It’s been two decades since the first medical marijuana laws were passed in the U.S. Since then, 85-percent of the American population now resides in states where medical marijuana is legal, which breaks down to roughly 275 million people. Americans for Safe Access, a pro-marijuana non-profit, has released a report grading each state’s medical marijuana program.
Each state is evaluated separately, using the same criteria. The overall grade is based upon a cumulative scoring system creating an average as the resulting grade. No states received an “A” in the report, but many states did receive “B” and “C” grades.
Some of the criteria that the grades are based upon includes:
- Access to medicine
- Patient rights/civil protection from discrimination
- Ease of use/navigation of program
- Consumer Safety/Provider Requirements
- Laboratory Operations
Most common qualifying conditions for medical marijuana are:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chronic pain
- Wasting syndrome
As a whole, the grade for the United States is a “D-” because many states still do not have medical marijuana programs, thus resulting in “Fs” for each of those states. This means that much more work needs to be done to make sure that patients are getting proper access to safe, quality medicine. Forty states have medical marijuana programs in place. The report concludes that only a handful of these states are meeting the needs of their patients to an above satisfactory degree.
This report helps each state see where it needs improvement. It also helps state legislatures make changes to existing programs to improve patient access, qualifying conditions list and conduct proper studies to expand existing qualifying conditions lists.
View the report: Medical Marijuana Access Report 2016