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Only One State Has Not Yet Legalized Marijuana in Some Form . . .

Posted by on Monday, July 16, 2018 in News, Updates.

While updating some of the charts and figures in my book, I discovered that, since early May, 2018, only one state in the nation has not yet legalized marijuana in some form for at least medical purposes. I won’t keep you waiting: it’s Idaho.

At the start of the year, Idaho had some company. Kansas also prohibited marijuana outright, making no exception even for CBD (aka, cannabidiol). But in May 2018, Kansas broke ranks and legalized CBD in a rather circumspect way—by excluding CBD from the definition of “marijuana,” see the full law here, leaving CBD essentially unregulated in the state. A bill to legalize CBD oil had died in the Idaho legislature died back in March, see here, so Idaho was left as the only state that continues to ban marijuana outright – i.e., in all its forms and for all purposes. Let me restate that for emphasis: every state but Idaho has legalized use of some form of marijuana for medical (if not other) purposes.

Here is the latest tally of those state laws:
As of July 2018, 10 states (including the District of Columbia) have legalized recreational (aka, adult-use) marijuana; 22 states have legalized medical marijuana; 18 have legalized CBD; and 1 (Idaho) continues to ban the drug outright. The updated version of Figure 1.1 (page 3 of the book) appears below, in color:

UPDATED Figure 1.1

Here is a map showing the states, color coded by the three main types of reform each has adopted (if any) as of July 2018:

NEW Figure 1.1a

Of course, these charts arguably overstate the difference between Idaho’s marijuana prohibition and the laws of (most) CBD states. That’s because, for reasons discussed in the book (pages 123-124), CBD laws are generally very narrow: they typically permit only a very small number of people to use a very limited non-psychoactive form of marijuana.

Still, I think the fact that only one state continues to ban this drug outright—only 22 years after every state in the nation did—provides a telling sign of the times and of the success that reform proponents have had. So does the fact that a solid majority of states–32, if we include DC–have legalized medical marijuana (or more), following Oklahoma’s recent move into this category . . . .


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