Cannabis in the United States
The use, sale and possession of cannabis (marijuana) in the United States is illegal under federal law. However, some states have created exemptions for medical cannabis use, as well as decriminalized non-medical cannabis use. In two states, Colorado and Washington, the sale and possession of marijuana is legal for both medical and non-medical use. This law however is up in the air for the time being as the states have one year to write laws on distribution and regulation of marijuana.[clarification needed]. Multiple efforts to reschedule cannabis under the Act have failed, and the United States Supreme Court has ruled in United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative and Gonzales v. Raich that the federal government has a right to regulate and criminalize cannabis. Also, if the cannabis is called "medical cannabis" the federal law still has priority.
In July 2009, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, further clarified the federal government's position when he stated that "marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit" and that "legalization is not in the president's vocabulary, and it's not in mine." However, a January 2010 settlement between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) provides an example confirming the administration policy as communicated by Attorney General Holder, as WAMM reached an agreement to re-open after being shut down by the federal government in 2002.
On November 6, 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington approved measures that legalize non-medical use of cannabis—the first states in the nation to do so.
After the election in 2012, the Office of National Drug Control Policy of the Obama administration stated that it "steadfastly opposes legalization of marijuana and other drugs because legalization would increase the availability and use of illicit drugs, and pose significant health and safety risks".
According to a 2013 survey by Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans are in favor of complete or partial legalization of cannabis. The survey showed 52% of respondents support cannabis legalization and 45% do not. College graduates' support increased from 39% to 52% in just three years, the support of self-identified conservative republicans (a group not traditionally supportive of cannabis legalization) has increased to nearly 30%, and bipartisan support has increased across the board. Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher introduced H.R.1523 "Respect State Marijuana Laws" on April 12, 2013 with 11 cosponsors of both major political parties.
Under federal law, it is illegal to possess, use, buy, sell, or cultivate marijuana, since the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, claiming it has a high potential for abuse and has no acceptable medical use. Some states and local governments have established laws attempting to decriminalize cannabis, which has reduced the number of "simple possession" offenders sent to jail, since federal enforcement agents rarely target individuals directly for such relatively minor offenses. Other state and local governments ask law enforcement agencies to limit enforcement of drug laws with respect to cannabis, however under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, federal law preempts conflicting state and local laws. In most cases, the absence of a state law does not present a preemption conflict with a federal law.
In 2002, Nevada voters defeated a ballot question which would legalize up to 3 ounces (85 g) for adults 21 and older, 39% for and 61% against. In 2006, a similar Nevada ballot initiative, which would have legalized and regulated the cultivation, distribution, and possession of up to 1 ounce (28 g) of marijuana by adults 21 and older, was defeated 44% for and 56% against. In 2006, South Dakota voters defeated Measure 4, voting 48% for and 52% against. Measure 4 was to allow the use of medical marijuana by patients deemed by their physicians to benefit from its use, and was to be regulated by state-issued ID cards and protection of legitimate medical distributors.
The National Center for Natural Products Research in Oxford, Mississippi is the only facility in the United States that is federally licensed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to cultivate cannabis for scientific research. The Center is part of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Mississippi.
Roger Roffman, a professor of social work at the University of Washington, asserted in July 2009 that "approximately 3.6 million Americans are daily or near daily users." Peter Reuter, a professor at the School of Public Policy and the Department of Criminology at the University of Maryland, College Park, said that "experimenting with marijuana has long been a normal part of growing up in the U.S.; about half of the population born since 1960 has tried the drug by age 21." A World Health Organization survey found that the United States is the world’s leading per capita marijuana consumer. The 2007 National Survey on Drug Use & Health prepared by the U.S. Department of Human Health and Services indicated that 14.4 million U.S. citizens over the age of 12 had used marijuana within a month. The 2008 survey found that 35 million Americans were willing to tell government representatives that they had used marijuana in the past year.
According to the 2001 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by SAMHSA, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 41.9% (just over 2 out of every 5) of all Americans 12 or older have used cannabis at some point in their lives, while 11.5% (about 1 in 9) reported using it "this year."
