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Legalization of marijuana

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The legalization of marijuana is a movement to de-criminalize the use and cultivation of marijuana.

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Contents

Overview

It is currently illegal to cultivate, sell or use marijuana-- a drug extracted from the Indian hemp plant Cannabis sativa in the United States by federal law.[1] There is an unresolved question of law regarding states' rights to regulate and legislate the use of marijuana.

A limited exception has been made in about 14 states for whereby it is legal to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. In addition, some states have decriminalized the possession of marijuana. A person found to be in possession of a small quantity of marijuana in one of these states may only face civil misdemeanor charges and a fine.

By contrast, in some of the more conservative states, federal laws and mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines are still enforced which can result in incarceration for a first offense of possession of marijuana in any quantity. Currently, there is an effort in California to get the legalization of marijuana on the November 2010 election ballot [2] which, if successful, would legalize the use of marijuana and tax its sale.
 

Table of State Marijuana Laws

State marijuana laws
State

Conditional

Release

Decriminalized

Mandatory

Sentencing

Medical Hemp DUI Drug Tax Stamp

Alabama

X X
Alaska X X
Arizona X
Arkansas X X
California

X

X X
Colorado X X X
Connecticut X X
Dist. of Columbia X X
Delaware X
Florida X
Georgia X X X X
Hawai'i X X
Idaho X
Illinois X X
Indiana X X X
Iowa X X X X
Kansas X X
Kentucky X X
Louisiana X X
Maine X X X
Maryland X X X
Massachusetts X X X X
Michigan X X X
Minnesota X X X X X
Mississippi X
Missouri
Montana X X X X
Nebraska X X X X
Nevada X X X X
New Hampshire
New Jersey X
New Mexico X
New York X
North Carolina X X X X X
North Dakota X X
Ohio X X X
Oklahoma X X X
Oregon X X X X
Pennsylvania X X X
Rhode Island X X X X
South Carolina X X X
South Dakota X
Tennessee X
Texas X
Utah X X
Vermont X X X
Virginia X X X X
Washington X X
West Virginia X X
Wisconsin X X X
Wyoming X X

(source: The National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML))
 

References

  1. http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/21/13/I/A/801
  2. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/12/marijuana-legalization-initiative-headed-for-2010-ballot-organizers-say.html

External Links

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