Over the past two decades, many states have liberalized their policies toward medical marijuana. As of 2015, 23 states plus Washington, D.C. had legalized access to marijuana to treat various health ailments, while 16 others permit cannabidiol oil only for the treatment of epilepsy and other seizure disorders. Here is the current layout of where Americans can access medical marijuana and its compounds:
However, the map above doesn’t tell the entire story. While states are rapidly changing their policy, the federal government continues to list marijuana as illegal and one of the most dangerous drugs under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
In the new Brookings Essay, The Medical Marijuana Mess, John Hudak shines a light on these contradictory state and federal policies, which create risky and unnecessary obstacles for millions of patients and small business owners. The essay highlights the Collins family from Virginia, who were faced with the choice between moving their thirteen-year-old daughter across the country or violating the law. Read their story, and the ways the U.S. can work toward a more sensible marijuana policy, in the essay here.
- James King