In 2009, according to a Zogby poll and an ABC News/Washington Post poll, between 46% and 56% of US voters would support legalization
Under federal law, it is illegal to possess, use, buy, sell, or cultivate marijuana, since the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, claiming it has a high potential for abuse and has no acceptable medical use.
The Federal government has criminalized marijuana under the Interstate Commerce Clause, and the application of these laws to intrastate commerce were addressed squarely by the United States Supreme Court in Gonzales v. Raich, 352 F. 3d 1222 in 2005.
In January 2009, President Barack Obama's transition team organized a poll to clarify some of the top issues the American public want to have his administration look into, and 2 of the top ten ideas were to legalize the use of cannabis.
In July 2009, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, further clarified the federal government's position when he stated that "marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit" and that "legalization is not in the president's vocabulary, and it's not in mine." However, a January 2010 settlement between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) provides an example confirming the administration policy as communicated by Attorney General Holder, as WAMM successfully reached an agreement to re-open after being shut down by the federal government in 2002.
On August 28, 2013, The United States government announced that they would no longer actively pursue marijuana offenses taken place in those states that have legalized the small consumption and possession of marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Agency will only become involved if the offense involve violence or firearms, the proceeds go to gangs and cartels, or when marijuana is distributed to those states where it is illegal.
20 US states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing some degree of medical use of marijuana, and 14 states have taken steps to decriminalize it to some degree. This movement sought to make simple possession of cannabis punishable by only confiscation or a fine, rather than prison. In the past several years, the movement had started to have some successes.
Some states and local governments have established laws attempting to decriminalize cannabis, which has reduced the number of "simple possession" offenders sent to jail, since federal enforcement agents rarely target individuals directly for such relatively minor offenses. Other state and local governments ask law enforcement agencies to limit enforcement of drug laws with respect to cannabis, however under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, federal law preempts conflicting state and local laws. In most cases, the absence of a state law does not present a preemption conflict with a federal law.
In Alaska, cannabis was decidedly legal (under state, but not federal, law) for in-home, personal use under the Ravin v. State ruling of 1975. This ruling allowed up to two ounces (57 g) of cannabis and cultivation of fewer than 25 plants for these purposes. A 1991 voter ballot initiative recriminalized marijuana possession, but when that law was eventually challenged in 2004, the Alaska courts upheld the Ravin ruling, saying the popular vote could not trump the state constitution. In response to former Governor Frank Murkowski's successive attempt to re-criminalize cannabis, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against the state. On July 17, 2006, Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins awarded the Case Summary judgment to the ACLU. In her ruling, she said "No specific argument has been advanced in this case that possession of more than 1 ounce (28 g) of cannabis, even within the privacy of the home, is constitutionally protected conduct under Ravin or that any plaintiff or ACLU of Alaska member actually possesses more than 1 ounce (28 g) of cannabis in their homes." This does not mean that the legal possession threshold has been reduced to one ounce, as this was a mere case summary review filed by the ACLU, not a full case. Reinforcing Ravin, Collins wrote "A lower court cannot reverse the State Supreme Court's 1975 decision in Ravin v. State" and "Unless and until the Supreme Court directs otherwise, Ravin is the law in this state and this court is duty bound to follow that law". The law regarding possession of cannabis has not changed in Alaska, and the Supreme Court has declined to review the case, therefore the law still stands at 4 ounces (113 g). However, federal prosecutions under the CSA can be brought in Federal Court, and federal courts applying federal law are not bound by state court precedent. As such, federal courts in Alaska will recognize that possession of any quantity of marijuana remains illegal in Alaska under federal law.
It should be emphasized that legal possession of cannabis is strictly noncommercial. The maximum legal limit is up to 4 oz (110 g) or 25 plants owned for personal use by adults in the privacy of their homes. Possessing more than 4 oz (110 g) or more than 25 or cannabis plants is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to $ 50,000. Possession of any amount cannabis within 500 ft (150 m) of a school or a recreation center is also a felony punishable by 5 years jail time and a fine of up to $50,000; but if possession is noncommercial and the offender is in their a private residence, an affirmative defense may be raised in court.
