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What are other states doing?
19. What other states have legalized medical marijuana?
A total of thirty-one states and Washington, D.C. have made medical marijuana available (fifteen through ballot initiatives, and sixteen through legislative action), allowing approximately 2.2 million Americans with a proper diagnosis to have access. These include:
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia
More states will be voting on medical marijuana initiatives soon; specifically, Utah voters in November 2018 and Missouri voters in 2019.
20. On average, how many people in each state become medical marijuana patients?
For the states with medical marijuana programs, the numbers range from between 0.01% to 3.15% of each states’ respective total population. For example, Arizona’s total population is approximately seven million people and there are approximately 153,000 patients enrolled in its medical marijuana program, which is 2.2% of the total population.
21. What type of medical marijuana treatments are included in other states’ programs?
Medical marijuana treatment can be offered in varying forms, some of which include beverages, topicals, suppositories, transdermal patches, tinctures and sub-lingual sprays (liquid extracts), fresh plant juices or smoothies, smoking, vaporizing, edibles, capsules, lozenges, creams, topicals, and ointments.
Offering treatment in multiple forms allows patients to utilize their treatment in the way that works best for them. Certain methods get into the bloodstream more quickly, therefore providing immediate relief, while other forms may take longer to enter the bloodstream but may provide longer-lasting relief. The preferred method will depend upon patients’ preferences for ingestion, and the type of pain and symptoms they wish to alleviate.
22. What has been the experience of other states that have made medical marijuana available?
No state that has made medical marijuana available has repealed it. Medical marijuana patients report reduced pain and symptoms of their debilitating medical conditions and increased quality of life.
23. What has been the experience of doctors in other states?
Doctors who have recommended medical marijuana for qualifying medical conditions in other states have experienced overwhelmingly good reports from their patients. Additionally, there is continually more education material and opportunities, including conferences and continuing education courses, being made available for physicians regarding the benefits of medical marijuana.
24. How are medical marijuana programs regulated in other states?
Every state and Washington D.C.’s programs:
- are implemented and regulated by each state’s and Washington D.C.’s respective Department of Health
- require Medical Marijuana ID Cards to identify patients approved to purchase medical marijuana
- authorizes the use of caregivers to assist patients who need help purchasing and using medical marijuana (i.e. a caregiver for an elderly person or a child)
- require a physician examination and recommendation before a patient is authorized to obtain a Medical Marijuana ID Card and then purchase medical marijuana
- requires a renewal of the physician recommendation and the Medical Marijuana ID Card to keep the patient status current (most programs require a renewal annually, while some states allow for two or three years. Mississippi will require an annual renewal unless the physician chooses a shorter time period)
- regulate and provide licenses to the businesses that produce and dispense medical marijuana to qualifying patients
- regulate the amount of medical marijuana that can be sold to patients within the allowable time period