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. My state is not on there and with the severe chrones disease I have it would help me a lot. I sent an email to my states(Indiana) Normal “contact us/email” on the site to ask what I can do too help and never got a response. Any help here?

  2. Its not about governors, congressmen, or any other elected official taking action on their own beliefs, it is about that elected official having the integrity to stand up for what the people that they are representing want, and not their own political views or agendas. Now is the time to be writing these so called “representatives” to see if they will support the data “polls” and if they don’t, then get them the hell out!! Its’ time to go to the booth and VOTE! I called Wendy Davis 2 MONTHS ago and she and her campaign has REFUSED to answer the question. Wendy, will you do what Texas wants and legalize Marijuana? And if not, then HELL no I will not vote for you, as a matter of fact I will let everyone know where you stand on the issue.

    Yours truly,
    Robert Harbour

  3. Legalize and decriminilized in MISSISSIPPI!! Think of the tax dollars this state could get by opening dispensaries for the particular product and would probably get dealers out of jail to make room for real criminals. Why would somebody put someone in jail for something that grows in the dirt? Although Ms did this to me because they just want to make money for the gvernment. Just think not only small fines yall would get you wpuld also get the tax revenue on the purchases made. I sont mind paying taxes on it and i believe i would have a few others in join me on that just to see it legal. Get the pot criminals out of jail to make room for serious crimes why does a state want to pay all those taxes on prisoners in jail for a plant proven to help as medicine.

  4. I would like to be emailed about these type of changes in law. I hope for the people that need Marijuana the most for their illness will gain access to this medication through change on a federal level not just state.

  5. Hell no, I am from Iowa they are fighting us tooth & nail to keep it from happen here in Iowa. they know that Iowa does every other state will follow us. Where the first state to legalize gay marriage, where the first state to legalize the right to carry, where the first state to vote, we put Obbuma in office, just to name a few things that we are the first in. So government will not let it happen here. for fear of what the other state will do if legalize Ganja in Iowa, and if wasn’t for Carl Olsen keeping up the presser here there wouldn’t be nothing going on here. So Iowa will be one of the last state to legalize, sad but true…. Oh well….one love Peace…

  6. Nope, not Pennsylvania. Not even the Democratic Attorney General is for legalizing marijuana strains high in CBDs such as Charlotte’s Web for treating Dravet’s. I expect that out of the Republican Governor Tom Corbett, heartless asswipe that he is. We have bipartisan legislation from Folmer (R) and Leach (D) but the rest of the politicians are holding it up. Even states in the Deep South are going for at least legalizing the kind that treats Dravet’s. Pennsylvania will be the last state, it looks like, as they’re masters at concealing the corruption. They still say they don’t have any information about what happened to District Attorney Ray Gricar, who disappeared under suspicious circumstances while the Jerry Sanduski child molestation investigation was going on. Gricar refused for some reason to charge Sanduski, then disappeared and his laptop was found without the hard drive in the Susquehanna River. Corbett is performing magic tricks with his latest budget, in which he still leaves the state pension, public education, the environment because of untaxed Marcellus Shale fracking in a shitty shambles.

    Corbett sucks greasy donkey dick and must go. Sooner the better!

  7. I am the founder of:(L.H.N.L.) Legalize Hemp Now Louisiana.
    It’s on FB,& is doing well. I stay in touch w/ my state rep.,&
    Would encourage anyone who reads this to join in this fight,but
    everyone has to do there part by calling your local,& state officials.
    Thank you very much.

  8. I hope Michigan will make it legal for recreational use for 21 and up instead of just decriminalizing it. The state could use the tax revenue bad and I’ve been planning on moving back to Michigan.. currently I am in Tennessee and they don’t have it legal for medical use yet because I could really use it for medical use due to some of the medical conditions I have.

  9. @Scott

    Decrim for us has been on the table for about 2 years, but its being stonewalled by a legislator whose name i can’t recall at the moment. Send an email to Sen. Karen Tallian (D) for information (I know she will respond). She is the hero fighting for us.
    Hope this helps!

