If you’ve been keeping up with Medical Edibles, you know how much we care about the legal issues of medical – and also recreational – cannabis in the United States. Some states are totally liberated at this point, while others are not. As such, we want to make sure you know where current state laws stand, and also that change is still needed in many places.


We’ve previously discussed some of the best politicians to support, if you want positive legal changes, in regards to cannabis. Now, however, we’re going to cover some of the politicians against marijuana (who need to be left out of the equation). These are nine of the worst politicians when it comes to marijuana. In other words, these are the people whose bills you should keep an eye on, so that they don’t ruin the legality of cannabis in your area, or worse, the country at large.


Jeff Sessions


We’ll just get the worst one out of the way first – Jeff Sessions. He declared in the past that, “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” and he truly believes that cannabis use is an issue of public safety. As the attorney general, he is trying to enforce the federal prohibition on cannabis in the current legal states. Despite the Republican ideal of states rights and smaller federal government, this one slips under the radar for Sessions, who doesn’t think states have this right. (Seems just a bit unfair.)


Jeff Sessions, the man behind taking away state cannabis rights


Mike Pence


Our very own vice president, Mike Pence, is not only an advocate for gay conversion therapy but also loves to hate cannabis. In response to a House bill that would lower marijuana charges, Pence wanted to raise them. If you know the Indiana drug laws, you’ll know it’s not the most cannabis-friendly state in the union, and Mike Pence has done the most he can to keep things that way.


Mike Pence, the reason that cannabis is illegal for everyone in Indiana


Mitch McConnell


The current house majority leader hates weed. As our third person with huge influence in American politics, marijuana definitely has a bleak future in the United States, if we don’t vote these people out. McConnell has cryptically said that legalizing marijuana is a mistake not only for his state of Kentucky but also for the country at large.


Pete Sessions


This Texas Republican is someone who definitely doesn’t want to allow marijuana use in this country, let alone his state. He’s previously made the (debunked) claim that marijuana is a gateway drug. He has used his power to push off any pro-marijuana legislation he could, so it’s up to the voters to get this guy out of office, in order to save our laws.


Steve Alford


Earlier this year, this Kansas lawmaker made an interesting claim that African Americans were “more susceptible” to marijuana addiction. The reasons why marijuana is illegal are largely to do with this according, to him, dating that claim that goes back to the 1930s. This claim is not only outrageous and racist but also a major piece of his whole attitude that marijuana affects people in a way that is evil for the state.


John Boozman


No weed for the Boozman. This Arkansas Republican has an F rating on NORML. He has expressed the belief that doctors prescribe medical marijuana for any little ailment, which, as we all know, is simply not true. He has been voting no on all marijuana legislation, despite the real health benefits (often with scientific backing). As a voter, make sure you’re not giving this guy attention on the ballot if you want to see any marijuana legalization. If you’re wondering “why is marijuana illegal in Arkansas?” – it’s probably this guy.


Mark Kirk


This Illinois Republican had previously stated that young marijuana users are lower performers in life and in their jobs. He also introduced legislation to increase prison sentences for people trafficking marijuana that contained a level of THC over 15%.


Deb Fischer


This Debbie Downer really hates the fun that states with recreational marijuana are having. She was bold enough to introduce a bill that would cut money from the Department of Justice if they didn’t begin more closely monitoring what’s going on in the legal states. Her argument is the safety of kids, but, as we’ve discussed many times just on this website, marijuana packaging is putting in overtime, when it comes to keeping kids safe.


Patrick Kennedy


This member of the Kennedy family – who is, of course, still a Democrat – sadly opposes the effort to legalize cannabis. He has put a lot of money toward keeping the drug illegal, and Rhode Island has definitely been held back, compared to Massachusetts, in terms of legislation.


What can the average American do to take down these politicians against marijuana though? Vote. Make sure you’re there for every election, and keep your ears to the ground on cannabis policy, with every candidate, so you make the best decision for your community and your country.


