The use of marijuana for medical purposes is now legal in 25 states and, as of this writing, two additional states (Arkansas and Florida) have pending legislation or ballot measures to legalize medical marijuana.1
Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and the District of Columbia have also legalized recreational use of marijuana for adults, while 16 states have decriminalized certain marijuana possession offenses.2
According to estimates, between 85 and 95 percent of Americans are in favor of medical cannabis, and nearly 60 percent support complete legalization of marijuana. And, contrary to what you might think, doctors overwhelmingly agree.
A 2013 survey found a majority of physicians — 76 percent — approve of the use of medical marijuana.3 CNN’s chief medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta also made a highly publicized reversal on his marijuana stance after the production of his two-part series “Weed,” which aired in 2014.4
Despite this trend, many families are still unable, legally or otherwise, to obtain this herbal treatment. Families with a sick child are being forced to split up, just so that one parent can live in a place where medical cannabis can be legally obtained in order to help their child.
A major part of the problem lies at the federal level, where marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance5 — a category reserved for the most addictive and dangerous of drugs, including heroin and LSD.