Medical Marijuana
Video introduction to ProCon.org and the pros and cons of controversial topics

 

1. Alabama 6. Illinois 11. New Hampshire 16. Pennsylvania
2. Connecticut 7. Iowa 12. New York 17. Texas
3. Delaware 8. Kansas 13. North Carolina 18. West Virginia
4. Florida 9. Massachusetts 14. Ohio
5. Idaho 10. Mississippi 15. Oklahoma

18 states considered 28 pieces of legislation or ballot measures to legalize medical marijuana in 2011. One state (Delaware) legalized medical marijuana. 10 states carried over legislation into 2012. 7 states failed to pass pro-medical marijuana measures. Maryland passed a bill that was favorable to medical marijuana but did not legalize its use.

For more information about the states that have already legalized medical marijuana, visit our page on the legal medical marijuana states.

 

Law

Summary

History (last action date)

Outcome

1. Alabama
House Bill:
HB 386  (1.5 MB)
"This bill would authorize the medical use of marijuana only for certain qualifying patients who have been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating condition." Allows for the creation of registered compassion centers. Introduced by Rep. Patricia Todd (D) and referred to the House Committee on Health on Mar. 31, 2011; Died in committee when the legislature adjourned (June 9, 2011) Failed
2. Connecticut
House Bill:
HB 5139  (180 KB)
"An act authorizing the medical use of marijuana" as directed by a physician.  Introduced by House Republican Caucus Leader Penny Bacchiochi and referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary on Jan. 10, 2011; Died when legislature adjourned (June 8, 2011) Failed
House Bill:
HB 5900  (185 KB)
Allows "state residents with certain debilitating medical conditions to possess and use marijuana for medical purposes in accordance with a physician's prescription, and licenses [the creation of] alternative treatment centers where patients can obtain prescribed marijuana." Introduced by Rep. Marie Lopez Kirkley-Bey (D) and referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary on Jan. 24, 2011; Died when legislature adjourned (June 8, 2011) Failed
House Bill:
HB 6566  (185 KB)
"A qualifying patient shall not be subject to arrest or prosecution... for the compassionate use of marijuana if: (1) The qualifying patient has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition; (2)The qualifying patient's physician has issued a written
certification..."
Introduced by the Judiciary Committee and referred to the Joint Committee on Judiciary on Mar. 9, 2011. Public hearing held on Mar. 14, 2011; Died when legislature adjourned (June 8, 2011) Failed
Senate Bill:
SB 329  (180 KB)
Bill would "permit the palliative use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions." Introduced by Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D) and referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary on Jan. 20, 2011; Died when legislature adjourned (June 8, 2011) Failed
Senate Bill:
SB 345  (180 KB)
Bill would "allow the prescriptive use of marijuana for the relief of pain and suffering related to serious medical conditions." Introduced by Sen. Gary D. LeBeau (D) and referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary on Jan. 20, 2011; Died when legislature adjourned (June 8, 2011) Failed
Governor's Bill:
SB 1015  (250 KB)
"A qualifying patient shall not be subject to arrest or prosecution... for the palliative use of marijuana if: (1) The qualifying patient has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition; (2) The qualifying patient's physician has issued a written certification...; (3) The combined amount of marijuana possessed by the qualifying patient and the primary caregiver for palliative use does not exceed four marijuana plants, each having a maximum height of four feet, and one ounce of usable marijuana..." Drafted by the office of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, introduced by Sen. Donald Williams (D), Sen. Martin Looney (D), Rep. Christopher Donovan (D), and Rep. Brendan Sharkey (D), and referred to the Joint Committee on Judiciary on Feb. 17, 2011; Public hearing held on Mar. 14, 2011; Referred to Office of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis on Apr. 14, 2011; Referred by Senate to Committee on Public Health and received a favorable report on May 4, 2011; Died when legislature adjourned (June 8, 2011) Failed
3. Delaware
Senate Bill:
SB 17 (100 KB)

[Read more about Delaware on our 16 Medical Marijuana States and DC page.]

"The purpose of this act is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians and providers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana."

Allows people 18 and older with certain debilitating conditions to possess up to six ounces of marijuana with a doctor's written recommendation.

