Marijuana is legal now, but only for some

Juan Martinez, reporter

You know how students are always talking about legalizing marijuana?  English teachers, just how many debates and argumentative essays have you had to read about “Why Marijuana Should Be Legal”?

Well, the debate may be closing — more and more states are starting to change their laws to legalize medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.   Now, marijuana is legal in 29 states and Washington DC.

Medical marijuana is defined as unprocessed marijuana that is used to treat the symptoms of illnesses, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease.  It treats muscle spasms and seizures and nausea, as well as weight loss and pain.  Basically, it is marijuana that is used to make you feel better because you are really sick.  You must obtain a “medical marijuana card” to get marijuana from a dispensary.

Currently there are 21 states that have legalized marijuana strictly for medical use:

  1. Illinois
  2. Montana
  3. North Dakoda
  4. Michigan
  5. Ohio
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. New York
  8. New Jersey
  9. New Mexico
  10. Vermont
  11. New Hampshire
  12. Connecticut
  13. Rhode Island
  14. Florida
  15. Arkansas
  16. Louisiana
  17. Maryland
  18. Delaware
  19. Minnesota
  20. Hawaii
  21. Arizona

Illinois is the closest, of course, with Michigan being next.

Recreational marijuana is defined as pot that is used but not for any medical purpose.  It usually has a higher THC content than medicinal, that provides users with a “high.”  It intentionally changes their “state of consciousness.”

Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana legalized for recreational use:

  1. Washington DC
  2. Oregon
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. Alaska
  6. Maine
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Nevada
  9. Washington

Colorado is the closest state to us.  And, in California, adults can even grow plants in their home.

Marijuana is illegal in the remaining states, but many states have passed laws that decriminalize it, resulting in fines if caught using it.  Others have narrow laws that allow for usage if suffering from specific illnesses.