States That Legally Regulate Medical and/or Adult Social Use of Marijuana

Related Chapters:
CBD (Cannabidiol)
Marijuana Policy Reform - Decriminalization, Legalization, and Medicalization
Medical Marijuana

Looking for information on synthetic cannabinoids (e.g. "Kush," "spice," "K2," etc.)? Check our chapter on New Psychoactive Substances

Looking for specific, detailed information on cannabidiol (CBD)? In addition to the items below, check out Project CBD.

161. State Bans on Synthetic Cannabinoids

"At this time, forty-six (46) states and the federal government have scheduled one or more synthetic cannabinoids by statute or regulation and twenty-nine (29) states have some form of the generic language. Of the four states that have not scheduled one or more of the synthetic cannabinoids, Louisiana and Nebraska include the generic language. The only two states that have not yet scheduled any of the synthetic cannabinoids or the generic language are Maryland and Rhode Island. Maryland had four bills pending this legislative session, but was unable to get legislation passed before the session adjourned. There is still a regulation pending in Maryland that would schedule certain cannabinoids. The District of Columbia also has legislation pending. Rhode Island, however, does not have anything pending at this time."

Gray, Heather, "An Introduction to Synthetic Drugs," National Alliiance for Model State Drug Laws (Santa Fe, NM: June 2012), p. 11.

162. Schedule One and Limits on Research

"There is shared concern among researchers that adding these substances to Schedule I could hinder medical research. As previously mentioned, Professor Huffman did not intend for K2 to be consumed by humans. He is, however, against adding synthetic cannabinoids to Schedule I, asserting that there is still much to learn about synthetic cannabinoids and that placing them on Schedule I would create too many hurdles for researchers who need to access these drugs.58 Professor Huffman has created several synthetic cannabinoids that are seen as showing promise in treating skin cancers, pain, and inflammation."

Sacco, Lisa N. and Finklea, Kristin M., "Synthetic Drugs: Overview and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, October 28, 2011), p. 13.

163. Testing for Use of Synthetic Cannabinoids

"Most of the synthetic cannabinoids added as not-listed ingredients to Spice products are very difficult to detect by commonly used drug screening procedures. Apart from the analogs of THC such as HU-210, the structure of these new synthetic cannabinoids differs from that of THC, so that they probably will not trigger a positive test for cannabinoids in immunoassays of body fluids."

Fattore, Liana and Fratta, Walter "Beyond THC: the new generation of cannabinoid designer drugs," Frontiers in Behaviorial Neuroscience (Lausanne, Switzerland: September 2011) Volume 5, Article 60, p. 4.

164. Monitoring of Spice and New Psychoactive Substances

"A dramatic online snapshot of the Spice phenomenon as an emerging trend has been recently given by an important web mapping program, the Psychonaut Web Mapping Project, a European Commission-funded project involving researchers from seven European countries (Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, and UK), which aims to develop a web scanning system to identify newly marketed psychoactive compounds, and their combinations (e.g., ketamine and Spice, cannabis and Spice), on the basis of the information available on the Internet (Psychonaut Web Mapping Research Group, 2010). As a major result of the Project, a new and updated web-based database is now widely accessible to implement a regular monitoring of the web for novel and recreational drugs."

Fattore, Liana and Fratta, Walter "Beyond THC: the new generation of cannabinoid designer drugs," Frontiers in Behaviorial Neuroscience (Lausanne, Switzerland: September 2011) Volume 5, Article 60, p. 3.

165. Cannabis Prohibition Ineffective

"Increased funding for cannabis prohibition has increased cannabis seizures and arrests, but the assumption that this reduces cannabis potency, increases price or meaningfully reduces availability or use is inconsistent with surveillance data the US federal government has itself collected."

International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, "Tools for Debate: US Federal Government Data on Cannabis Prohibition" (Vancouver, British Columbia: 2010), p. 21.

166. History of Marijuana Use

"There are indications that cannabis was used as early as 4000 B.C. in Central Asia and north-western China, with written evidence going back to 2700 B.C. in the pharmacopeia of emperor Chen-Nong. It then gradually spread across the globe, to India (some 1500 B.C., also mentioned in Altharva Veda, one of four holy books about 1400 B.C.1), the Near and Middle East (some 900 B.C.), Europe (some 800 B.C.), various parts of South-East Asia (2nd century A.D.), Africa (as of the 11th century A.D.) to the Americas (19th century) and the rest of the world.2"

"A Century of International Drug Control," United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Vienna, Austria: 2009), p. 15.

167. Taxonomy of Cannabis

"The biological (reproductive) definition of a species states that all specimens of a population are of a single species if they are naturally able to sexually reproduce, generating fertile offspring. This is the case throughout the genus Cannabis, and by this definition, therefore, there are no clear biological grounds to separate it into different species.However, within the species Cannabis sativa L., several subspecies are sometimes identified (Small and Cronquist, 1976).
"Despite this, modern Cannabis taxonomy remains confused, as a scientific minority prefers to define species according to their typological or morphological characteristics. In 1974, Schultes et al. described three putative species, Cannabis sativa L. (a typically tall species used for fibre, seed or psychoactive use), Cannabis indica Lam. (a short, wide-leafed plant from Afghanistan, used to produce resin) and Cannabis ruderalis Jan. (a short unbranched roadside plant with minimal drug content)."