  10. Decriminalization in South Carolina?

    Is this true or a typographical mistake?

    Where can I get more information?


  11. Scott, I feel for you bud; if I was not settled here with my family, I would have moved a couple years ago.
    It makes me wonder: If our state and other states are so backward on this issue, what else are they being backwards about.
    I really wish that those opposed to changing marijuana laws would spend some time in a “drunk tank”, and see what is REALLY like to be in jail for smoking or having a small amount of marijuana.

  12. Hey Wade Harbour, check out this bit on CNN I found. I saw your comment so I decided to look into this Wendy Davis. I’m a new resident, coming from CA, and TX not having medical marijuana or decriminalization is a concern for me!


    I’ve picked out some quick quotes.

    “Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis said she supports medical marijuana use as well easing the state’s legal consequences for possessing small amounts of the drug.”

    “Asked her position on medical marijuana use, Davis said she personally supports it but, ultimately, as governor she’d have to take the temperature of the state on the issue.”

    “With regard to medical marijuana. I personally believe that medical marijuana should be allowed for. I don’t know where the state is on that, as a population,” she said.

    “From a philosophical position, do I have any objections to the fact that citizens might want to legalize marijuana? No, I don’t. But I think watching to see how this experiment plays out in other states is probably advisable before I could tell you for sure,” she said.

    I think it’s pretty interesting, and I wait anxiously to see what her FINAL stance is. She mentions something like seeing what the TX population wants, and having to take the state’s temperature on the issue. I don’t have sources at this moment, but I believe I saw several articles stating that majority of Texans support marijuana reform.

  13. Moved to Arizona bout’ 3 years ago from Indiana which is one of the most strict states when it comes to any MJ… even got busted there for growing. Hope Arizona is one of the next states, it would be amazing and a step in the right direction.

  14. No ohio on this list? The ohio rights group is trying to push medical in 2014, this law needs to pass, to help the children, the patients and the people with medical needs without having to resort to hard pharmaceutical drugs. As a persons with Anxiety, Chronic Pain and back problems I would love the ability to put down pills and pick up something strong in CBC.

  15. I see my state Texas is also not on here. 58% of the people polled in Texas want it legal for recreational purposes. Unfortunately, we have politicians in Texas that apparently dont want to listen to what the voters want. I refuse to stand by and let drug gangs make the money off marijuana, its time us taxpayers get a break and start taxing a substance less harmful than alcohol and Tobacco. The politicians need to quit lying to us. The cats out of the bag.

    [Paul Armentano responds: In Texas, lawmakers can only debate this issue every other year. Lawmakers will debate a series of marijuana law reform bills in 2015.]

  16. @scott,
    Buy a vaporizer. It’s a worthy investment, reduces smell, and conserves your weed. My nephew has Chrone’s disease and that’s how he stays cool with school. Hang on; freedom is coming.
    As for me, I called my Congressman, R Rep. Lamar Smith who us DEEP in the DEAs pockets. Poor Ms. Gonzales, such a sweet girl who answered the phone. Oh I was polite, but the message of my displeasure that he voted against the hemp research amendment to the Farm Bill (that is now law!) was made clear. Prohibitionists are being hung out to dry by heart-felt American love of cannabis…
    And in Texas, the greatest irony is that Lamar Smith is trying to display a fight against drought, but he is neglecting the most drought resistant, top soil and water conserving crop there is; hemp.
    Congress has their backs against the wall. Now is the time to call your Congressman, tell them you vote, and let them know your story.

  17. i think michigan needs to decriminalize for the revenue and it sad to lose your lincence and worse yet to get points for a non driving offenses get less points for dui or reckles driving then you do for even just a joint its unfair

  18. No surprise VA tight wad prude leaders will fight it till the bitter end. I bet we’re the last state to change Time to move

  19. Is this entirely accurate? I’m in NC and we have already “Decriminalized” it (even your site already said so http://norml.org/aboutmarijuana/item/states-that-have-decriminalized), but it says above that we’re still considering it. What’s actually happening here? Are they considering decriminalizing over an ounce and a half now and intent to sell/distribute or grow?