Possession of marijuana for Commercial reasons regardless of the amount is prohibited by law. Sale of less than 1oz is considered a misdemeanor punishable by one year jail time and a fine of up to $5000. Sale of more than one ounce of cannabis is a felony punishable by 5 years in prison and $ 50,000 fine. Furthermore, Alaskans cannot maintain any buildings or structures whose sole purpose is to house and or distribute marijuana plant.
In 1975, Colorado passed a law which made possession of one ounce or less of the cannabis plant a second degree petty offense only punishable by a fine of 100 dollars. Thirty years later, in 2005, the city of Denver passed another law which allowed adults over 21 years to possess up to one ounce of marijuana without penalty in the city.
But the state still imposed penalties for use and possession of marijuana.
In November 2012, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a ballot initiative campaign backed by the Marijuana Policy Project, successfully passed Amendment 64, making Colorado the only place in the world to have legalized the possession, use, production, distribution, and personal cultivation of marijuana. The Marijuana Policy Project also played a lead role in drafting and campaigning for the historic initiative. The amendment gained bipartisan support, with Coloradans voting for legalization at a higher rate than for President Obama. Arrangements for sale, packaging, advertising and taxation are now under discussion. It will remain illegal to be found driving under the influence of marijuana, while legal possession will be limited to over-21s only and quantities regulated. Growing up to six plants will be legal, while it will also be legal to give away small quantities.
On June 30, 2011, Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut signed legislation into law decriminalizing the possession of small, personal use amounts of marijuana by adults. The new law, Senate Bill 1014, took effect on July 1.
Senate Bill 1014 reduces the penalties for the adult possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by one year in jail and a $1,000 fine) to a non-criminal infraction, punishable by a $150 fine, no arrest or jail time, and no criminal record. The new law similarly reduces penalties for the possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
Possession of larger amounts of marijuana is still illegal and punishable by imprisonment and monetary fines. A subsequent offense of possession of one-half ounce of marijuana is still a non- criminal infraction but the fine rises to $200–$500. First offense of possessing one-half to four ounces is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and $1,000 in fine. A subsequent offense becomes a felony punishable by up to 5 years incarceration and $3,000 fine.
First offense of possession of 4 ounces or more is a felony punishable by 5 years imprisonment and $ 2,000 fine. Subsequent offenses are punishable by 10 years in jail and a fine of $5,000. The minimum mandatory sentence for possession of marijuana within 1,500 feet of a school is 2 years’ incarceration (without monetary fine) that runs consecutively with any other sentence.
Selling any amount of marijuana is completely illegal and a felony punishable by no less than 7 years in jail and $25,000 in fine. Selling to minors and possessing within 1,500 feet of a school or day care are both felonies which adds 3 years imprisonment to any other sentence imposed. There’s no monetary fine imposed.
In 2008, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot initiative to decriminalize a possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, and in 2009, ALM GL ch. 94C, § 32L was enacted into law, making possession of up to one ounce of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a penalty of $ 100 and forfeiting the drug. There are no other forms of civil or criminal punishments for offenders who are over 18 years of age. Minors are subjected to the same civil penalties as long as they complete the required drug awareness program and community service in accordance with section 32M of the same law. The civil punishment is increased to up to $1,000 if the offender fails to complete the drug awareness program and community service within one year of offense, at which point both the offender and parents are "severally" liable to pay the fine.
In 2012, Massachusetts voters approved another ballot initiative to legalize possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes. The law puts medical marijuana under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Public Health, which is charged with setting up registration for patients and dispensaries and monitoring the business. Under the law, patients are allowed to possess a sixty-day supply (to be defined by the DPH) and appoint a representative to facilitate their use if they are incapable. The DPH is required to register at least one dispensary per county with a state-wide limit of 35.
Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor resulting into a $500 fine and up to six months' imprisonment with probation, after which records are sealed. Subsequent offenses are subjected to the same punishments but records are not sealed after probation.