"EMCDDA Insights: Cannabis production and markets in Europe," European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (Lisbon, Portugal: 2012), p. 21.

168. THC Content

"The secretion of THC is most abundant in the flowering heads and surrounding leaves. The amount of resin secreted is influenced by environmental conditions during growth (light, temperature and humidity), sex of the plant, and time of harvest. The THC content varies between parts of the plant: from 10-12 % in flowers, 1-2 % in leaves, 0.1-0.3 % in stalks, to less than 0.03 % in the roots."

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, "World Drug Report 2009" (Vienna, Austria: United Nations, 2009), p. 97.

169. Effect of Prohibition on Drug Use

"Prohibition has two effects: on one hand it raises supplier costs, disrupts market functioning and prevents open promotion of the product; on the other, it sacrifices the authorities’ ability to tax transactions and regulate operation of the market, product characteristics and promotional activity of suppliers. The cannabis prevalence rates presented in Figure 1 show clearly that prohibition has failed to prevent widespread use of the drug and leaves open the possibility that it might be easier to control the harmful use of cannabis by regulation of a legal market than to control illicit consumption under prohibition. The contrast between the general welcome for tobacco regulation (including bans on smoking in public places) and the deep suspicion of prohibition policy on cannabis is striking and suggests that a middle course of legalised but limited consumption may find a public consensus."

"Pudney, Stephen, "Drugs Policy – What Should We Do About Cannabis?" Centre for Economic Policy Research (London, United Kingdom: April 2009), p. 23.

170. Political History of Marijuana Law Reform

"The identification of cannabis as a potentially dangerous psychoactive substance did not, however, prevent a substantial number of these enquiries to explore the issue of whether current legislation reflected the real dangers posed by cannabis. Already in 1944, the La Guardia Committee Report on Marihuana concluded that ‘the practice of smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word’ and that ‘the use of marihuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction’ (Zimmer and Morgan, 1997). In 1968 the Wootton Report stated that ‘the dangers of cannabis use as commonly accepted in the past and the risk of progression to opiates have been overstated’ and ‘cannabis is less harmful than other substances (amphetamines, barbiturates, codeine-like compounds)’. A similar conclusion was arrived at 34 years later in 2002 when the Advisory Committee on Drug Dependence proposed the reclassification of cannabis from Class B to Class C (enforced by law in 2004 and confirmed in 2005). These views were reiterated by other enquiries, such as the Baan Committee in the Netherlands, which affirmed in 1971 that ‘cannabis use does not lead directly to other drug use’ (16) or by the US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, which in 1973 stated that ‘the existing social and legal policy is out of proportion to the individual and social harm engendered by the use of the drug [cannabis]’ (17). The Canadian Le Dain Commission saw ‘the UN Single Convention of 1961 as responsible’ for such a situation which ‘might have reinforced the erroneous impression that cannabis is to be assimilated to the opiate narcotics’. The same commission, however, suggested that the UN Convention did ‘not prevent domestic legislation from correcting this impression’ (18)."

EMCDDA (2008), "A cannabis reader: global issues and local experiences," Monograph series 8, Volume 1, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Lisbon, p. 108.

171. The Cannabis Plant

"Cultivated Sinsemilla: Female cannabis plant which has not been pollinated. May grow from cutting or from seed. May contain some seed (if un-pollinated the seed will be sterile). Common illicit indoor grow technique.
"Cultivated Non Sinsemilla: Male or Female cannabis plant commonly grown for illicit drug use.
"Cultivated Ditchweed: Male or Female cannabis plant which grows wild in many states that has in some way been tended by man. Examples of tending are: weeding, watering, topping, fertilizing, harvesting.
"Ditchweed: Unattended, wild male or female cannabis that is native to many states.
"Cannabis Bud: Flowering top of a female cannabis plant. The Bud may contain seed. Most valuable portion of a cannabis plant to the illicit grower. Bud formation occurs late in plant development.
"Leaf: Cannabis leaf potency tends to correlate to position on the plant. The most potent part of the plant is the new leaves at the top of the plant. As you move downward on the plant potency decreases. The least potent leaves on the plant are the large leaves at the bottom of the plant.
"Mature Cannabis: Mature cannabis plants have a higher potency than immature plants. Determination of plant maturity should be made using all available contextual factors. For example, is the plant outdoors and it only June or July, if so, then the plant is likely immature. However, if the growing season is near an end, such as September or October, then the plant is probably mature. Note male cannabis plants are mature as early as August when grown outdoors. It is more difficult to generalize regarding maturity of indoor grows. “Spike” cannabis plants can mature in as little as 6-8 weeks whereas an indoor grow with plants 3-4 feet in height may take 60-120 days to mature.
"Already Harvested: Cannabis plant material recently dried or packaged. May be either bud or leaf.
"Average Plant Canopy Diameter: Record the diameter of a typical mature cannabis plant at its broadest point through the center. Diameter data can be used to predict usable yield with good accuracy."

"Cannabis Potency Monitoring Form," Cannabis Potency Monitoring Project (University, MS: Univesity of Mississippi).