    [Paul Armentano responds: The proposed bill would reduce the classification of simple possession from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by a fine of $200 and a suspended jail sentence) to a civil offense. It was also allow for expungement of past criminal records: http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=10451.%5D

  20. “It makes me wonder: If our state and other states are so backward on this issue, what else are they being backwards about.”

    Dude, everything! I’m sorry to say, we don’t have conservative laws instead they are regressive laws. Right to Work States bar unions and thus and living wage. So this regressive policy keeps the economy stuck in place workers can’t make more money so they have no money to spend–no real economy happens. In turn few taxes get paid into the system and the government has to make money by arresting people for the “crime” of marijuana, cutting services and/or raising taxes on the rich. This is why it is a “regressive policy”. Everyone loses, some more than others. The rich think they are saving themselves money by depressing the workers’ pay. But they are really depressing the economy that made them rich in the first place. Drug testing helps keep wages depressed too. They are saying, “I got mine now everyone else can fuck off.” It is stupid and un-American.

  21. Please note that New York already has decriminalized marijuana in 1978. What is actually being debated is closing in “in public view” exception that was used as an excuse for stop and frisk in New york city. With DiBlasio stop and frisk has ended. Before Giuliani started the stop and frisk policy in 1995 (it ended this year) there was effective decriminaliztion for up to I believe 25 grams — the public view exception had not begun to be used. What is being proposed is not some new decrim but a decrim in which the ammount is only 15 grams. Far from being a new decrim policy this proposed law only effectively brings back the old decrim policy for an ammount less than the ammount effectively decrimed from 1978-1995. Thus the proposed law is actually a step backwards because it effectively reduced the ammount under decrim. Also since there is no more stop and frisk in NYC the prosed law would only legally define what had been implicit previously for the lesser ammount. This occurs at a time when the affective policy without stop and frisk is ambigious. We need a legally definition that eliminates in public view without lowering the ammount before New York can become once again in the forefront of cannabis reform — a position it had prior to Giuliani. As one can see from the complicated situation this is not justan first time switch from criminalization to a decriminallization nobody ever experienced. Unfortunately few outside of NY know any of this and this is why just sayin incorrectly that decrim is being proposed leads to a complete misunderstanding on ehat is going on in NY cannabis law

  22. I’m not sure if I’ve counted right, but I seem to have 23 states in favor of the smoking types reforms, and 24 altogether including the Hemp Reform. Normal might be overhyping things just a tiny bit. Though it is still a huge success. I am excited to see how much of this legislation sticks. It’s time for forward thinking, and goodwill among men.

    – “Cannabis Steve”

    [Editor’s note: More reform bills to come in a number of states!]

  23. The whole country needs to legalize it. Recreational smokers are being discriminated against and are pretty well fed up with it. I think it’s a disgrace that I can legally go out and consume enough alcohol to kill myself or someone else, yet I can’t smoke a fucking joint in my own house without breaking a law.

  24. WENDY DAVIS! I love ya, girl, but seriously? Legalization is not an “experiment”. PROHIBITION is the experiment, and it has failed! We need to use this language and stop allowing prohibitionists and Drug Warriors and even lukewarm “we’ll see” quasi-prohibitionists and Drug Warriors to keep referring to “doing the right thing” as an “experiment” and spinning the conversation to make prohibition the status quo null hypothesis. LEGALIZATION is the null hypothesis, PROHIBITION is the experiment, and it has failed, completely and utterly failed, and we need to STOP them from being able to use this language to normalize this atrocity against the American people as the rule and not the exception that it is.

    So yeah, Wendy Davis et al, get it through your thick, brainwashed prohibitionist skulls and try to see past all the BS “just say no” propaganda our culture has been saturated with: LEGALIZATION IS NOT AN EXPERIMENT, PROHIBITION IS THE EXPERIMENT!

