MEDICAL MARIJUANA FACT SHEET
Ten states, including Hawaii, have adopted medical marijuana laws. These laws allow certain individuals to cultivate and use marijuana for medical purposes. These marijuana users must comply with the respective state's medical marijuana law, including being certified or registered for use due to certain specified medical conditions.
Federal law, however, prohibits the cultivation and any use of marijuana. Particularly nettlesome for users in the ten states that do have medical marijuana laws is the issue of distribution of marijuana.
This study examines various issues including:
Several models of distribution are examined. The national model (as embodied in the Netherlands) is almost impossible to transfer to an individual state. There are almost insurmountable obstacles involving legal, cost, and pharmaceutical issues. The cooperative intra-state model (embodied in several California marijuana cooperatives) appears to be the most promising. Currently, in California, it is working.
In the existing cooperative intra-state model as enacted in California
However, the continuing success of the cooperative intra-state model in California and its implementation in Hawaii depends entirely on the actions of the United States Supreme Court. The Court is currently hearing a case involving such a marijuana cooperative based in California. The Court may throw out the concept of marijuana cooperatives altogether. It may approve it entirely as is. Or it could impose various restrictions that may range from easy to impossible for states to implement. At this point, no one knows what the Supreme Court will do. Consequently, it would seem to be premature and unproductive to draft detailed legislation now to accommodate scenarios that no one can accurately anticipate and that may take on widely divergent forms.