The sale of less than 50 pounds of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by two years in prison with probation and a $5,000 fine. Subsequent offenders are subjected to up to 2½ years in prison without probation and a fine of $1,000–$10,000. Selling of more than 50 pounds is a felony punishable by 2½–15 years incarceration atop the minimum mandatory sentence(MMS). The MMS for selling up to 100 lbs is one year incarceration plus a fine of $500–$10,000. The MMS for selling 100–2000 lbs of marijuana is 3–15 years in prison and a fine of $2,500–$25,000. The MMS for selling 2000–10,000 lbs of marijuana is 5–15 years plus a fine of $5,000–$50,000 and that of selling more than 10,000 lbs of marijuana is 10–15 years incarceration plus up to $200,000 in fine. Selling marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school or 100 feet of a park is also a felony punishable by two years imprisonment in addition to the MMS and a fine of $1,000–$1,000.
In the November election of 2008, Michigan became the thirteenth state to legalize the physician supervised possession and use of cannabis. More than 60 percent of Michigan voters decided in favor of Proposal 1, which established a state-regulated system regarding the use and cultivation of medical marijuana by qualified patients. On Dec.4, 2008, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act was enacted into law allowing patients with debilitating medical conditions such as HIV,cancer, and Hepatitis C to legally possess and use marijuana. The patient can have up to two and a half ounces of usable marijuana and twelve plants that are kept in an enclosed and locked facility.
Recreational use of marijuana has not been decriminalized in the state of Michigan. Possession of any amounts of the plant is a misdemeanor punishable by one year incarceration plus a fine of $2,000 while actual using is punishable by 90 days in jail and a fine of $100. If possession is in a public park, then the incarceration is for 2 years and a fine of $2,000. Distributing marijuana without remuneration is a misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a fine of $1,000.
Additionally in the November 2012 election, Detroit, Michigan, and Flint, Michigan decriminalized marijuana possession of an ounce or less for persons 21 years and older. Ypsilanti, Michigan passed an ordinance to make marijuana the lowest priority for law enforcement activity
The sale and cultivation of cannabis is a felony punishable by 4–15 years imprisonment and $20,000-$10,000,000 in fines depending on the number of plants grown and the amount (in Kg) of usable marijuana sold.
In 1977, the state of New York also passed a law which decriminalized marijuana to a large extent. Possession of 25 g (0.88 oz) or less of marijuana, first offense, is a civil citation with a fine of $100 and the fine is increased to $200 for second offense. A third offense is a misdemeanor and the offender may get 5 days in jail and or pay $ 250 in fine. Possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana is also a misdemeanor punishable by 3 months in jail and $500 in fines. Possession of 2 to 8 ounces (57 to 230 g) of marijuana is a class A misdemeanor that may be punishable by 1 year in jail or a $1000 fine or both. Possession of up to 16 oz (450 g) of marijuana is a class E felony punishable by 1–4 years in jail and a fine of $5000. Repeat offenders are mandated 6 months in jail plus a $5000 fine and/or an additional 3–4 years in jail. Possession of up to 10 lb (4.5 kg) of marijuana is a class D felony which is punishable by up to 15 years in jail and/or a fine of $ 5000 and second offenders must be incarcerated for at least 6 months. Possession of more than 10 lb (4.5 kg) is a class A felony also punishable by up to 15 years in jail and/or $ 5000 fine.
Selling or cultivation The selling of marijuana or cultivation of cannabis can be punished by prison sentences and fines which can vary with nature of the offence.
- 2 oz (57 g) or less is a class B misdemeanor punishable by jail time of 3 months and/or a fine of $500.
- 24 g (0.85 oz) sale is class A misdemeanor punishable by 1 year and/or $1,000 fine.
- 25 g (0.88 oz) to 4 oz (110 g) (first offense) is a class E felony punishable by 1 – 4 years and/or $5000 fine.
- Second time offenders must do at least half jail sentence.
- 4 to 16 ounces (110 to 450 g) (first offense) is a class D felony punishable by 1–7 years in jail or $ 5000 fine (Possible probation if no prior felony offenses).
- 16 oz (450 g) to 10 lb (4.5 kg) (first offense) is a class C felony punishable by 1–5 years and/or fine of $5000.
- Second offense time offenders must serve at least half the jail sentence.
- 10 lb (4.5 kg) or more (first offense) is a class C felony punishable by 1–15 years in jail and/or $5000 fine.
- Second offense gives 6–15 years prison sentence and must serve at least half the jail sentence.
