Medical Marijuana Laws Pass In Florida, North Dakota, And Arkansas – SELF
Marijuana won big in the election Tuesday, with Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas approving legislation that will allow the drug to be used for medicinal purposes. There is currently legislation that approves medicinal marijuana in 43 states, albeit with various restrictions, according to the marijuana public policy organization NORML. All of these laws require that patients have particular conditions and diseases, such as seizures, epilepsy, cancer, or anorexia, but the specifics vary on a state-by-state basis.
Legislation in Montana that would ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law also passed, the New York Times reports. The new law will allow marijuana dispensaries that were shuttered due to legal restrictions to reopen, and doctors will be allowed to certify more than 25 medical marijuana patients a year, according to The Cannabist.
Recreational marijuana also made major gains, with California, Massachusetts, and Nevada approving the drug for non-medical use. (Recreational marijuana use is currently legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Washington, D.C., the New York Times reports.)
These changes come just a few months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that marijuana abuse and dependency are becoming less common in the U.S., even as its use is becoming more widespread, both recreationally and medicinally.
While marijuana has been largely illegal in the U.S. for years, it has long held medicinal purposes, Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, tells SELF. “Cannabis has been used therapeutically for thousands of years to mitigate numerous symptoms,” he says. Women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., agrees, telling SELF that “medical marijuana has many different uses.”
Wider calls the drug “very effective” for combating nausea caused by chemotherapy for cancer patients, and she notes that it can help ease nerve pain caused by a