Let them who never asked themselves what the differences between legalized, decriminalized, and medicalized marijuana is, cast the first stone. We are all humans and at some point, we had to learn everything we know now. Of course, it wouldn’t be different from that.
There’s a lot of people who see these words and still has no idea of what’s the differences between legalized and decriminalized marijuana means, and there’s no shame in that.
As we from Veriheal are addicted to sharing marijuana knowledge to you, this entire article will explain to you all the little details and why are medicalized, legalized and decriminalized marijuana different.
The terms legalized and decriminalized can be a little confusing, and some people may even think that they mean the same thing. However, they are far from that.
To properly understand the difference between these three terms, let’s explain one by one separately.
Decriminalization is simply the loosening of criminal penalties that are imposed because of illegal marijuana use. Which means that, if you are in a state in which marijuana is illegal but the drug is decriminalized, and you get caught by the police, you won’t get arrested.
However, being in a state with decriminalized marijuana and breaking the rules may still get you to pay fines and smaller penalties if you’re caught. The only difference is that these penalties and fines often have fewer costs, both financially and legally.
One of the most important things about decriminalization of the drug is keeping people out of jail for small crimes since these arrests end up being mostly racially guided. According to data, %91 of the marijuana-related arrests in 2017 were of people in the black community.
In New York, where marijuana is decriminalized for recreational use and legalized for medical use, has seen recent changes in its enforcement policy. Expecting to decrease at half the number of arrests for smoking publicly, NY’s Police Department ever since September 2018 stopped arresting people for smoking publicly or possessing up to 25 grams of marijuana. These people may be summoned instead of arrested.
There are currently 13 U.S. states that have decriminalized marijuana:
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
The legalization of marijuana would mean the abolishment of any law that banishes the possession and consumption of cannabis. Legalized marijuana also means that the government would regulate and tax marijuana consumption and its sales too.
Just to exemplify that, having marijuana legalized would mean that marijuana would be treated just like a cigarette or an alcoholic beverage. Of course, they would probably stand with the same rules as tobacco and alcohol: no underage would be allowed to purchase it and it won’t be allowed to use cannabis while driving.
There are 10 U.S. states + District of Columbia where marijuana has been legalized for adult use, however, let’s not forget that marijuana is still considered illegal under federal law.
- District of Columbia
- Medicalized Marijuana
You might have read the explanation and thought about the difference between legalized marijuana and medicalized marijuana. Isn’t it legalized as well? Yes, it is. However, when we say legalized marijuana, it is legalized at it’s full. And medical marijuana programs have many restrictions who differs it from legalized marijuana for adult use.
Medicalized marijuana is marijuana that is used for treating or alleviating symptoms of medical diseases. However, it is still illegal under federal law.
Many states with a medical marijuana law unauthorize marijuana for recreational use. In fact, of 33 states that have legalized marijuana, only 10 of them have legalized cannabis.
To access this medical marijuana, you’ll need to go under a process of getting a recommendation with a doctor, find dispensaries near you checking if you are qualified for the state’s medical marijuana program, applying for the state’s program, etc
In order to help you get your medical marijuana card, Veriheal has created this digital platform in which we connect you with doctors who will recommend medical cannabis to you. We will also assist you during the process of getting your medical marijuana card. To do that, just click on “get started”, choose a state and the best package for you. Check out the medical marijuana card process for maryland, New York, Washington DC, Pennsylvania etc
There are 23 states in the U.S. which legalized just medical marijuana
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Even though medical marijuana is legalized in these states, you won’t be allowed to use cannabis recreationally there or you can get arrested. Unless the state has marijuana decriminalized. Or if you go to California, where both medical and recreational use of marijuana is legalized you won’t have a problem with consuming or possessing both.
Just remember some states with medical marijuana programs DON’T accept out of state medical marijuana and if you get busted you may end up having problems. Before you travel anywhere don’t forget to check the reciprocity laws of the state you’re visiting.