Over Half of the States are Considering Marijuana Law Reform – Is Your State One Of Them?

Nearly 30 states, and the District of Columbia are considering marijuana law reform legislation this year, including bills that cover legalization for adults, decriminalization, medical marijuana and hemp.  Some states have a variety of reform bills simultaneously pending such as Arizona which is considering legalization and decriminalization, and Pennsylvania which is considering legalization as well as medical marijuana legislation.  Here’s a quick breakdown:

14 states are considering legalization: Arizona, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

12 states and the District of Columbia are considering decriminalization: Alabama, Arizona, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

11 states are considering legislation to establish effective medical marijuana programs: Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Hawaii, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

3 states are considering allowing industrial hemp cultivation: Indiana, New York, and Tennessee.


Click here to access NORML’s Action Alerts and quickly and easily contact your elected officials to encourage their support of any pending reform bills.  Be sure to keep checking NORML’s Take Action Center to see if your state has joined the list! 

76 thoughts

  1. I posted this question to Mr Humble who runs the Arizona Medical Marijuana program here but apparently my comments are not valid enough for his response. Also Arizona’s top supposed Marijuana Lawyer Jeff Kaufman seems to be only interested in making money off us not truly supporting us. So there needs to be some clarification concerning the rights of Medical Marijuana card holders pertaining to being denied and discriminated against being hired due to testing positive for THC. There seems to be a fine line here. It has been determined that Marijuana is a medicine for legal card holders. Being a medicine should mean it is no different than ANY other prescribed controlled substance. With that said new hepa privacy laws challenge whether “legal” card holders should be tested at all by employers. I have been denied employment now 8 times in a year and am being forced out of the work force due to employers STILL discriminating against my choice in pain management. So now I have to apply for food stamps, housing, etc. when I am perfectly able to work. I would never use a drug that would impair me at work marijuana included. I take pride in my job and I should be respected to properly medicate only when at home and do not operate a vehicle while using any drug that may impair.me. Under NO circumstances should ANY employer deny or discriminate against hiring ANYONE for medical Marijuana use. What is being done to stop this from happening? I respect Mr. Humble and appreciate all he has done with this program. However this issue needs to be addressed ASAP as the number of people being denied employment is growing. And so is the tax payers money going toward supporting us now that we can not be hired. Thank you so much for your time here. Please help get us back to work Mr.Humble

  2. You forgot to list the most populated weed state that is pushing the most liberal legalization initiative….

    [Editor’s note: Regrettably, you’re incorrect. No pending legalization legislation introduced yet (though expected from Ammiano and Leno) and no initiatives have qualified for the 2014 ballot by turning in enough signatures in California. Indeed, the most “populated weed state” needs to kick it into a higher gear.]

  3. The healthcare industry’s disrespect for patient rights has them limiting access to medication as well as defining what is medication and what is not. Whatever works does the job required. Who is to say the experimentation has to be done under the supervision of a medical professional. They claim it is to help other patients with their maladies, but its probably to patent a regimen or protect a backside.

  4. “But I think there is a point here,” Perry said. “Did we fight the war on drugs correctly every day? No. Has the war on terror been fought correctly every day? No. The point is that after 40 years of the war on drugs, I can’t change what happened in the past. What I can do as the governor of the second largest state in the nation is to implement policies that start us toward a decriminalization and keeps people from going to prison and destroying their lives, and that’s what we’ve done over the last decade. So I think there’s some innovation that goes on in the states that can translate not just to Oklahoma or California or New York, but to Switzerland, to France, to other countries that have this drug issue facing them, that there are some alternatives without going that big full step and decriminalizing and sending a message to people that it’s OK.” – Rick Perry from the exact same conference. He was actually advocating for a decriminalization model. I think when he finished that quote he meant to say legalization, not decriminalization. He is staunchly opposed to full legalization, though he advocates reducing penalties – such as assessing small fines, or offering rehabilitation. He did make a ridiculous reference in regard to the correlation between the murder rate increase in Portugal after the legalization/decriminalization took place, but he states that he is planning to implement policies that would move Texas toward s decriminalization model. – http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Gov-Rick-Perry-for-decriminalization-of-pot-5168667.php





  5. I suppose his response was rather ambiguous, but what you have to consider is the fact that the article can be interpreted in a variety of different ways. That wasn’t when he got back to to Texas, he actually made that comparison in Switzerland/ And yes, it was fucking retarded. And he admitted/pointed out that he understood that his point was essentially null.

  6. You forgot Ohio! I know there are is at least one Legalization bill trying to get on, but the petitions for November this year are going around heavily now with the Ohio Rights Group for Medical Marijuana.

