Timeline of cannabis laws in the United States

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Cannabis laws in the United States1

  Jurisdiction with legalized cannabis.
  Jurisdiction with both medical and decriminalization laws.2
  Jurisdiction with legal psychoactive medical cannabis.
  Jurisdiction with legal non-psychoactive medical cannabis.
  Jurisdiction with decriminalized cannabis possession laws.
  Jurisdiction with cannabis prohibition.

1 Includes laws which have not yet gone into effect.
2 Marked states have only legal non-psychoactive medical cannabis.
* Cannabis remains a Schedule I substance under federal law as of 2016.
* Some cities and Indian Reservations have legalization policies separate from their surrounding states.
* Cannabis is illegal in all federal enclaves.
US Cannabis Legalization [1] 100 Years of Cannabis Legalization
Timeline of medical marijuana legalization in the USA

(State-level legalization)

  • 1996: California
  • 1998: Alaska, Oregon, Washington
  • 1999: Maine
  • 2000: Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada
  • 2004: Montana, Vermont
  • 2006: Rhode Island
  • 2007: New Mexico
  • 2008: Michigan
  • 2010: Arizona, D.C., New Jersey
  • 2011: Delaware
  • 2012: Connecticut, Massachusetts
  • 2013: Illinois, New Hampshire
  • 2014: Maryland, Minnesota, New York
  • 2015: Louisiana
  • 2016: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Dakota, Arkansas
Total states: 29 and D.C.

The legal history of cannabis in the United States began with state-level prohibition in the early 20th century, with the first major federal limitations occurring in 1937. Starting with Oregon in 1973, individual states began to liberalize cannabis laws through decriminalization. In 1996, California was the first state to legalize medical cannabis, sparking a trend that spread across most other US states. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize cannabis for recreational use.

Federal[edit]

States[edit]

Prohibition begins - 1911

  • 1911: Massachusetts requires a prescription for sales of "Indian hemp"[3]
  • 1913: California, Maine, Wyoming, and Indiana ban marijuana[3]
  • 1915: Utah and Vermont ban marijuana[3]
  • 1917: Colorado legislators made the use and cultivation of cannabis a misdemeanor;
  • 1923: Iowa, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont ban marijuana[3]
  • 1927: New York,[3] Idaho, Kansas, Montana, and Nebraska ban marijuana[4]
  • 1931: Illinois bans marijuana.[5]
  • 1931: Texas declared cannabis a "narcotic", allowing up to life sentences for possession.[6]
  • 1933: North Dakota and Oklahoma ban marijuana.[4] By this year, 29 states have criminalized cannabis.[7]

Decriminalization begins - 1973

  • 1973: Oregon decriminalized cannabis.[8][9]
  • 1973: Texas law was amended to declare possession of four ounces or less a misdemeanor.[10]
  • 1975: Alaska's Supreme Court establishes that the right to privacy includes possession of small amounts of marijuana[11]
  • 1976: Maine decriminalized cannabis.[12]
  • 1977: South Dakota decriminalized cannabis, but repealed that law "almost immediately" afterward.[13]
  • 1973-1978: California, Colorado, Mississippi, New York, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Ohio decriminalized cannabis.[14] Certain cities and counties, particularly in California, adopted laws to further decriminalize cannabis.
  • 1978: New Mexico passes the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act, becoming the first state to pass legislation recognizing the medical value of marijuana.[15]
  • 1979: Virginia passed legislation allowing doctors to recommend cannabis for glaucoma or the side effects of chemotherapy.[16][17]
  • 1982: Alaska's legislature decriminalizes possession of cannabis[18]
  • 1990: Alaska re-criminalizes cannabis by voter initiative, restoring criminal penalties for possession of any amount of cannabis[19]