- Sale to a minor is a class D felony punishable by 1–7 years in jail plus a $5,000 fine.
As of January 1, 2011, possession of 1 ounce (28 g) or less of marijuana is an infraction, punishable by a maximum $100 fine (plus fees) with no criminal record under Ca Health & Safety Code 11357b.
(Prior to 2011, possession of 1 ounce (28 g) or less of marijuana was a misdemeanor, but convictions under this section are expunged from the record after two years under Health and Safety Code Sections 11361.5 and 11361.7.)
Possession of larger amounts of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to $500 and six months in jail under Health & Safety Code 11357c. Possession of hashish or concentrated cannabis is an optional misdemeanor or felony ("wobbler") under Health & Safety Code 11357a. However, under Prop. 36 first- and second- time possession-only offenders may demand a treatment program instead of jail. Upon successful completion of the program, their conviction is erased. Possession (and personal use cultivation) offenders can also avoid conviction by making a preguilty plea under Penal Code 1000, in which case their charges are dismissed upon successful completion of a diversion program.
Possession of 1 ounce (28 g) or less in a vehicle while driving may also be charged under Vehicle Code 23222, which is treated identically to HSC 11357 b.
No arrest or imprisonment is allowed for possession of less than 1 ounce (28 g) of marijuana. However, police often get around this provision by charging minor offenders with felony intent to sell (see below).
Marijuana defined. "Marijuana means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or its resin. It does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination" (H&SC 11018).
Possession with intent to sell any amount of marijuana is a felony under Health and Safety Code 11359. Police often charge intent to sell if they see such indicia as: scales, cash, multiple packages, "commercial" packaging materials, "excessive" quantity, pay-owe sheets, address books, pagers, etc.
Cultivation of any amount of marijuana is a felony under Health and Safety Code 11358. People who grow for personal use are eligible for diversion under Penal Code 1000 so long as there is no evidence of intent to sell. There are no fixed plant number limits to personal use cultivation.
Medical marijuana: Medical patients and their designated primary caregivers may legally possess and cultivate (but not distribute or sell) marijuana under Health and Safety Code 11362.5 (Prop 215) if they have a physician's recommendation or approval. State law SB420, now codified as California Health & Safety code sections 11362.7-11362.83, set a state threshold of 6 mature OR 12 immature plants per patient, allowing locals to pass higher allowances (many have). Read more on medical marijuana laws.
Sale, transportation or distribution of marijuana is a felony under Health and Safety Code Sections 11360. Transporting or giving away one ounce or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $100 fine.
Sale or distribution to minors is a felony under Health and Safety Code 11361.
Marijuana paraphernalia are illegal to sell or manufacture, but not possess, under Health and Safety Code 11364. All marijuana paraphernalia are subject to seizure by the police.
Driving suspension for minors: Any minor (age under 21) convicted of any marijuana, alcohol, or other drug offense faces a 12-month drivers license suspension, regardless of whether the offense was driving-related. The court may allow restricted license privileges if the minor demonstrates a "critical need to drive." Vehicle Code 13202.5. (Note: This penalty can be avoided by entering a diversion program).
Driving under the influence: It is unlawful to drive while under the influence of marijuana (or alcohol or any other drug) by Vehicle Code 23152. "Under the influence" is not specifically defined in the statute, but is interpreted to imply some degree of impairment. Therefore the mere fact of having taken a toke of marijuana does not necessarily mean one is DUI. For evidence of impairment, officers may administer a field sobriety test. Arrestees may also be required to submit to their choice of a urine or blood test under Vehicle Code 23612. Since marijuana is detectable for much longer periods in urine than in blood (several days vs. several hours), a positive urine test constitutes much weaker proof of recent use and impairment than a positive blood test. If you haven't smoked marijuana recently and are not under the influence, you are better off to choose a blood test, since you will probably pass it. However, if you are a chronic smoker or have smoked recently, you are better off to choose a urine test; even though you can expect to test positive, the question will at least remain open as to whether you were actually "under the influence" at time of arrest.
Marijuana in a Vehicle: Drivers found in possession of less than 1 ounce (28 g) of marijuana in their vehicle are liable for a maximum $100 misdemeanor fine under Vehicle Code 23222 (larger amounts are punishable under H&SC 11357(a) and 11359).
