Sep 122011
 September 12, 2011

The Future Green States of America

A rundown of states with medical cannabis bills pending

By David Burton

The medical cannabis revolution continues to roll and puff its way across America, with 16 states and the District of Columbia now with some form of marijuana program on their books. The latest star on the flag to go green was Delaware, which just this summer opened its doors to registered “compassion centers” providing cannabis to qualified patients.

Here’s a quick look at six other states with pending legislation that, if turned into law, would bring them into the union of the Compassionate States of America:

 

Illinois:

The Land of Lincoln remains poised to legalize the medical use of marijuana, despite the recent failure of HB 30–“The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act”–in the state’s House of Representatives. The vote was so close that it was placed on “postponed consideration” status, meaning it can be called up for a revote in the future. If approved, HB 30 would allow qualified patients to obtain their medicine from state-regulated dispensaries. A mixed bag of a measure, it would also prohibit patients from driving 12 hours after consuming cannabis, and make it illegal for dispensaries to make campaign contributions.

 

Massachusetts:

Residents of the land of baked beans have no less than three pieces of cannabis-friendly legislation and a ballot measure drive to support. House Bill 625 and Senate Bill 1165, introduced days apart in January, would both provide legal cover for patients and their caregivers engaging in the medical use of marijuana. A third bill, HB 1371, would tax and regulate the cannabis market in the state. Concerned that all these measures might fail in the state’s unpredictable legislature, the nonprofit group Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance has officially started the process of collecting signatures for a November 2012 vote on legalizing medical cannabis.

 

New Hampshire:

Holding true to the state motto, “Live Free or Die,” New Hampshire legislators continue to fight for the passage of HB 442. The measure, which passed the state’s House in March with overwhelming support (221-96) before being unceremoniously tabled by the Senate, would set up a full-fledged medical marijuana program for patients with serious illnesses or “severe pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication.” Proponents have labored since 2009 to get the bill passed–an earlier version passed the legislature, but was then vetoed by Gov. John Lynch. Supporters vow to keep the pressure on the Senate to allow the current bill to come to a vote.

 

New York:

Empire State patients will have to wait a while longer for a compassionate-use program, after legislators failed to vote on SB 2774 and its Assembly counterpart, A. 7347, before recessing for the summer. But hope is not lost: SB 709, a bill that would amend the state constitution to give New Yorkers the right to enact laws through the initiative process, is wending its way through the legislatures with bipartisan support. If it passes, compassionate use might finally become reality for New Yorkers, some 71 percent registered support for medical cannabis in a recent poll.

 

Ohio:

Medical cannabis proponents have long looked to the Ohio state lawmakers to bring about a genuine compassionate-use program, only to see their efforts come to nothing again and again. Now, as a bill (HB 214) that would legalize doctor-prescribed cannabis works its way toward an uncertain fate in the state legislature, voters have decided to take matters into their own hands. Two ballot initiatives–the Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment (OATA) and the Ohio Cannabis Act of 2012 (OMCA)–have been launched in the Buckeye State, both of which would create a system allowing for the distribution and regulation of medical cannabis in the state.

 

Pennsylvania:

Keystone legislators introduced Senate Bill 1003–a measure that would, if passed, remove legal penalties for medical cannabis in Pennsylvania. Virtually identical to HB 1393, which died a lonely death in the legislature in 2010, SB 1003 would permit, tax and regulate cannabis for medicinal use. An interesting note about SB 1003: It’s called “The Gov. Raymond P. Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.” Shafer, a Republican who died in 2006, was appointed by President Nixon to chair a committee that was supposed to rubberstamp the government’s claim of cannabis being a dangerous drug. Instead, Shafer and fellow committee members recommended that weed be decriminalized at the federal level.

Courtesy of Culture Magazine

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • http://aguy.com aguy

    What about CT there is a huge push for it there and it almost passed this year

  • http://bit.ly/twbcannacenters Monterey Bud

    Come on New York! AS the one state that held firm against the fed’s during prohibition I would love to see them hop into this national debate
    http://bit.ly/noqh78

  • dopey

    Damn, West Virginia sucks dick!!!

  • http://hotty.com Hemp4oil

    Indiana always last for everything retards.

  • AlPal

    You’re missing a big one. Idaho will be next over all these listed. Other than Wyoming, it’s surrounded by medical marijuana states and even a country (Canada). And because of Oregon’s law permitting out of state residents to have an MMJ ID for travel in the state, alot of Idahoans are already buying cannabis legally, but illegally possessing by bringing it home.