    [Editor’s note: NORML tends to shy away from listing signature gathering efforts as indicia of citable examples of reform moving forward, instead concentrating on legislation introduced and ballot initiatives that have turned in enough qualifying signatures to be placed in upcoming elections. No doubt that signature gathering efforts are important and the first step to qualifying a voter initiative–which can substantively change cannabis laws for the better, and faster, than recalcitrant legislatures more inclined to support status quo and prohibition-supportive government bureaucracies, like law enforcement.]

  7. I see South Carolina on the list for considering decriminalization. I have not been able to find any information to confirm this. Will you please provide some more information on this please?

  8. Grant Hudson?
    Ever live on Elmwood Place in Austin? Well, anyway, whether I know you or not, I hate to be the one to break it to you brother but Rick Perry is not bringing decriminalization to Texas, not even by accident, which would be more plausible. He doesnt have the support from the Republican base like say Obama does from his Democratic base going into the end of his term to make an executive order worth lobbying him for. Believe me, if I thought Prick Perry would start growing hemp and take advantage of the hemp research amendment I would have thrown all my focus on him until security pulled me out of the capitol.
    Remember this is the guy who went on a presidential campaign, on camera during the Republican primary debates to save our economic crisis and forgot the “third thing” on his script. (“And the third thing was… Uhm… The third thing…”) He doesn’t speak from the heart. He’ll say anything to get a vote. Perry denied climate change on the presidential primary campaign during the 2011 drought while Bastrop went up in flames behind him. Perry is such a dumb goon that he went to California on a campaign to attract industries to Texas for our lower property taxes, and now he’s trying to figure out where all the Democrats are coming from. (I’ll give you a hint Perry… You ate dinner with them in a big blue state and said “ya’ll come to Texas.”)
    He once refused the pardon of a man on death row who was acquitted of all charges, just to keep the status quo happy…
    Perry’s not going to decriminalize marijuana in Texas.
    But Wendy Davis will. And she is very worth lobbying and educating on the cannabis issue. She’s stepping slow into the weed-waters and needs to lose the “experiment” labeling of legalization. But the woman has heart, and aint afraid to use it. Thats who we need in this battle.
    And the Democratic candidate for Agricultural Commissioner, Hugh Fitzimmons, is a freedom fighter too. Together they could reset the rules for cannabis in the state of Texas.
    In the words of the 80s rap band Public Enemy, “Don’t believe the Hype,” my friend. The truth is just a little deeper; Keep searching.
    Oh and not that Im in the habit of engaging in ontylogical arguments over the existence of God, but no worries; God will not lose faith in you. The herb has the power to restore our natural coexistence with God and nature by reminding us to grow our own gardens and sustain healthy bodies. When we are able to heal ourselves and sustain ourselves we can heal and provide for others and learn our true place in Creation.

  9. We are working very hard here in Pennsylvania to get John Hanger elected Governor. He not only has a great jobs plan, and has the ability to tax and control the gas companies, but he also wants to help the kiddos with mmj as well as ending the schools to jail pipeline through legalization and taxation. Check out http://www.hangerforgovernor.com/ and if you’re a fellow Pennsylvanian, make sure you’re registered to vote as a Democrat so you can sign the petition to get Hanger on the ballot. And then vote in the primary. He can easily beat Corbett. All we have to do is get him there! Shock The Elites!

  10. IR editors note
    I have supported norml for years in Ohio and it would be nice to get a push from national norml and help the local chapters get it legalized. have a signature push, have a national demonstration in ohio, put up a billboard or 2. please through us a bone

  11. My question is if your state has already pass the decriminalization by 30/16, Why do we need to re-decriminalization all over again? Why can’t we move along to the next stage of progress?

    Just because someone wants to run for a state office, why are we being taken backwards (to a position of, as if all of us had never been following all the senate Bills of our state,) for them to have some kind of agenda to start with? We have been there done that!

    The people of this state know where, and what our state position is!!! Lets move on to Legalization!!

    New candidates running for public office, who have taken a stance on Cannabis legalization need to be up front with..Maryland…we do not need another pull you leg person, lying to us as if the bill has never been passed.

    You want our support, our vote, you want our money to help you accomplish your goals…get real with us. Those of us who have been patient, waiting long, suffering hard…dang! maybe I should run for public office myself.

  12. Oklahoma? I would be surprised if that happens. I was charged with a marijuana case and received a felony charge. I used a attorney from this site to represent me. His name is Justin Lowe and he isn’t concerned with defending marijuana cases. Ive only been in trouble that one time as well. So out of curiosity where is this information coming from? If Oklahoma is considering such legislation what happens with my one and only felony charge?