Medical marijuana begins - 1996

Recreational legalization begins - 2012

  • 2012: Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older.[31]
  • 2014: Maryland decriminalized cannabis. Minnesota and New York legalized medical cannabis.[32][33][34]
  • 2014: Utah legalizes CBD oil, becoming the first state to legalize a cannabis-based medicine without legalizing medical cannabis entirely.[35]
  • 2014: Oklahoma legalizes trials of CBD oil.[36]
  • 2014: Alaska and Oregon legalized recreational cannabis.[37] Alaska's law took effect on February 25, 2015.[38] Oregon's initiative began on July 1, 2015.[39]
  • 2015: Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas legalized CBD oil.[40][41]
  • 2015: Louisiana legalized medical cannabis.[42]
  • 2015: Delaware decriminalized cannabis.[43]
  • 2016: Ohio[44] and Pennsylvania[45] legalized medical cannabis via state legislature.
  • 2016: Illinois decriminalized cannabis.[46]
  • 2016: California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts legalized recreational cannabis via ballot initiative.
  • 2016: Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas legalized medical cannabis via ballot initiative.
  • 2017 Vermont becomes first state to pass recreational cannabis bill entirely through elected legislature on May 10, 2017 (see cannabis in Vermont)

Municipal[edit]

  • 1906: Washington D.C. requires a prescription for cannabis drugs.[47]
  • 1915: El Paso, Texas restricts cannabis.[48]
  • 1974: Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Michigan, reduce cannabis possession to a civil infraction.[49][50]
  • 1998: Washington D.C. attempted to legalize medical cannabis with the passage of Initiative 59, but was prevented by the Barr Amendment from putting the new law into action until 2009, with the first legal medical sales occurring in 2013.[51]
  • 2004: Oakland, California passes Measure Z, making private adult cannabis offenses the lowest possible priority for law enforcement, establishing a system to regulate, tax, and sell cannabis pending state legalization, and urging legalization on the state and national levels.[52]
  • 2005: Denver, Colorado legalized cannabis.[53]
  • 2009: Breckenridge, Colorado legalized cannabis.[54]
  • 2013: Portland, Maine legalized cannabis.[55]
  • 2014: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania decriminalized cannabis.[56]
  • 2014: Washington D.C.'s City Council decriminalized cannabis in July, and the electorate voted in November to legalize recreational marijuana with 69% in favor.[37] A Congressional rider prevented D.C. from permitting retail marijuana stores.[57] On February 26, 2015, marijuana became legal in D.C. for adults aged 21 and over to possess, gift and grow but not to sell.[58]
  • 2014: New York City, New York decriminalized cannabis.[59]
  • 2015: Wichita, Kansas, decriminalizes possession of cannabis.[60]
  • 2015: Toledo, Ohio decriminalizes possession of 200 grams of cannabis or less to a citation.[61]
  • 2016: Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis, with Memphis reducing punishment to a $50 fine.[62]
  • 2016: the Ohio cities of Bellaire, Logan, Newark and Roseville decriminalize possession of 200 grams of cannabis or less to a citation.[61]
  • 2017: Kansas City, Kansas, eliminated jail time for possession of 35 grams or less of cannabis.[63]

Territory[edit]

Indian Reservations[edit]

  • 2014: The US Justice Department allowed recognized Indian Reservations to regulate cannabis laws within their reservation. The laws in the reservations are allowed to be different from state and federal laws. As with State and Territories, the Federal government will not intervene as long as the reservations regulate strict control over cannabis. Some domestic nations such as the Yakama Nation and the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council rejected the approval to allow cannabis on their reservation.[67]
  • 2015: The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (South Dakota) voted to legalize recreational cannabis on its territory.[68]

Opinion[edit]

Presidential[edit]

  • 2015: President Barack Obama declared his support of cannabis decriminalization but opposition to legalization.[69][70]

Public[edit]