Amendments prohibit smoking in privately owned vehicles and require marijuana to be dispensed in sealed, tamperproof containers.

lntroduced by Senate Majority Whip Margaret Rose Henry (D) and assigned to Health & Social Services Committee on Jan. 25, 2011; hearing held and reported out of Committee on Mar. 23, 2011; Passed by Senate with a vote of 18-3 (Mar. 31, 2011)

Introduced and Assigned to Health & Human Development Committee in the House on Apr. 5, 2011; Amendments added and bill passed by House with a vote of 27-14 (May 5, 2011)

Returned to the Senate for a vote on the House amendments and passed the Senate with a vote of 17-4 (May 11, 2011)

The bill was signed into law by Governor Jack Markell (D) on May 13, 2011 and will become effective July 1, 2011.

Passed
4. Florida
House Joint Resolution:
HJR 1407 (100 KB)
A joint resolution that would put a medical marijuana state constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2012. Filed by Rep. Jeff Clemens (D) and first reading held Mar. 8, 2011; Referred to Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Health & Human Services Committee, Judiciary Committee and Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Mar. 14, 2011; Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration on May 7, 2011; Died in Criminal Justice Subcommittee (May 7, 2011)  Failed
5. Idaho
House Bill:
HB 19 (100 KB)
"The purpose of [the Idaho Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act] is to protect from arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties, those patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary caregivers and those who are authorized to produce marijuana for medical purposes." lntroduced by Rep. Tom Trail (R) on Jan. 19, 2011; Sent to Health and Welfare committee on Jan. 20, 2011; Informational hearings held on Mar. 30 and Apr. 4, 2011; Died in committee without a vote when legislature adjourned (Apr. 7, 2011) Failed

Law

Summary

History (last action date)

Outcome

6. Illinois
House Bill:
HB 0030 (100 KB)
"Creates the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act," allowing state-registered patients diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition to cultivate medical marijuana or to obtain it from state-regulated dispensaries."

Amendment 1 repeals the program after three years and prohibits patients from driving for 12 hours after consuming marijuana.

Amendment 2 makes it illegal for dispensaries to make campaign contributions.

Amendment 3 sets a $5,000 non-refundable application fee and $20,000 certificate fee for dispensaries.

Amendment 4 "Excludes from the definition of 'qualifying patient' active public safety personnel."

Pre-filed with clerk by Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D) on Dec. 28, 2010; First reading in the House and referral to Rules Committee on Jan. 12, 2011; Added chief co-sponsor Rep. Angelo Saviano (R) on Jan. 20, 2011; Added chief co-sponsor Rep. Ann Williams (D) on Jan. 21, 2011; Assigned to Human Services Committee on Feb. 8, 2011; House Committee Amendment No.1 filed, referred to Rules Committee, referred to Human Services Committee on Mar. 8, 2011; Adopted by voice vote in Human Services (6-5) and placed on calendar for 2nd reading on Mar. 9, 2011; Amendment 2 filed Apr. 12, 2011; Amendment 3 filed Apr. 22, 2011; Amendment 4 filed May 3, 2011; Third reading held May 4, 2011; Added chief co-sponsors Rep. Kenneth Dunkin (D) and Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D) on May 5, 2011; Added co-sponsor Rep. Kelly M. Cassidy (D) on May 18, 2011; Final action deadline extended to May 31, 2011 on May 27, 2011; Re-referred to Rules Committee (May 31, 2011) Carried over to 2012
Senate Bill:
SB 1548 (150 KB
"Creates the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. Provides that the Department of Public Health shall issue a registry identification card to a qualified patient with a debilitating medical condition that allows the patient to possess no more than 2 ounces of dried usable cannabis and 6 cannabis plants, no more than 3 of which can be mature cannabis plants... Provides that the Act is repealed 3 years after its effective date." Filed by Sen. Haine (D) on Feb. 9, 2011; Assigned to Judiciary Committee on Feb. 23, 2011; Amended and passed by the Judiciary Committee on Mar. 15, 2011; Referred to Assignments (July 23, 2011) Carried over to 2012
7. Iowa
Senate File:
SF 266 (100 KB)
"An Act relating to the creation of a medical marijuana Act including the creation of nonprofit dispensaries, and providing for civil and criminal penalties and fees."

Allows qualifying patients to possess no more than two and one-half ounces of usable marijuana and six marijuana plants.
Introduced by Sen. Joe Bolkcom and referred to Human Resources on Feb. 21, 2011; Referred to Human Resources subcommittee on Feb. 22, 2011; Did not advance out of committee by Mar. 18 deadline but will carry over to 2012 (Mar. 18, 2011) Carried over to 2012
8. Kansas
House Bill:
HB 2330 (150 KB)
"An Act enacting the cannabis compassion and care act; providing for the legal use of cannabis for certain debilitating medical conditions; providing for the registration and functions of compassion centers; authorizing the issuance of identification cards." Introduced by Rep. Gail Finney (D) on Feb. 11, 2011; Referred to Committee on Health and Human Services on Feb. 14, 2011; Did not advance out of committee by the Feb. 25 deadline but will carry over to 2012 (Feb. 25, 2011) Carried over to 2012
Maryland
Senate Bill:
SB 308 (500 KB)

[This legislation does not legalize medical marijuana or provide any means for accessing marijuana in Maryland, but the bill is considered favorable to medical marijuana.]