Forfeiture: Unlike federal law, California law requires a conviction for forfeiture of property involved in a drug crime. Also unlike federal law, state law does not permit forfeiture of personal real estate for marijuana cultivation. Vehicles may be forfeited only if 10 pounds or more of marijuana is involved. Health and Safety Code 11470.
Federal Law: Marijuana is also illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Federal charges are typically brought only in large cases where commercial distribution is suspected (e.g., cultivation of several hundred plants).
Medical marijuana patients are not protected while on federal park land or forest land in California. CalNORML has received reports of campers and those driving through federal land who are searched, charged with federal possession statutes, and had the marijuana they had obtained under a state medical recommendation confiscated. A California medical recommendation is not a defense in federal court to these charges.
Possession of less than 2.5 oz (71 g) is a civil violation, punishable by a fine of $200 – $400. Possession of 2.5 oz (71 g) or more is considered evidence of intent to distribute and is punished as such (see below).
Possession of a usable amount of marijuana is lawful if at the time of the possession the person has an authenticated copy of a medical record demonstrating that the person has a physician's recommendation.
Cultivation of five plants or less of marijuana is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. For greater than five plants, the penalties increase to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. For greater than 100 plants the possible punishment is up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. For any amount of plants greater than 500, the penalties increase to up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
The penalty for sale of marijuana is up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,000. The penalties increase to up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 if the sale was made to a minor or if it occurred within 1,000 ft (300 m) of a school or on a school bus.
Possession of greater than one pound of marijuana is considered trafficking and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Possession and personal use of paraphernalia is a civil violation punishable by a fine of $200. The sale of paraphernalia is punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000, unless the sale was to a minor, in which case the penalty increases to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Upon conviction, the court may suspend or revoke the professional license of the offender
|This article is missing information about The state penalties for possession by minors and adults under 21 and possession over the legal limit.. (November 2012)|
In November 2012 Initiative 502 passed by Washington voters with 55.7% voting for the measure, and 44.3% against. This initiative will allow adults over the age of 21 to legally possess up to 1 oz (28 g) of marijuana, 16 oz (450 g) of marijuana infused product in solid form, 72 oz (2.0 kg) of marijuana infused product in liquid form or any combination of all three and to legally consume marijuana, and marijuana infused products.
Prior to the passage of I-502, the city of Seattle had passed Initiative 75, which directed the Seattle Police Department to make marijuana possession its lowest priority. Tacoma passed a similar initiative in 2011.
In the United States, it is important to differentiate between medical cannabis at the federal and at the state level. At the federal level, cannabis per se has been made criminal by implementation of the Controlled Substances Act. At a state level the control of medical cannabis varies.
There have been over eight million cannabis arrests in the United States since 1993, including 786,545 arrests in 2005. About 88% of all marijuana arrests are for possession - not manufacture or distribution.
Although large-scale marijuana growing operations are frequently targeted by police in raids to attack the supply side and discourage the spread and marketing of the plant, the great majority of those arrested for cannabis are there for possession alone. However, in 1997, the vast majority of inmates in state prisons for marijuana related convictions were convicted of offenses other than simple possession.
According to the most recent Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, police arrested 847,864 persons for marijuana violations in 2008. Of those charged with marijuana violations, 754,224 were charged with possession only. The remaining 93,640 individuals were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that does not differentiate for cultivation offenses, even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use. Marijuana arrests now comprise about one-half (49.8 percent) of all drug arrests reported in the United States.
The Libertarian Party and the Green Party support the full legalization of marijuana. The United States Marijuana Party also has local chapters in 29 states but there are many state-level parties as well. Members associated with the US Marijuana Party have run for office, including Edward Forchion (for multiple offices) and candidates from the Marijuana Reform Party (for governor).
- New Jersey has the The Legalize Marijuana Party founded by Joshua McCarterfield III on April 20, 1998.
