Medical Marijuana May Become Decriminalized in 7 States

Toking-up on medical marijuana may be legal in seven states after the November election. As of June 1, Ohio, Illinois, New York, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire included medical marijuana decriminalization amendments on the fall ballot or before the state assembly, according to the Pro-Con website. The regulated use of organic cannabis would allow patients the ability to opt for natural rather than synthetic medications created in a laboratory environment. A total of 16 states and the District of Columbia currently permit the regulated use of medical marijuana, the New York Times reports.

Although state laws will permit varying levels of sanctioned organic cannabis usage if the proposed measures pass, federal laws still consider any ingestion or possession of marijuana a criminal act.

Illinois – House Bill 0030 is a pilot program valid for only three years. A physician must diagnose a patient with a debilitating medial condition before allowing personal cultivation or purchase of medical marijuana from state regulated dispensaries.

Ohio – The Ohio Medical Cannabis Act of 2012 proposed amendment was a citizen-led initiative to alter the state constitution and pave the way for the decriminalization of medical marijuana. Ballot issue language calls for the creation of an Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control to function in a manner similar to the existing liquor control commission for regulations purposes. Physician approval would also be required to legally obtain or grow cannabis.

New York – Senate Bill 7283 would permit allow the manufacture, possession, use, delivery, administration and transportation of marijuana by a caregiver for medicinal use. The New York Department of Health would establish regulations for a medical marijuana registry and monitor the program.

Pennsylvania – Senate Bill 1003 would allow medical use of cannabis and repeal prior laws which penalize marijuana usage. The bill is also known as “The Governor Raymond Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.

Missouri – House Bill 1421 would change existing state laws which classify marijuana as a controlled substance. The change in designation would allow medical marijuana usage under a specific set of conditions as described in the pending legislation.

New Hampshire – Senate Bill 409 would permit patients who meet the state mandated criteria to obtain registration cards for up to six ounces of cannabis or six marijuana seedling plants if the patient does not have a caregiver capable of visiting dispensaries.

Massachusetts – House Bill 625 would protect patients, physicians and caregivers from criminal charges if caught using, growing or possessing marijuana. Police officers would retain the right to “exercise judgment” concerning medical marijuana arrests under Massachusetts’ companion legislation, Senate Bill 818.