Which States Have Legal Medical Marijuana?

As of July 2017, 29 states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing medical marijuana (MMJ) to be used legally. We’re going to update this post every time laws and regulations change.

Gas station converted to medical marijuana clinic
Medical marijuana clinic [Wikimedia Commons]

Which States Have Legal Medical Marijuana Now?

ProCon.org, a website for students writing papers on “controversial subjects” has an up-to-date chart and map showing state laws and the year they were passed. California was the first U.S. state to legalize marijuana for medical use in 1996. Since then, more and more states have held similar votes. ProCon’s chart shows that each time medical marijuana has been on a state’s ballot, it has passed with higher and higher majorities of voters.¬†Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota voted on initiatives in 2016 with votes ranging from 53.2% (Arkansas) to Florida with over 71% of voters saying yes to legal medical marijuana.

29 States Plus District of Columbia Legal Medical Marijuana
States with Legal Medical Marijuana as of July 2017

How Much Medical Marijuana Do They Let You Have Legally?

If you go to a dispensary, you can buy cannabis in just about any legal quantity you would like. Small gram samples are given out or available at affordable prices, usually in film canister-type containers. Measurements can be in grams and/or ounces. Looking at the chart of state laws, you can see they refer to ounce quantities. Even one ounce of medical marijuana is a generous quantity. The state with the lowest legal amount you are allowed to have at one time is Alaska, which specifies you can’t have more than 1 ounce of medical marijuana legally.

  • 1/8 ounce = 3.5 grams
  • 1/4 ounce = 7 grams
  • 1/2 ounce = 14 grams
  • 1 ounce = 28.35 grams
One gram picture of medical marijuana (flower)
1 gram of medical marijuana (photo about 2x actual size)
1 ounce medical marijuana labeled for sale
1 oz medical marijuana labeled for sale. Hand shows scale and amount.

What if You Don’t Want to Smoke Medical Marijuana?

A lot of people have quit smoking for their health and there are many other ways to take medical cannabis. We’ll be covering news and information about edibles and the whole range of medical marijuana, but looking at the charts and laws, two states, New York and Minnesota, limit legal medical use to “non-smokeable marijuana” and we wondered what they meant by this term.

  • In Minnesota, patients can only use medical marijuana in oil and liquid form, primarily through vapes.
  • New York has a limited number of dispensaries and only permits vapes and inhalers for a limited list of qualified medical conditions.

In other states, especially those where medical and recreational marijuana are legal, you have a choice of numerous different types of medical cannabis.