- In New York State, in 1998 and 2002, the Marijuana Reform Party of New York State ran candidates for governor and other statewide offices. In 2004, a federal judge held that, by running candidates in 1998 and 2002 statewide elections, the Marijuana Reform Party demonstrated a "modicum of support" sufficient to entitle it to an injunction compelling the state board of elections to recognize the party and allow voters to enroll in it. Viable in New York State because of its unique fusion political system, it remains the only political party in the United States recognized on a statewide level and dedicated solely to the advocacy of marijuana law reform.
- In the State of Vermont, Cris Ericson was on the official election ballot in 2004 for the Marijuana Party for Governor and for U.S. Senate. It is legal to be on the official election ballot for one state and one federal office. Cris Ericson will be on the official election ballot 2008 for U.S. Congress House of Representatives and for Governor of Vermont for the U.S. Marijuana Party.
- Adult lifetime cannabis use by country
- Annual cannabis use by country
- Legality of cannabis by country
- Legality of cannabis by US state
- List of United States politicians who admit to cannabis use
- Rainbow Farm - scene of a fatal police stand-off
- Colorado Amendment 64 (Legal marijuana possession and cultivation)
- Americans for Safe Access
- Marijuana Policy Project
- National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
- "Kerlikowske: Legal pot 'not in my vocabulary' | KOMO News | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News - Seattle, Washington | Local & Regional". KOMO News. 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- "Santa Cruz medical pot collective settles lawsuit with feds - San Jose Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- "Santa Cruz medical pot collective settles lawsuit with feds". Inside Bay Area. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- Marijuana Resource Center Office of National Drug Control Policy
- The Editors; Roger Roffman, Wayne Hall, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Peter Reuter, Norm Stamper (2009-07-19). "If Marijuana Is Legal, Will Addiction Rise?". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2009-07-27.
- Degenhardt, L; Chiu W-T, Sampson N; Kessler, RC; Anthony, JC et al. (2008). "Toward a Global View of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, and Cocaine Use: Findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys". PLoS Med 5 (7): e141. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050141.
- "Results from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings". U.S. Department of Human Health and Services. 2007. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
- SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies. "2008 Tables: Illicit Drug Use - 1.1 to 1.46 (PE), SAMHSA OAS". Oas.samhsa.gov. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- NORML / By Paul Armentano (2009-09-10). "Over 100 Million Americans Have Smoked Marijuana - And It's Still Illegal? | Drugs". AlterNet. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- Table 1.1B – Types of Illicit Drug Use in Lifetime, Past Year, and Past Month among Persons Aged 12 or Older: Percentages, 2010 and 2011?
- Grim, Ryan (2009-05-06). "Majority of Americans Want Pot Legalized". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
- - Retrieved 20 January 2009
- 3 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana, 2012-12-10, retrieved 2013-01-07
- O'Driscoll, Patrick (2005-11-03). "Denver OKs pot". USA Today.
- "Bill Status for Governor's S.B. No. 1014".
- "AN ACT CONCERNING THE PALLIATIVE USE OF MARIJUANA".
- "Medicinal Marijuana Legalization Measure Signed Into Law".
- Milton Valencia (2008-11-04). "Mass. voters OK decriminalization of marijuana - Local News Updates - The Boston Globe". Boston.com. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- Chelsea Conaboy (2012-11-06). "Massachusetts voters approve ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana". Boston.com. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
- 18 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC, ProCon.org, 2012-12-06, retrieved 2013-01-07
- Martin, Jonathan. "Voters agree to legalize pot". The Seattle Times.
- Bly, Laura (November 7, 2012). "Colorado, Washington OK Recreational Marijuana Use". USA Today. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- Drugs and Crime Facts: Drug law violations and enforcement. United States Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The data used to create the arrest graphs is on this BJS page.
- FBI Uniform Crimes Report
- "Marijuana". Drug War Facts. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- [dead link]
- "Crime in the United States 2008". Fbi.gov. Retrieved 2010-09-15.[dead link]
- Reefer Madness, a 2003 book by Eric Schlosser, detailing the history of marijuana laws in the United States
- The Emperor Wears No Clothes, a 1985 book by Jack Herer
- Debate On California's Pot Shops from CBS news show 60 Minutes
- President Obama's Drug Czar: Feds won't Support Legalized Pot Fresno Bee, July 22, 2009
- Marijuana's New High Life by The Los Angeles Times