  25. I hope everyone remembers the real reason MH was made illegal. The Southwestern states that pushed the Feds to make it illegal so they can take care of the “illegal workers and immigration” issues are now some of the biggest supporters of decriminalization. Oh, the irony!
    I can only hope we can wake up as a society and right the wrongs.

  26. @ TheOracle: Right on; it’s not cynical at all to say that Pennsylvania is intentionally ignorant of the scientific evidence that surrounds marijuana. I think this is where contacting the right people can really have an impact on legislation. Also, I live in State College, PA…we never heard about that part of the Sandusky case.

  27. Reps from Drug testing agencies (makers of the equipment) and the AMA in the form of PACs line the greedy old bastards pockets, offer stocks, promise them a future seat on the board, ( do I sound cynical). Because it is soooooo obvious prohibition and the money spent in the war on drugs but marijuana specifically has been a disaster and a horrible wrong that is long past the need to be corrected.

  28. Just going to throw this out there, I live in Louisville, KY, Our cash crops consist of marijuana and tobacco at the top. Now why are we wasting our land on tobacco when we could legalize the growth and cultivation of cannabis. Even if we legalized the production of Hemp, we would be happy!

  29. @ TEXANS, @Mr. Mitch
    Why waste a vote on Wendy Davis? she is not serious about Marijuana reform. She will say anything to get elected.

    Kathy Glass is the Libertarian gubernatorial Candidate and she would completely legalize marijuana.

    If u think she can’t win, vote for her to show our legislators we aren’t screwing around and teach them not to take our vote for granted.

  30. View the Libertarian platform for yourself to see Texas gubernatorial Candidate Kathy Glass would support ending marijuana prohibition.


    That link will open a PDF file, which is the party’s platform (what they stand for). Use ctrl + f and search for drug and they explain how the federal government does not have authority to make drugs illegal under our constitution, and they as a whole party want to end the drug war.

    If u didn’t know each party has one, then u really don’t know what party you belong to.

  31. @Mitch & Demonhype, Your criticism is well founded of Wendy Davis; decriminalisation is an experiment; legalization is the solution.
    But we have to appreciate and savor the climactic irony of whats happening in Texas and the U.S. Cannabis policy.
    The Republican front runner, Greg Abbot said in the primary debate he is NOT for medical marijuana… (looooser…). Im driving through Austin looking at Wendy Davis bumperstickers, listening to NPR say Republican luetenant governors arent even spending any money on tv ads in Austin.
    Houston and San Antonio are Democratic. Because Democrats are embracing the green, I am watching Texas turn from red to blue.
    Our movement has ignited across the nation. Our voices have never been louder. And I just stocked up on chocolate covered hemp seeds and herbal cbd remedies from Whole Foods.
    God bless America. Purchasing legal cannabis just felt so “NORML” I hardly realized it happened.

  32. @scott. I too have suffered with Crohns disease since I was 8 and I dream of the day to have medical marijuana legal in the the state of New York. I hate that I can be prescribed steroids an pain killers for my disease and yet have a stigma when I would prefer to use a vaporizer to alleviate my symptoms.

  33. The floodgates have opened!! I’m a Wisconsin resident and lots of people around here are proud to be from here, I am not. Seeing WI on this list is the proudest I’ve ever been of my state. It seriously brought a tear to my eye. Hopefully, I will no longer see the lives of my friends, co-workers, and family ruined because they choose to smoke weed instead of drinking themselves to death like so many in my state choose to do. I can’t afford to donate any money to the cause right now, but that should change in the next few months and I plan to donate as much as I possibly can to this unbelievably great movement. Maybe I can also get personally involved, this issue really hits home for me. Thank you everyone at NORML for not giving up, and bringing this important issue to the eyes of the american people time and time again. I used to hide my cannabis use like many others. That is no longer the case. I am open and honest about it with everyone because I’m tired of hiding who I am. More of us closet smokers are coming out of hiding everyday and we will not be silenced.

