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
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, Leafly.com
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.
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.
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.
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
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, Leafly.com
Source: State Medical Marijuana Laws, National Conference of State Legislatures