  • 1969: Gallup first begins to poll the public on support for legalizing marijuana; the 1969 result was 12% in favor.[71]
  • 2011: Gallup reported a record 50% of Americans surveyed supported legalization.[72]
  • 2013: The Pew Research Center presented U.S. survey results that showed prohibition support as a minority position for the first time in four decades: 52% supported legalization.[73] Gallup reported a record 58% of Americans support nationwide legalization.[74]
  • 2014: Research conducted by the Pew Research Center in February showed an increase in the percentage of legalization supporters, from 52% to 54%,[75] while the New York Times published its Editorial Boards series "High Time: An Editorial Series on Marijuana Legalization" in July.[76]
  • 2015: Gallup reported a record 58% of Americans support marijuana legalization.[77]
  • 2016: an October Gallup poll shows a record 60% of Americans in favor of legalizing recreational cannabis.[78]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reilly, Ryan (May 30, 2014). "House Blocks DEA From Targeting Medical Marijuana". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ Sullum, Jacob (January 4, 2016). "The Federal Ban on Medical Marijuana Was Not Lifted". Reason. Retrieved January 22, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Sarah E. Boslaugh (8 December 2015). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Pharmacology and Society. SAGE Publications. pp. 1758–. ISBN 978-1-5063-4618-2. 
  4. ^ a b Richard Davenport-Hines (29 November 2012). The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Social History of Drugs. Orion Publishing Group. pp. 126–. ISBN 978-1-78022-542-5. 
  5. ^ Also from Bruce Rushton (2012-02-09). "The war on weed". Illinoistimes.com. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  6. ^ National Governors' Conference. Center for Policy Research and Analysis (1977). Marijuana: A Study of State Policies and Penalties. Department of Justice, Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. 
  7. ^ Beatriz Caiuby Labate; Clancy Cavnar (25 March 2014). Prohibition, Religious Freedom, and Human Rights: Regulating Traditional Drug Use. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 236–. ISBN 978-3-642-40957-8. 
  8. ^ Suellentrop, Chris (February 15, 2001). "Which States Have Decriminalized MJ Possession?". Cannabis News. Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  9. ^ Single, E.W. (1981). "The Impact of Marijuana Decriminalization". In Israel, Y.; Glaser, F.B.; Kalant, H.; et al. Research Advances in Alcohol and Drug Problems. Springer US. pp. 405–424. ISBN 9781461577409. doi:10.1007/978-1-4615-7740-9_12. 
  10. ^ Emmis Communications (March 1976). Texas Monthly. Emmis Communications. pp. 22–. ISSN 0148-7736. 
  11. ^ "State by State Laws: Alaska". National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. 2006. Retrieved December 24, 2006. 
  12. ^ Scott, Emilee (May 5, 2010). "Marijuana Decriminalization". ABC News. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  13. ^ David R. Bewley-Taylor (22 March 2012). International Drug Control: Consensus Fractured. Cambridge University Press. pp. 169–. ISBN 978-1-107-37907-7. 
  14. ^ Doug Husak; Peter de Marneffe (August 29, 2005). The Legalization of Drugs. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-139-44585-6. 
  15. ^ Lester Grinspoon; James B. Bakalar (1997). Marihuana, the Forbidden Medicine. Yale University Press. pp. 18–. ISBN 978-0-300-07086-6. 
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  20. ^ Owner Of First U.S. Marijuana Pharmacy Now Broke And Fighting IRS http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2012/07/13/owner-of-nations-first-marijuana-pharmacy-now-broke-and-fighting-irs Forbes.com July 13, 2012
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  35. ^ Bacca, Angela (12 July 2014). "First CBD Law in Nation Goes Into Effect". Cannabis Now Magazine. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  36. ^ Philip Ross (30 April 2015). "Marijuana Legalization Oklahoma: Gov. Fallin Signs Bill Allowing Clinical Trials Of Medical Cannabis Derivative". International Business Times. 
  37. ^ a b "2014 Ballot Measures". Retrieved November 5, 2014. 
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  39. ^ "Recreational Marijuana in General". Oregon.gov. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
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  41. ^ "Abbott signs bill to legalize medical cannabis for epilepsy". KHOU. Retrieved June 2, 2015. 
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  52. ^ "Measure Z Home Page". Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
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  69. ^ Lopez, German. "President Obama wants to treat marijuana like tobacco but not legalize it. Wait, what?". Vox. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
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  71. ^ Smith, Michael. "Support for Legal Marijuana Use Up to 60% in U.S.". Gallup. Retrieved 2016-11-20. 
  72. ^ Newport, Frank. "Record-High 50% of Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana Use". Gallup. Retrieved 2016-11-20. 
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