  34. Michigan is already my #1 go-to for vacations and getaways. If they were to legalize for recreational I’d be up there every weekend I can and spending my tourist dollars. Where is Ohio on this list? such a lame state…..

  35. I just contacted Texas state Senator John Carona’s office in Austin and spoke with his chief of staff. I told her I was speaking on behalf of Texas NORML and votehemp seeking to learn of Carona’s response to “industrial hemp to conserve water and top soil for Texas farmers who are worried about depleting water supplies making corn a non viable crop.”
    Her response was hilarious; “Well, I,ve never… Wait… Hemp is cannabis, isn’t it? I mean, isn’t it the same as marijuana?”
    (After a brief pause of shock)… “About the same difference of a horse and a mule…” I replied. She chuckled. I continued.
    “Industrial hemp contains less than .03% of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. While im aware that 58% of Texans want marijuana legalized, I believe the more immediate concern for Texas farmers is diversifying their crop to a more drought resistant hemp variety of cannabis where counties are already running out of water. 90% of the corn produced in Texas goes to feed and celulosic ethanol. Corn could be zoned to prime farmlands for feed and food while industrial hemp could replace corn for celulisic ethanol.”
    “Well, I certainly havn’t heard that version of cannabis before…” said Carona’s Chief of Staff.
    “Then it may interest you that the hemp research amendment to the Farm Bill has been passed and signed. That means Texas Colleges, Universities and State Department of Agriculture could already be studying hemp crop yields, the best places to grow, and basic information to help Texas farmers figure out what varieties of hemp grow best for their use and area. With depleting water sources, and some districts in severe drought, this issue us not going away in the state of Texas.”
    “Well, I am Senator Corona’s Chief of Staff, and having never heard this argument for cannabis before, you can be sure I will relay this information to him right away. Thank you for bringing this up.”
    “Thank you, you can contact us at NORML or call me back to know what Mr. Carona’s response is.”
    “ok, thank you.”
    “Have a nice day.”
    “You as well.”

    …Weve gottem on the run NORML. But they can’t hide. Let’s keep up the chase.

  36. I can’t understand why NORML or anyone else refuses to acknowledge that Arkansas has a chance at MMJ reform. We got within 1 1/2% of passing last election. We have a REAL shot at it this time around. The problem is that nobody wants to give us any assistance. Arkansans for Compassionate Care has got an extremely good volunteer base, we have experience running an initiative, but we still need support, both financially as well as advisory. Not only do we not get any support, we can’t even get acknowledged by the National groups that we have an approved initiative for 2014. Don’t underestimate Arkansas. We not only are contenders, but are planning a southern coalition conference in June for all southern states & Missouri.