If you’ve been keeping up with the legal discourse around cannabis in the country, you’ll know that there’s a wide range of positions that politicians have taken on the subject and a wide range of acceptances state-by-state. In the effort to get marijuana legalized, it’s important to know the stances of the politicians in your state, so that you can show your support to the pro-marijuana politicians.


Here are some of the pro marijuana politicians that have lead reform in their own states, or at the Federal level, who are still fighting to increase the freedoms they’ve gained for cannabis thus far.


Cory Booker


This New Jersey senator is currently one of the cannabis reform powerhouses. He introduced a bill to the house for the “Marijuana Justice Act,” and he’s gaining a lot of support amongst like-minded Democrats. The bill would take marijuana off the controlled substances list, which would then leave it up to states to legalize.


The bill also carries a penalty for states that continue to criminalize the substance, along with consequences for uneven minority punishment from that criminalization, which would result in a withholding of federal funding. Additionally, the bill aims to create a fund that would support lower-income minority communities that have been directly affected by punishments from marijuana criminalization.


The argument that marijuana policies are made to directly oppress minorities and lower-income communities is an important piece of the discourse on why marijuana should be legal, and this idea has been a major force in getting Democrats on board. Call your state representatives and tell them how much you support Cory Booker’s bill, and explain that you want to see your representatives get behind it, too.


Phil Murphy


If you’re in New Jersey, then it’s already clear that you’ve got politicians fighting the good fight – first Cory Booker, and now, the new governor, Phil Murphy. Murphy’s first budget proposal included 60 million dollars in revenue from legal recreational marijuana. He has been very public about his feelings on this subject and has said that he wants to get marijuana legalized in the state by the end of the year.


Phil Murphy shaking hands with President Obama


The state Senate is a bit at odds though. It seems there are a lot of politicians who don’t agree with the idea of a bill for legalization. On the other hand, there are those like Senate president, Stephen Sweeney, who responded to the idea with a standing ovation.


Make sure you call your local representatives and tell them that you want this bill to pass through, in order to get the full support necessary for action.


Bernie Sanders


If you were “feeling the Bern” during the 2016 election, then you’re probably aware that the senator was very much in favor of cannabis legalization. You can still check his website and his stances clearly: he fully believes in medicinal properties of marijuana and wants them to be utilized; he believes that we should be legalizing recreational marijuana Federally, so that states can legalize it; he openly says that the “War on Drugs” has failed and thinks all non-violent offenders do not deserve incarceration.


Bernie has also shown his full support of Cory Booker’s federal move to legalize marijuana, joining many other pro-marijuana politicians who need your continued support in getting their colleagues on board.


Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren


These two senators, from Colorado and Massachusetts, respectively, have released a bipartisan bill that would stop the Federal government from meddling in states’ rights to legalize marijuana. This comes after Jeff Sessions said he would enforce Federal policies if states have legalized it.


On her own, Warren has said that she believes legalizing cannabis would be helpful for the country at large, and Warren has been a big help in the fight to legalize cannabis in her own state of Massachusetts. Gardner, on the other hand, wasn’t originally one of the best politicians for this list. He actually opposed legalization, in the beginning.


Elizabeth Warren, who has been a vocal supporter of cannabis legalization


However, since the beginning of this year, the Republican politician has been growing in his vocal support of marijuana legalization, breaking from the party line. For that, Gardner has earned himself a chance to be one of the more important cannabis politicians of the time.


If you’re not sure what the exact laws are in your state, use our comprehensive guide, so you can figure out how far along your state is in the fight. No matter how far your state has come, you can always show support for pro marijuana politicians, to keep pushing for better policies in your area and nationally. Don’t forget to also search for a NORML chapter in your area that you can support, to continue reform efforts.


Wyoming: May Look Like Colorado, But Only the Wilderness

Despite being right next to Colorado (and easily confused with the state), Wyoming is not the place to get your cannabis. A lowest-level possession offense can still get you misdemeanor that could bring a 12-month incarceration sentence, along with a maximum fine of $1,000. Just being under the influence can equal six months of incarceration and a $750 fine! When the state was polled about changing Wyoming marijuana laws for recreational legalization, it showed that only 35% of residents were in favor, with an overwhelming 60% not in favor. They can’t even get decriminalization passed, as it failed in 2016, for the third year in a row.