The synopsis from the original Feb. 20, 2011 bill said: "Synopsis: Making marijuana a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance; requiring the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to issue a specified request for proposals to select authorized growers of marijuana for medical use; providing for specified requirements of authorized growers..."

The original bill was changed by various amendments, and many of the original intentions were not included in the final version.

The final May 10, 2011 version of the bill established an affirmative defense for people arrested on possession of no more than one ounce of marijuana who have a "debilitating medical condition" that is "severe and resistant to conventional medicine." The bill also created a Work Group to develop recommendations for "a model program to facilitate patient access to marijuana for medical purposes" with a deadline of Dec. 1, 2011. The bill took effect on June 1, 2011 and is slated to expire on May 31, 2012.

Introduced by Sen. David Brinkley (R) and Sen. Jamie Raskin (D) with 20 co-sponsors; first reading held in Judicial Proceedings Committee on Feb. 2, 2011; Hearing held on Mar. 3, 2011; Favorable with amendments report by Judicial Proceedings Committee on Mar. 21, 2011; Passed by Senate with a vote of 41-6 on Mar. 24, 2011; Senate concurred with House amendments and passed with a vote of 38-6 (Apr. 7, 2011)

First reading in the House Health and Government Operations and Judiciary Committees on Mar. 22, 2011; Hearings held in both committees on Apr. 1, 2011; Passed by House with a vote of 83-50 (Apr. 6, 2011)

Signed into law by Governor Martin O'Malley on May 10, 2011.

Passed
9. Massachusetts
House Bill:
HB 625 (100 KB)
"The Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act. It is the purpose of this act to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their practitioners and designated caregivers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana." Introduced by Rep. Frank I. Smizik (D) on Jan. 14, 2011; Referred to Joint Committee on Public Health on Jan. 24, 2011; Hearing held (July 12, 2011) Carried over to 2012
Senate Bill:
SB 1161 (275 KB)
"'The Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act.' It is the purpose of this act to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their practitioners and designated caregivers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana." Introduced by Sen. Stanley Rosenberg (D) on Jan. 20, 2011; Referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health on Jan. 24, 2011; Hearing held (July 12, 2011) Carried over to 2012
Senate Bill:
SB 818 (110 KB)
"An Act relative to the arrest and prosecution for the possession of marihuana for medical purposes...

It shall be a prima facie defense to a charge of possession, manufacturing or trafficking of marihuana under this section if the defendant is a patient, caregiver or physician... Police officers shall have the right to exercise judgment in determining whether or not to arrest an individual..."
Introduced by Sen. Thomas McGee (D) on Jan. 21, 2011; Referred to Joint Committee on the Judiciary (Jan. 24, 2011) Carried over to 2012

Law

Summary

History (last action date)

Outcome

10. Mississippi
Senate Bill:
SB 2672 (165 KB)
 "An act to authorize the medical use of marihuana by seriously ill patients under a physician's supervision... [and] to transfer marihuana from Schedule I to Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Law... The purpose of this act is to ensure that physicians are not penalized for discussing marihuana as a treatment option with their patients, and that seriously ill people who engage in the medical use of marihuana upon their physicians' advice are not arrested and incarcerated..." lntroduced by Sen. Deborah Dawkins (D) and referred to Drug Policy committee on Jan. 17, 2011; Died in committee (Feb. 1, 2011)  Failed
11. New Hampshrie
House Bill:
HB 442 (115 KB)
"The purpose of this act is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians and designated caregivers, from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties, and property forfeiture if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana." lntroduced by Rep. Evalyn Merrick (D) and referred to the Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee on Jan. 6, 2011; Hearing held and bill received a vote of "ought to pass" (14-3) from the committee on Mar. 1, 2011; Passed by House with a vote of 221-96 (Mar. 16, 2011)

