Evolution of Medical Marijuana laws in US top States

medical marijuana laws us


Oregon state approved the use of medical marijuana in 1998 after it was passed and became active in December the same year.

The laws remove all the state-level criminal punishments on medical marijuana use. Patients can cultivate, possess and use medical marijuana as long as they get proper documentation from a qualified medical physician.

The following are the conditions that are legally treatable by medical marijuana,  cancer, glaucoma, degenerative or pervasive neurological condition; positive status for HIV/AIDS, or treatment for these conditions; A medical condition or treatment for a medical condition that produces cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, including seizures caused by epilepsy, or persistent muscle spasms, including spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Health Division of the Oregon Department of Human Resources.

The law also allowed patients to possess up to 24 ounces of medical marijuana or grow up to six mature plants. The patients should be registered and possess a registration card as these will allow cultivation of up to 18 plants.

The Oregon marijuana has undergone several amendments; these are,  House Bill 3052 effected in 1999, the Senate Bill 1085, which was made in 2006, Senate Bill  281 of June 3013, House Bill 3460 of August 2013 and Senate Bill 153 of 2014.


The state of Maine held a vote to legalize medical marijuana in 2nd Nov. 1999 which was approved by a 61 percent of the voters. The new law became effective on 22nd Dec of the same year. The new law stated that medical marijuana patients would not be prosecuted for being in possession or cultivation of marijuana. The patients were however supposed to possess a written proof from a qualified registered physician.

The new law approved the use of marijuana for treatment of cancer, glaucoma,  HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn’s disease, nail-patella syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), inflammatory bowel disease, intractable pain, a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe nausea, seizures (including epilepsy), or severe and persistent muscle spasms, dyskinetic disorder, Alzheimer’s disease.

The law allowed patients to grow up to six mature plants or possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

The law has undergone numerous amendments which have seen the number of diseases treatable by marijuana increased, the laws have increased the amount of weed that one can possess. These amendments were done in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2009and 2010.


72 percent of Florida voters approved medical marijuana legalization initiative in 2016 and become effective from January 2017.

The law allowed the use of marijuana in the treatment of patients with treatable medical conditions as prescribed by a registered qualified physician. The bill also permitted caregivers to administer medical marijuana to patients who are under their care. The law tasked the department of health with the responsibility to register and regulate the use, production, and distribution of medical marijuana including the issue of licenses to marijuana patients. Medical marijuana treatment centers have been registered under the department of health.

The law approved the treatment of the following diseases; Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s condition, epilepsy, or other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and any other condition specified by the medical practitioner. The possession and cultivation are to be determined by the rulemaking process.

There has been one amendment done on June 9th, 2017 and was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott.


The used of medical marijuana was legalized in the state of Colorado in the year 2000 after the 54 percent of the voters voted for ballot amendment 20. The permitted for the for the cultivation, possession, and use of medical marijuana as long as their patients have been adequately documented. The implementation of the medical marijuana law in the state of Colorado provided for the treatment of the following ailments cancer, HIV/AIDS positive, cachexia, severe pain; severe nausea; glaucoma, seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy; persistent muscle spasms, including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis; PTSD. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Colorado Board of Health.

The law allows for possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana or tenders up to six mature plants. Possession of more than the set limits will call for prosecution.

The law was amended in June 2010, which included the regulations on operation of medical marijuana dispensaries.  The list of all legal marijuana dispensaries can be found on Marijuana Enforcement Division.


The ballot proposal for the legalization of medical marijuana was first approved in 1996 by a majority vote by the public.  The law removed all state-level barriers to the use of marijuana for medical purposes for the documented patients. All patients diagnosed with ailments that according to the doctor can benefit from marijuana treatment can use the drug.

Ailments approved

AIDS, anorexia, arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, persistent muscle spasms, including spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, including seizures associated with epilepsy, severe nausea; a migraine, Other chronic symptoms

The law was amended in 2004 through the Senate Bill 420, introducing restrictions on the amount of marijuana which patients can have their possession. It also mandated caregivers with the responsibility of administering marijuana to their patients. The new law allowed caregivers to possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana or six mature plants.

Three more bills were signed in 2015 seeking to regulate the medical marijuana industry. The new measures covered regulations pertaining, production, transportation, and distribution of weed.

In 2016, 57 percent of Californian voters passed the proposition 64 which added new statutes on the Health and Safety code covering more protection on the patients and retail sales taxes.


The state of Arizona voted for the legalization of medical marijuana in November 2010 through the ballot proposition 203. The new law allowed patients to access marijuana medicines after a physician has approved them.

The law mandated state’s Health Services with the task of collecting data from all the patients under medical marijuana prescription and registering all the non-profit dispensaries.  The bill specifies that the patients using medical marijuana will be treated as any other patient under a doctor’s prescription.

The law also protects patients from unfair treatment by the employers, and they will not be subjected to punishment for testing positive on marijuana drug tests if contradicted the laws stipulates that the employers will lose their license of operation. The law does not, however, allow patients to use the drug on their employer premises.

The law provides for the treatment of the following ailments, cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures (including epilepsy), severe or persistent muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis). Starting Jan.1, 2015, PTSD was added to the list.

Patients can cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants if they live 25 miles away from the closest medical marijuana dispensary.  The patient can also be in possession of up to 2.5 ounces of dries for a period of 14-days after the last acquisition from the medical dispensary.

The law was amended in May 2013 through the Senate Bill 1443 which introduced new regulation which restricted the use of medical marijuana in schools and postsecondary educational campuses.


Nevada first approved the legalization of marijuana in May 2007 through a majority vote of 65 percent. The vote passed the ballot question 9 on the Nevada state.  The new law removed the state-level criminal punishment on the use, possession, production, and use of medical marijuana. The patients must, however, have written documentation from a qualified medical physician.

The following are the medical conditions that can be treated according to the law; AIDS; cancer; glaucoma; and any medical disease or treatment to a medical condition that produces cachexia, persistent muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis) or seizures (including epilepsy), severe nausea or pain, and PTSD. Other terms are subject to approval by the health division of the state Department of Human Resources.


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