Medical marijuana in Wyoming seems more likely at this time, as that same poll mentioned above had 72% support for adults using prescribed cannabis for their ailments. The use of CBD oil for ailments in Wyoming did pass in 2015, but that did not come with any in-state means of obtaining the oils. Is marijuana legal in Wyoming? No, but it doesn’t seem like the support is there for it anyway, besides medical uses.

Current Legal Status in Wyoming

  • Medical Marijuana in Wyoming: CBD Oil Legal as of 2015
  • Recreational Wyoming Marijuana Laws: Still illegal

  • Politician(s) leading legislative reform: James Byrd
  • Top brand(s) based in state: None
  • Tax revenue generated by legalization of any marijuana: $0

While medical marijuana in Wyoming may be seeing some support, there doesn’t seem to be much promise for making it happen soon. Just recently, James Byrd did submit a bill to change the Wyoming marijuana laws for decriminalization, so that having up to half an ounce would be a $50 civil infraction, and between a half ounce and an ounce would be a $100 civil infraction.

Wyoming may not be seeing green like it’s neighbor, Colorado, but there are other states that are legalizing and mixing up the cannabis game. Be sure to catch all US marijuana laws here!

Wisconsin: Where Green Bay isn’t so Green

As of now, the Wisconsin marijuana laws fall behind neighbors of Minnesota, and Illinois to the south. Wisconsin still hasn’t moved towards decriminalization, which means a low-level possession offense can bring up to six months’ incarceration, as well as a maximum fine of $1,000.

Medical marijuana in Wisconsin has only seen the allowance of CBD oil usage. As of now, there’s still no way to legally obtain it in the state, but doctors can recommend it, and it can be possessed legally if you do somehow come across it. Is marijuana legal in Wisconsin? Just CBD, and just barely.

Current Legal Status in Wisconsin

  • Medical Marijuana in Wisconsin: CBD Oil Legal as of 2015
  • Recreational Wisconsin Marijuana Laws: Still illegal

  • Top brand(s) based in state: None
  • Tax revenue generated by legalization of any marijuana: $0

Stevens Point, one of the more liberal Wisconsin cities for marijuana, has already decriminalized, going against the Wisconsin marijuana laws since there’s been so much state inaction. Medical marijuana in Wisconsin seems to be just as far-reaching as recreational since both of these types of bills have failed to pass thus far.

It seems like Wisconsinites really want weed, so while the cities are trying to fix that themselves, the state needs to stop dragging its feet. Check out some states where you have more freedom with cannabis, by looking at all US marijuana laws here!


West Virginia: The Better of the Two Virginias

West Virginia marijuana laws are a little stricter, as far as possession goes than the penalties in Virginia; you can get up to a $2,000 fine, as well as land 90 days to six months in prison. Just like in Virginia, possession counts as a low-level misdemeanor offense.

On the plus side, the fact that medical marijuana in West Virginia has been voted in for legalization puts it miles ahead of Virginia. Starting in July of 2018, patients will be allowed to possess and use marijuana for their ailments, and dispensaries will be starting up soon after. Is marijuana legal in West Virginia? Starting in July, it will be available medically, which is a start.

Current Legal Status in West Virginia

  • Medical Marijuana in West Virginia: Legal starting in July 2018
  • Recreational West Virginia Marijuana Laws: Still illegal

  • Policy group(s) active in state: WV NORML
  • Top brand(s) based in state: None yet
  • Tax revenue generated by legalization of medical marijuana: $0 because they haven’t opened any business yet

The downside here (similar to New York State) is that patients still cannot smoke the plant, with current West Virginia marijuana laws. Medical marijuana in West Virginia can only be used as oil, tinctures, and products that go past the actual flower.

Medical cannabis is on the way, but smoking flower still has a long way to go, in West Virginia. Check out some states where you have more freedom with medical cannabis, by looking at all US marijuana laws here!