  13. Maryland should also be added to the list of states considering decriminalization. I believe it’s being thrown around in the house

  14. Oklahoma will not legalize.This is a backward state that is full to the brim with personal agenda and corruption. As with alcohol prohibition it will be the last state to change, if ever. Those of you in Oklahoma I urge you to leave the state.Your elected officials will not listen to the will of the people.They will however mess themselves when their state slowly turns into a ghost town.Trust me when I say there are far better places to be than Oklahoma.I for one will not be staying around to be lied to and pushed aside by these elected “representatives”. I will be leaving for greener pastures ASAP.

  15. That Oklahoma would consider legalization before Texas, settles that age old question about which is more conservative.I always thought Oklahoma would be the last holdout. Them or Kansas.But, I guess Texas wants to be last.

  16. 90,000 people are incarcerated in the state of Texas every year for small posessions of marijuana. Decriminalization may not be our goal of legalization, but it’s a far cry from the drug- prison- rehabilitation complex Texas has going now. Republican Goober-natorial candidate Greg Abbott is against medicinal marijuana and will support limited decriminalization with extra red tape.
    Wendy Davis and Democratic Agricultural Commissioner Hugh Fitzimmons are ready to change Texas cannabis policy on the path to legalization, first with full decriminalization. (candidate for Ag. Commissioner Kinky Friedman is running on a marijuana platform, but Hugh Fitzimmons has the experience and determination to get hemp growing in the State of Texas. Listen to Kinky, and you wonder if he’s just running for fun again). Whats important is Davis and Fitzimmons are receptive to “the public temperature,” on cannabis issues, meaning the marijuana legalization potential falls on the Democratic vote this November for cannabis friendly Texans.
    Keep your Cannabis Culture Texas! Visit votehemp.com and start a Hemp History Week event in your town or city this summer! With depleting water resources, hemp is the angle we need to get cannabis legal in the State of Texas! Click on the “Act!” button on the top right corner of this screen to support legal hemp at the federal level.
    C’mon, I wanna sing “I aint afraid to smoke my weed no more” in front of a protesting crowd in Austin this year. Let’s make this happen, Texas.

  17. I’m from Indiana and from what I’ve heard from friends that I have that work in state offices, cultivation for hemp isn’t the only suggestion that’s been put out there. They are also talking about a major decriminalization as well. Which for years now, if you only had a small amount, the police would just make you dump it. I got busted with a half ounce, they just made me dump it on the ground and grind it on the ground with my foot. And as far as oklahoma goes, your wrong there. Kentucky actually has the worst outlook on marijuana, so they would most likely be the last state to legalise, if they did at all. There are still dry counties and towns in KY.

  18. In a local newspaper a few weeks ago, Rep Pugh of Louisiana stated that Louisiana already has provisions for medical marijuana. Where can I find out what they are?

    [Paul Armentano responds: It refers to a therapeutic research program that requires collaboration with the federal government to administer federally grown cannabis. The law is dormant and moot because the federal government is not open to such collaborations.]

  19. As a R.N. I can tell you that I would rather have someone with a marijuana high as a patient than a drunk. The drunk will usually be hostile, dangerous, combative and non-compliant. The person with a marijuana buzz will usually be pleasant, non-combative, compliant and workable. I can’t count the times I have been hit, shoved, threatened, sued, lied to more from a drunk. I say legalize marijuana. I also believe the reason it is such a battle over legalization of marijuana is because the wealthy own the alcohol industry. They do not and cannot control/own the profits of marijuana.

  20. Come on U.S. law-makers and voters, wake up! I have suffered from Epilepsy, and have seizures that at any time could take my life, The only medicine that I have found to control my Gran Mal seizures is cannabis, unfortunately I live in a State where this medicine is not allowed to be used, and I feel like a criminal every time I use it. Not only do I feel like a criminal, but many times, I cannot obtain it on the black-market when I need it. The guess what happens? The ugly seizure shows up. For those lawmakers who think that a seizure is a minor thing, as I said WAKE UP!
    Not only is the seizure a severe medical threat to my life each time I have one, depending on when and where the seizure takes place, but the after effects take a toll on me both physically and mentally. My short-term memory loss is insane, and I lose a couple days of my life before and after each seizure. All because my State does not allow this medicine to be used for persons as myself, as well as the thousands of others who suffer from several other disabilities or ailments.
    In closing, I ask the lawmakers and voters in States where the medicine is not obtainable, please take into consideration the plight of persons such as me, and make this available to all who need this medication. I’m sure that if you get sick, and or have a family member whose life could be kept livable by ingesting something that God placed on this Earth for just these reasons, your opinions on the medicine would change in a heart-beat.

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