  • dawn

    i no longer need antidepressents. pain killers.mussele relaxers, or drink alcohol. thanks to the cure all marijuana. it’snot legal here yet, but it is the best. come on ohio, try it, you’ll like it. id say if a lot more people would relax around he world it would be a better place. what do you think the indians were smoking in the peace pipe with the pilgrams? yea,,,, then they all got hungrey and called it thanks giving. : )

  • nick

    wisconsin needs medical

  • John

    North Carolina. They already have made it decriminalized. This makes punishments for distibutors much greater then the user. Why not just legalize it, then controll it, distribute out of dispenseries, MAKE MONEY, put more cash-flow into the economy. And stop spending money to keep some users in jail? America spends billions every year to keep inmates locked up and some shouldn’t even be in prison.

  • Mike m

    Help im in need of a doctor in fl speak loud and proud keep the movement strong.

  • Ron

    My wife has fluctuating eye pressure also know as glaucoma she is young and in slot of pain with it the only thing they offer is expensive drops to help control the pressure when she gets a cold or sinus problems she can’t use allergy medications because it will cause the eye pressure to get worse she also has sleeping problems she can’t take anything for she almost died after her birth of her daughter when she got a bad staph infection after a c section that she battled for a year that left her with on and off cronic bone pain she that they said is arthritis and she refuses to take pain killers because of the side effects on health as well ad addiction . I hate seeing her in pain I
    love this woman she us amazing she has so much love for life and the world always willing
    to help anyone no matter who they are. Please help us to allow medical marijuana to be an
    option in the state of Oklahoma I want her to
    be able to see the sunset when we become old
    and see her great grand children and we really font want to move but at some point if their is no change we may not have a choice I won’t watch her suffer. Thank you and God Bless you for reading this. Tax payer and voter of Oklshoma

  • Ealfan

    I live in Pennsylvania, I am 28 yers old, and I’ve nearly died 3 times.  I have a rare chronic neurological disease that limits mobility, cognitive functionality and basically has altered every day for the rest of my life.  I was an accomplished five star chef, I graduated from the most prestigious Culinary Arts program in the nation.  I used to work 80 hours a week with a smile on my face and passion in my heart.  I am not even allowed near a stove because the risk of spontaneous injury is too high.  I have a beautiful duaghter who is loved by her mother and father, we are well educated and respected members of the community.  My family has to watch me deteriorate and bounce back with treatments that are still labeled as “experimental”, though they have taken me from a quadrapelegic to someone that can hobble around on good days.  My lungs can work on their own now, and my heart is, for now, stable.  Marijuana was given to me by a fellow patient, and I was desperate for relief and narcotics have zero effect.  I was able to feel better just enough that I ate a good meal, laughed for the first time in a long time and the incredinle pain I had endured lessened and allowed me the first three hour sleep I had had in over six months.  This helps people like me, and to get me to stabalize I have to suffer incredibly high doses of Ketamine.  I can not imagine ever wishing those treatments on anyone.  they are terrfifying for me and my better half, who has stayed by my side for ten years.  He is desperate to get me the compassionate care that would give me any relief. All I am asking for is help.  This country needs to awaken to the reality that people like me exist and the means to give us a respite from our symptoms is just one signature away.  I don’t know if I will live to watch my daughter grow into a woman, but there are advances everyday in what they can do for me.  For now, I would like to be able to watch her, laugh with her, and enjoy what time I may have left.  This must pass to give people like me hope.  If it isn’t then I don’t know how the powers that be can look themselves in the eyes in the mirror ever again.  We are real people in real need…just do what is right and just, that is all any of us can do.

  • Dhutt1

    I live in Bayside N.Y.C. and was in a Pane  Mgt Program at Mount Sinai for over 15 years wear a doctor told me to try smoking to help the large amount narcotic medication witch helped really well. Now a new Doctor took his place and gave me the Boot. Now the pane is getting worse by the day and i can’t get another program to help me even though i stopped smoking. Now i need an aid to care for me daly. I am 54 years old and living like this just is not worth it.  AT THE END OF MY ROPE!!!

  • Tommybardo

    Like everyone else whats the hold up? How is that fair Cal. got medical use and now recreational use. Then Col. got medical use. Are we Pa. not a state in this so called united state. What happaned to we are all equal. How is it fair only a couple of states get the privilage of smoking medical maryjane.To me thats like don’t pick on the fat kids”no affence” just saying its not fair at all. So when it comes time to vote someone please let me know cause i know alot of people that are down to vote for the good.

    • tfroste

      Its called state’s rights and be happy we have them. Without it we may be stuck in prohibition forever. The positionday of theu feds will change slowly as the attitudes of individual states change. That is why it is important to vote for more than just the president because he will not make the changes you want to see.

    • dani

      Prop19 failed so California still has penalties for recreational marijuana use contrary to popular belief in fact Marijuana is illeagal acording to federal law so theres no state in America where recreational marijuana use is legal…But i was born in Pennsylvania and moved to South Carolina in highschool and I totally agree with you!