Washington: Officially Legal to Get as High as the Space Needle

In 2012, Washington voted to become one of the first states, along with Colorado, to legalize recreational marijuana and to create a commercial market for it. As of 2014, the first dispensaries opened, which means you can walk right in and pick up any cool products you might be looking for. One weird aspect of Washington’s legalization, however, is that cultivation is only legal if it’s licensed by the state to be part of commercial distribution, or if it’s for medical use.

Washington marijuana laws have a weird history because when medical marijuana in Washington became legal, there was no explicit clearance for dispensaries. Despite this, dispensaries did open, but in 2011, they were all ordered to close – despite a lack of previous law enforcement acknowledgment – which resulted in raids and arrests. Is marijuana legal in Washington? Yes – but as far as sales go, only recreationally, it would seem.

Current Legal Status in Washington

  • Medical Marijuana in Washington: Legal to possess
  • Recreational Washington Marijuana Laws: Legal since 2012

  • Tax revenue generated by legalization of recreational marijuana in the first year: $70 million

As of now, the main fight for Washington marijuana laws is to allow recreational home growing. Pete Holmes, who originally supported the recreational legalization, is all about allowing home grow to go beyond just medical marijuana in Washington.

You can buy cannabis products to your heart’s content in Washington, but recreational growing is still a no-no, so check out where else you can purchase, by looking at all US marijuana laws here!


Virginia: Her Western Sister Might be Your Best Bet

Virginia marijuana laws used to be known for having a pretty light penalty for cultivation, with up to a $500 fine, as well as a maximum of 30 days of incarceration, for possessing small amounts. Now, of course, the whole country is shifting to be more lenient, so this is some antiquated goodness. As things stand now, there’s still a provision for losing your license with possession offenses, and the reversal of that – along with decriminalization – failed to pass in 2015.

Medical marijuana in Virginia has been a hot topic going all the way back to 1979, when the state legalized recommendations for the plant in cases of glaucoma, or to treat chemotherapy side effects. This means that a doctor can recommend it to a patient, who will then have to travel out-of-state, to obtain it from a place where it is legal. In 2015, CBD oils and THC-A oils were legalized to be used as medicine, and 2016 allowed the distribution of said oils within the state. Is marijuana legal in Virginia? Nope, but they have two legal forms of cannabinoid oils, instead of the usual one.

Current Legal Status in Virginia

  • Medical Marijuana in Virginia: CBD and THC-A only, since 2015
  • Recreational Virginia Marijuana Laws: Still illegal

  • Top brand(s) based in state: None
  • Tax revenue generated by legalization of any marijuana: $0

Virginia definitely has a long way to go, when it comes to catching up with the rest of the country, but even Tom Garrett – who doesn’t necessarily support decriminalization, due to his own morals – sponsored a bill for it, because he knows the attitude of the people has changed, and he wants Virginia marijuana laws to catch up to that. Bobby Scott is another vocal support of medical marijuana in Virginia, so show these guys some support, in their efforts to get Virginia’s cannabis looking like the rest of the country (or at least more like West Virginia).

Virginia at least acknowledges there could be some medical benefits with cannabis, but they need to start changing their laws for the better. You can figure out which states around have better policies and see all US marijuana laws here!


Vermont: The Green Mountains just Got Greener

In a recent turn of events, Vermont marijuana laws were updated, to make possession of recreational marijuana officially legal. After a veto of the 2017 bill, the bill was tweaked and reintroduced in the very beginning of January 2018, and it passed, going into full effect on July 1, 2018. Until the bill goes into effect, owning an ounce and under will still be a civil infraction with a $200 fine on first offense, so be careful the next couple of months. When it does go into effect, residents will be allowed to cultivate and possess up to an ounce of cannabis legally. As of now, the idea for a commercial market is being tabled until 2019, so more research can be done, putting the state in a similar boat as Massachusetts.

Medical marijuana in Vermont is the only way to get any edibles products in the state, as of now. The state actually legalized medical marijuana all the way back in 2004, and there is an up-and-running market for that. Is marijuana legal in Vermont? In July it will be, so hold your horses!

