States with Legal Marijuana Dispensaries in 2017
Marijuana has been used for medical and therapeutic purposes for over 4,000 years. Ancient Indian writings discuss the use of marijuana for various diseases and conditions, including insomnia, digestive issues and headaches. Marijuana (or cannabis sativa) was also used as a painkiller during childbirth. Other writings confirm marijuana’s use as an herbal remedy. More recently, the cannabis sativa plant has been shown to improve medical conditions such as muscle spasms, eye pressure (e.g., glaucoma), chronic pain, loss of appetite, epilepsy, anxiety and depression, nausea, irregular metabolism and neurological conditions (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s dementia).
Which States have Legal Marijuana in 2017?
Use of medical marijuana has been limited in the United States; however, patients living in certain states can apply for possession and even limited farming of the cannabis plant. Not all states condone the use of medical marijuana in 2017. Here is a list of the 15 states, as well as the District of Columbia, that permit private use and sometimes even the farming of marijuana:
Please note: unless stated otherwise, the number of ounces allowed refers to dried leaves.
- Alaska: This state allows up to 1 ounce of usable marijuana and up to 6 plants (divided between 3 mature and 3 immature).
- Arizona: A person is allowed up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and up to 12 plants. Plant cultivation is permitted only if the person lives over 25 miles away from a dispensary.
- California: Up to 8 ounces of marijuana are allowed and up to 18 plants (divided between 6 mature and 12 immature plants).
- Colorado: Each person is allowed up to 2 ounces and 6 farming plants. The plants must be divided into 3 mature and 3 young plants. Medical marijuana is allowed for persons who suffer from glaucoma, seizures, cancer and HIV/AIDS.
- Hawaii: Each person is allowed up to 3 ounces and 7 farming plants. The plants must be divided into 3 mature and 4 young plants. Allowed medical conditions include those already defined by the state of Colorado.
- Maine: Each person is allowed up to 2.5 ounces and 6 farming plants. The plants must be divided into 3 mature and 3 immature plants. Conditions for which medical marijuana is allowed include those listed for Colorado.
- Michigan: This state permits up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana and up to 12 farming plants.
- Montana: Each person is allowed to possess 1 ounce of marijuana and 6 plants (with no plant division defined).
- Nevada: A person is allowed up to 1 ounce of medical marijuana and 7 cannabis plants (divided between 3 mature and 4 immature).
- New Jersey: This state, added last year in 2010, allows up to 2 ounces of usable medical marijuana. Home cultivation of marijuana is not allowed.
- New Mexico: This state allows up to 6 ounces of marijuana and 16 (divided into 4 mature and 12 immature) farming plants. Cannabis is approved for conditions such as spinal cord damage, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and HIV/AIDS. Persons placed into hospice care are also allowed to use medical marijuana. Home cultivation of plants requires an additional license.
- Oregon: Each person is allowed up to 24 ounces of marijuana and up to 24 (divided between 6 mature and 18 immature) marijuana plants. Such laws make Oregon the most generous state as far as medical cannabis use is concerned.
- Rhode Island: This state permits up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 12 (with no defined division) plants. Medical cannabis may be used for the above defined conditions as well as Hepatitis C.
- Vermont: Persons are allowed up to 2 ounces of marijuana and up to 9 (2 mature and 7 immature) cannabis plants. Approved conditions include HIV/AIDS and cancer.
- Washington: This state allows up to 24 ounces of usable medical marijuana. Up to 15 plants may be cultivated.
District of Columbia: While not technically a state, the District of Columbia permits up to 2 ounces of medical marijuana per person and places limits on other cannabis forms. Home cultivation of marijuana is not allowed in 2017.
Maryland: While this state does not allow medical marijuana use as of 2017, the fine (currently $100) is very small if a person is arrested for using cannabis for medical purposes.
Thus far in 2017, 15 states in the U.S. allow for medical marijuana use, with 12 of those 15 states requiring proof of state residency. Oregon and Montana will accept out-of-state applications for medical marijuana use, however. For persons who are not currently living in these 15 states and who suffer from medical conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis or any other above listed diseases, it is advised that they petition their state legislature for medical dispensation in order to use medical marijuana. For individuals who are lucky enough to live in the mentioned states in 2017, they must still go through a registration process in order to receive and cultivate cannabis.