The History Of Medical Marijuana In America
Marijuana has a long and heated history in the United States. Many people simply think marijuana is illegal everywhere and in every sense, but it’s rarely that simple. Laws are confusing, changing, and tend to accommodate the growing demands of the people. As it turns out, people have been demanding legal marijuana, particularly for medical reasons, for quite some time. The history of legal marijuana in America begins in 1973 with Oregon.
Oregon was the first state to decriminalize marijuana to some extent. People assume legalization of marijuana is a modern-day issue, but it’s actually been an important topic and goal for many decades now. The decriminalization really got the ball rolling in the 70’s and from there more states started to follow along.
Alaska was the next state to decriminalize marijuana in some regards.
It was still illegal to sell marijuana in Alaska, but after 1975 it was legal for a single home to have up to much as 4 ounces and 24 plants. They also made the selling of marijuana less than 2 and a half ounces a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
Maine passed similar laws a year later. They decriminalized the carrying of marijuana up to 2.5 ounces. It became a simple civil violation, which was a huge step forward compared to the severe penalties imposed the previous year. The fine may have ranged from $300 to $1,000. Within a few years, Alaska, Colorado, New York, and Ohio all had some form of new laws decriminalizing the possession of marijuana to some extent.
California started making some big changes to the marijuana laws in the 70s.
Much larger changes to regulations came in the 90’s. In 1996, California passed proposition 215. This particular proposition made it legal to possess and use marijuana for medical reasons approved by a physician. So whether you need medical marijuana delivery in Lake Forest or La Puente, you can receive it. Oregon followed suit and legalized it as well in 1998. It was then legalized for the same reasons one year later in Maine.
People, organizations, and even the government were beginning to realize there were real medical possibilities locked away in marijuana, yet they couldn’t fully understand them because of ancient laws. As time progresses, more and more states began to make marijuana legal with the approval of a licensed physician.
Nevada, Colorado, and Montana were the next three states to legalize medical marijuana. In Nevada, this happened by actually modifying the states constitution. Their constitution now sanctions the possession, growing, use, and selling of marijuana to particular individuals for approved medical reasons. The state constitution was changed in a similar fashion in Colorado as well.
Next, New Mexico and Michigan both legalized medical marijuana. Around the same time, other states also improved their existing medical marijuana laws. Vermont, for example, expanded the selection of medically approved reasons for prescribing medical marijuana. They also made it possible for out-of-state physicians to prescribe marijuana to Vermont citizens.
Today, many different states across the country allow medical marijuana. Some states have even taken it a step farther and legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. There’s no doubt these laws will continue to change and expand to fit the current generation.