Current Legal Status in Vermont

  • Medical Marijuana in Vermont: Legal since 2004
  • Recreational Vermont Marijuana Laws: Will be legal as of July 1, 2018

  • Tax revenue generated by legalization of recreational marijuana: $0 because they still need to get their commercial market started

Previously, Jean O’Sullivan and Christopher Pearson submitted a satirical bill that would recriminalize alcohol in the state, to highlight how unfair it is that the two substances aren’t regulated in the same way under Vermont marijuana laws. It’s this kind of forward thinking that has this state as a trailblazer, when it comes to cannabis reform, explaining why medical marijuana in Vermont was legalized so early on.

As of July 2018, everyone will be able to grow their green in the Green Mountains. Until then, you might want to find out what’s going on in other states. You can check out all US marijuana laws here!


Utah: Surrounded by Legal Weed, but Still a Ways to Go

Utah is flanked by two states that have legalized recreational marijuana, both of which have up-and-running markets: Colorado to the east, and Nevada to the west. However, the way the Utah marijuana laws are currently set still places low-level possession offenses at a misdemeanor that could come with a $1,000 fine, as well as a possible six-month incarceration penalty. While this is a pretty hefty penalty, there does seem to be a focus at the moment on medical marijuana in Utah.

CBD oil was legalized in 2014 for medical uses, but the race to get a full medicinal system in the state has been ongoing since 2015. In February of this year, a bill was passed that lets terminally ill patients grow and use medicinal marijuana. The Utah Medical Cannabis Act Initiative will be appearing on the November ballot, which, if passed, would allow for medical use of cannabis, in all ways besides smoking the flower. Is marijuana legal in Utah? The big hope is for it to become medically legal right now.

Current Legal Status in Utah

  • Medical Marijuana in Utah: CBD Oil since 2014, and legal for terminally ill patients to grow and use since 2018
  • Recreational Utah Marijuana Laws: Illegal

  • Top brand(s) based in state: None
  • Tax revenue generated by legalization of any marijuana: $0

It seems the push for medical marijuana in Utah is slowly-but-surely gaining speed, now that this new initiative for reform is on the November ballot. In 2016, we also saw a big call for reform of Utah marijuana laws, from the Democratic candidate for governor, Mike Weinholtz, after marijuana was seized from his home, which his wife, Donna, used for medical purposes. Refreshingly, this shows that Utah politicians are aware of the changes needed.

Utah has recreational weed to their left and to their right, but now, they need to make that push to at least get medical approved in-state. You might want to stop into those other states instead of Utah, in the meantime. Check out all US marijuana laws here!


Texas: Don’t Mess with Cannabis in Texas

Texas marijuana laws are certainly on the stricter side. First-time possession of two ounces or less gets you a misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $2,000, and could have a year of incarceration attached to the penalty. That’s pretty hefty, but work is underway to lessen the restrictions in Harris County. In 2014, a First Chance Intervention program was announced in the county – which contains the city of Houston – that would allow marijuana offenders to go through drug education or community service, in place of imprisonment. In 2017, District Attorney Kim Ogg announced that people would no longer be imprisoned in Harris Country for marijuana offenses.

Medical marijuana in Texas only takes the form of CBD oil usage, so there is no legal way to use any real cannabis flower in the state. Is marijuana legal in Texas? Not yet. But it could be on its way.

Current Legal Status in Texas

  • Medical Marijuana in Texas: CBD Oil only, since 2015
  • Recreational Texas Marijuana Laws: Illegal, but decriminalized in Harris County

  • Top brand(s) based in state: None
  • Tax revenue generated by legalization of any marijuana: $0

While the Texas marijuana laws may seem pretty strict outside of Harris County, the conservative Tea Party candidate, David Simpson, actually made a lot of progress with his bill to legalize recreational use, citing God as not having made a mistake in creating cannabis. Medical marijuana in Texas also has groups looking out for its legalization, so pay attention and help them out if you want Texas to get on board with neighboring New Mexico’s system.

Everything is bigger in Texas – which sadly includes possession penalties – so check out other states and figure out where to go instead, by investigating all US marijuana laws here!



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