Introduced to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Mar. 23, 2011; Hearing held with majority report "ought to pass amended" on Apr. 14, 2011; "Laid on table" to delay vote, and would require a 2/3 vote to be brought back for consideration (May 11, 2011)
Carried over to 2012
12. New York
Senate Bill:
S2774 (150 KB
"Legalizes the possession, manufacture, use, delivery, transfer, transport or administration of marihuana by a certified patient or designated caregiver for a certified medical use;... directs the department of health to monitor such use and promulgate rules and regulations for registry identification cards." Sets possession limit of 2.5 ounces. Introduced by Senate Health Committee Chair Tom Duane (D) and referred to Health Committee on Feb. 1, 2011; Re-referred to Health Committee (Jan. 4, 2012) Carried over to 2012
Assembly Bill:
A7347 (30 KB)
"Legalizes the possession, manufacture, use, delivery, transfer, transport or administration of marihuana by a certified patient or designated caregiver for a certified medical use;... directs the department of health to monitor such use and promulgate rules and regulations for registry identification cards." Sets possession limit of 2.5 ounces. Introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried (D) on May 2, 2011; Referred to Codes Committee on May 24, 2011; Referred to Ways and Means Committee on June 13, 2011; Referred to Rules Committee on June 15, 2011; Referred to Health Commttee (Jan. 4, 2012) Carried over to 2012
13. North Carolina
House Bill:
HB 577 (200 KB)
"A qualified patient shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner... for the possession or purchase of cannabis for medical use by the qualified patient if the quantity of usable cannabis possessed or purchased does not exceed an adequate supply..." Prohibits a school, employer, or landlord for penalizing qualified patients for "the presence of cannabis metabolites in the individual's bodily fluids." Establishes a registry identification card program and a medical cannabis supply system. Introduced by Rep. Kelly Alexander (D), Rep. Patsy Keever (D), and Rep. Pricey Harrison (D) on Mar. 21, 2011; Passed 1st reading in the House and referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House on Apr. 4, 2011; Died because the bill did not advance before the "crossover deadline" [date by which legislation must pass one Chamber to be considered for the remainder of the legislative session] (June 9, 2011)

[Editor's Note: The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) confirmed with the House Clerks office and the chair of the Rules Committee in Jan. 2012 that HB 577 did not carry over from 2011 to 2012. MPP emailed ProCon.org on Jan. 26, 2012 to let us know that HB 577 was indeed dead.]

 Failed
14. Ohio
House Bill:
HB 214 (250 KB)
"There is a presumption that a registered qualifying patient or visiting qualifying patient is engaged in the medical use of cannabis if the patient is in possession of a valid registry identification card or valid visiting qualifying patient identification card." Introduced by Rep. Kenny Yuko (D) and Rep. Robert Hagan (D) and assigned to the Health & Aging committee (Apr. 26, 2011) Carried over to 2012

Law

Summary

History (last action date)

Outcome

15. Oklahoma
Senate Bill:
SB 573 (20 KB)
The Compassionate Use Act of 2011 removes Oklahoma’s criminal penalties for a patient who "possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician." Introduced by Sen. Constance Johnson (D); First reading held Feb. 7, 2011; Second Reading and referral to Health and Human Services committee (Feb. 8, 2011) Carried over to 2012
16. Pennsylvania
 Senate Bill:
SB 1003 (75 KB)
The Governor Raymond Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act provides "for the medical use of marijuana; and repealing provisions of law that prohibit and penalize marijuana use." Introduced by Sen. Daylin Leach (D) and referred to the Public Health and Welfare committee (Apr. 25, 2011) Carried over to 2012
House Bill:
HB 1653 (85 KB)
The Governor Raymond Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act provides "for the medical use of marijuana; and repealing provisions of law that prohibit and penalize marijuana use." Introduced by Rep. Mark Cohen (D) and referred to the House Health Committee on June 13, 2011; Referred to Human Services Committee (June 23, 2011)
Carried over to 2012
17. Texas
 House Bill:
HB 1491 (50 KB)

Provides an affirmative defense for people being prosecuted for possession of marijuana, if they have a recommendation from a physician to use it "for the amelioration of the symptoms or effects of a bona fide medical condition."

Introduced by Rep. Elliott Naishtat (D) on Feb. 17, 2011; Read and referred to Public Health Committee on Mar. 2, 2011; Died because the bill did not advance before the "crossover deadline" [date by which legislation must pass one Chamber to be considered for the remainder of the legislative session] (May 13, 2011) Failed
18. West Virginia
House Bill:
HB 3251 (100 KB)
"A qualifying patient shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege... for the medical use of marijuana, provided that the patient possesses a registry identification card and no more than six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana."

Also allows for affirmative defense, immunity for registered primary caregivers, protection for physicians, and the creation of compassion centers.
Introduced by Rep. Mike Manypenny (D) and referred to House Judiciary committee (Feb. 21, 2011) Carried over to 2012

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