  37. I should point out I got an “Oh my…” out of her when I mentioned that the conservative Farm Bureau Federation endorsed industrial hemp.
    As a viable alternative crop for sustainable diversification, the Farm Bureau stated in support of the hemp research amendment “for those farmers who are still trying to live off the land as generations did before them on their family farms.”
    This angle of cannabis reform is vital in states like Texas and Indiana where “conservative” representatives and Senators dont care about the issue of the “new Jim Crow.” The Republicans in these states know they are reduced to the rural, aging “conservative white male” voters… Most of which are concerned about water rights, water availability, and are proud of their self-sustainability.
    So we have to show our aging white farming neighbors that cannabis is conservative. Not only can hemp save depleting water and top soil resources, but it can save the family farm. Nothing pisses an old white farmer off more than telling him the seeds he’s storing for next year’s planting belong to Monsantos. Or that after all his year’s work just trying to water and harvest enough hay and corn to feed his cattle, that the cost of round up and fertilizer aint worth all the beef he sold. That’s IF your well has enough water to irrigate. Farm insurance doesn’t cover loss of pride.
    My new neighbor down the road is putting up a fence to raise buffalo. My neighbor across the street sold all his longhorns and put up exotic game fence for blackbuck, gazelle and antelope. Even the guy I buy hay from with the best well pump on the Blanco River is selling his cattle and looking for any other alternative.
    The drought in 2011 changed everything.
    Hemp is more drought resistant than coastal hay. You can harvest the seeds and feed the rest to your buffalo, and get an agricultural tax exemption on only ten acres. The fence aint cheap (Might sell the bulls and artificially inseminate to keep your neighbors happy) but Buffalo, (not the big corporate “beefalo” crossbred herds) can survive a drought eating cactus fruits. They’re meat is lean and full of protein. Growing hemp in a valley to supplement their diet is sustainable. Hemp contains all the essential amino acids required by humans or buffalo.
    Now I dont care who you are, THAT’S conservative. Growing hemp and raising buffalo puts more water and nutrients BACK into the soil. No hormones. No preservatives. No extra fertilizer. No pesticides. No herbicides. Less water. In little time you have already paid for that fence. (Just keep the cows together, and only keep a bull if you have a lot of range and the posts go three feet into the ground every 10 ft.)
    If you are reading this and you are from Texas, after you’re done calling State Senator
    John Carona’s office, go vote in the Demicratic primaries for Hugh Fitzimmons, running for Texas Agricultural Commissioner. He runs a big buffalo farm down near Del Rio and sells “Thunderheart Buffalo Meat” shot out on the range so as not to taint the meat by stressing the buffalo on the way to the slaughter. He is putting water conservation on the top of his agenda. As my former history professor, I can vouch that he understands the need for cannabis policy reform in Texas. …Unlike Kinky Friedman, who although he’s running on a marijuana platform, he doesn’t have the experience or the dedication to get the job, much less get it done. There’s been a lot of talk about “throwing our vote” at Libertarians or candidates that wont make the ballot just to “prove a point.” While education is key, active, not passive research is education. Dig deeper to see who is more qualified and what the candidate knows and stands for. Sure a libertarian wants the government out of drug policy. And thank God for Jeff Bezos of Amazon pouring money into legalization or who knows where we’d be on drug policy right now.
    But libertarians also want to abolish public education. Millions of poor kids wandering the streets who cant afford a private education sounds like an even bigger health crisis than prohibited cannabis to me. Be careful. Privatizing everything all the way to our banking system is what gave all the wealth to the top 1% 100 years ago with the Federal Reserve Act. Dont let marijuana legalization be used as a ruse to take away more of our freedom, as the Koch Brothers like to do hiding behind so called pro-marijuana “think tanks” like the CATO institute, while heavily attacking the public sector through the State Policy Network and Americans for Prosperity. Remember who we’re up against; Monsantos, Koch Industries, GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft, Private Prisons and detention facilities and Robert DuPont’s drug-testing empire.
    These are industries that would gladly “privatize” our privates, (and often do through piss tests and needless medical exams).
    But would we “privatize” marijuana? To “privatize” for one man is to lose freedom for many others.
    Privatization isn’t conservative. A self-sustaining cannabis farm where a farmer owns his own seeds and feeds his own family… Now THAT’s conservative.
    Don’t let those politicians fool us this election season. We have a chance to legalize cannabis and do it right; that means the government researches for all who wish to grow their own food, fuel, medicine and building materials; Not just some wannabe cannabis conservative who wants to own the corporate patent to freedom.
    Be strong and keep faith fellow activists. Be confident. The longer the battle, the sweeter the victory.

  38. http://townhall.com/video/gov-rick-perry-advocates-to-decriminalize-pot-n1784118

    Why has nobody been talking about this? I found out about it weeks ago, and it blew my freaking mind then. It was time quite some time ago. ?

    [Editor’s note: Perry must have been off his meds when he was in the snows of Davos Switzerland claiming to support decrim…because when he got back to good ol’ Texas, he went back to equating cannabis legalization with murder.]

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