In a comprehensive, 89-page report on the status of access for medical marijuana patients in the US, California, Illinois and Michigan ranked highest.
The report, “Medical Marijuana Access in the United States,” was released by Americans For Safe Access, a 15-year-old organization whose mission is to “ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.”
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The three top states received grades of B+ from the organization. Sixteen states received F- grades; the three states with the lowest overall scores were Tennessee, Wisconsin and Missouri.
According to the ASA research, more than 300 million Americans live in states with medical marijuana laws – nearly 85 percent of the U.S. population. ASA estimates that these programs — now in 44 states, plus the District of Columbia and the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam — serve about two million patients.
“Medical cannabis laws are moving in a positive direction, but only a handful of the 44 medical cannabis states are truly meeting the needs of patients, and there are still six states where cannabis remains completely illegal for patients,” Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, said in a statement.
“In short, we’re seeing a lot of progress, but the fight is far from over. As of 2017, no state cannabis laws are within the ‘A’ range,” Sherer said. “Only a small minority of states currently include ASA’s criteria of protections and rights that we believe all patients should be afforded under the law.”
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This is the second year that ASA conducted the data-intensive report. This report is designed to help state lawmakers and regulators learn from the successes and challenges by the patchwork regulations and get an objective evaluation of their own program.
The report uses a point system to grade each medical marijuana law on:
- Patients’ rights and protection from discrimination
- Access to medicine
- Ease of navigation
- Product safety protocols
Here are the letter-grades for all 44 states and Washington, D.C. that have medical marijuana programs:
Alabama (F-), Alaska (D-), Arizona (B-), Arkansas (B-), California (B+), Colorado (B-), Connecticut (B-), Delaware (C+), Florida (B-), Georgia (F-), Hawai’i (B), Illinois (B+), Iowa (F-), Kentucky (F-), Louisiana (F-), Maine (B), Maryland (C), Massachusetts (B-), Michigan (B+), Minnesota (C-), Mississippi (F-), Missouri (F-), Montana (B), Nevada (B), New Hampshire (B-), New Jersey (C), New Mexico (B), New York (C), North Carolina (F-), North Dakota (C), Ohio (B), Oklahoma (F-), Oregon (B), Pennsylvania (B-), Rhode Island (C+), South Carolina (F-), Tennessee (F-), Texas (F-), Utah (F-), Vermont (C-), Virginia (F-), Washington (C-), Wisconsin (F-), Wyoming (F-), and the District of Columbia (B-).
Read the full 89-page report here.