It used to be a very simple question to answer: How many medical marijuana states are there?
Before the election of President Barack Obama, you either lived in a state where patients with certain conditions could legally grow and use cannabis as medicine with a doctor’s recommendation, or you lived in a state where growing cannabis got you thrown in prison—no matter what your condition.
Since then, however, there have been more-restrictive medical marijuana laws passed in some states. Some states don’t let patients (or their caregivers) cultivate their own cannabis, forcing them to the dispensary to purchase medicine. Some states don’t allow cannabis flower at all, relegating patients to only non-smoked forms of medicine.
Then there is the recent advent of states, mostly in the South and Midwest, that allow low-THC / high-CBD cannabis oils, primarily for epileptic children. Are these so-called “CBD-only states” to be considered “medical marijuana states,” when nobody is using any actual marijuana? What about the states lacking smokable cannabis flower, a.k.a. marijuana? Are those “medical marijuana states?”
The major national marijuana reform organizations take different views on the question. Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the non-profit focused exclusively on medical cannabis reforms, takes the