Understanding State Marijuana Medical Laws

After the U.S. Congress passed the Boggs Act and the Narcotics Control Act, the use of marijuana was strictly prohibited. Everything changed when California became the first state in U.S. history to legalize medical cannabis in 1996. At present, 20 states and the District of Columbia allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, with two states (Washington and Colorado) allowing the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

A critical part of medical marijuana laws in these particular states, though, is patient registry. This means that people with prescription for medical cannabis should first become a “registered patient” with their state’s Marijuana Registry by filling up the necessary forms. Health care providers are also obligated to fill up such forms in conjunction with the patients they treat; completed forms are then notarized and submitted to the Marijuana Registry.

The patient registry requirement is basically a person’s protection against arrest for marijuana possession. However, each state has its allowable amount of medical marijuana for possession. Those who are found to have an amount beyond what’s permitted are likely to face the appropriate sanctions.

While medical marijuana possession is not criminalized in 20 U.S. states, patients are not allowed to have direct access to the substance. Instead, a medical marijuana dispensary is needed to control how medical cannabis is to be distributed, usually with the aid of a dispensing machine. These machines are secured in clinics and health care facilities.


Posted on March 1, 2014, in Health, Health Services, Marijuana, Products and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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