 Positions Expected, The Daily Caller

Source: Marijuana Legalization in Colorado After One Year of Retail Sales and Two Years of Decriminalization, The Drug Policy Alliance

Currently, there are many different levels of cannabinoid legalization across the United States. Different states have vastly different policies which have had a wide range of effects on individual state economies and policies.

View the legislative status of medical cannabis in other states

Different states have different policies and laws when it comes to cannabis possession. View the chart below to learn about the differences between states.

State State Resource Possession Limit / Grow Limit
Alaska “An Act to tax and regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana”  1 oz. / 6 plants (immature), 3 plants (mature)
Arizona Arizona Department of Health Services for Medical Marijuana – FAQs – Cultivation  2.5 oz. (medical) / 12 plants
California Proposition 64  1 oz. / 12 plants (immature), 6 plants (mature)
Colorado Medical Use of Marijuana for Persons Suffering from Debilitating Medical Conditions  1 0z. (recreational), 2 oz. (medical) / 3 plants (immature), 3 plants (mature)
Connecticut Connecticut House Bill 5389  2.5 oz.
District of Columbia The District of Columbia Municipal Regulations for the Medical Marijuana Program  2 oz. / 3 plants (immature), 3 plants (mature)
Delaware The State of Delaware Medical Marijuana Code  6 oz. (medical)
Hawaii The State of Hawaii, Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program  4 oz. / 7 plants
Illinois The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act  2.5 oz.
Maine The Rules Governing the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program  2.5 oz. (medical) / 6 plants (mature)
Maryland Maryland Senate Bill 502  3 oz. (medical) / 4 plants (immature), 3 plants (mature)
Massachusetts Ballot Question 3  10 oz.
Michigan Public Act 512 – Enrolled House Bill 4851  2.5 oz. (medical) / 12 plants
Minnesota SF 2471  30 day supply of liquid cannabis extract
Montana Montana Code Annotated 2015, Section 50-46-319  1 oz. / 12 plants (immature), 4 plants (mature)
Nevada Chapter 453A – Medical Use of Marijuana  1 oz. / 12 plants
New Hampshire The Therapeutic Cannabis Program General Program Information for Qualifying Patients  2 oz.
New Jersey The NJ Compassionate Use Act  2 oz.
New Mexico The New Mexico Department of Health Law Enforcement Information Sheet  8 oz. (medical) / 12 plants (immature), 4 plants (mature)
New York A6357   30 day supply of liquid cannabis extract
Ohio House Bill 523  90 day supply
Oregon The OLCC Recreational Marijuana FAQs  8 oz. / 4 plants
Pennsylvania Senate Bill 3  30 day supply
Rhode Island The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act  2.5 oz. (medical) / 12 plants
Vermont Rules Governing the Vermont Therapeutic Use of Cannabis Program  2 oz. (medical) / 7 plants (immature), 2 plants (mature)
Washington The Cannabis Patient Protection Act  1 oz. / 4 plants

Source: Home Cannabis Cultivation Laws: A State-by-State Guide,

Source: State Medical Marijuana Laws, National Conference of State Legislatures