1976:

 Robert Randall wins legal battle to use marijuana to treat his glaucoma

On November 24, 1976, Robert Randall, a man who was afflicted with glaucoma, won a case against the US Government when he was absolved from criminal charges for using marijuana to treat his glaucoma. 

 

1978:

 NIDA supplies medical marijuana to seven patients

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), under the “compassionate use principle”,   started to supply cannabis to patients with prescriptions and recommendation from their physicians.  

 

New Mexico recognizes the medical value of marijuana

New Mexico became the first US state to recognize the medical value of marijuana, based on the studies undertaken under the Substances Therapeutic Research Act.  This legal breakthrough created a ripple that 30 more states passed similar legislation over the next few years.

 

1980

NCA launches testing of  Marinol, a synthetic version of THC 

The National Cancer Institute approved the distribution of Marinol, an experimental synthetic version of THC.  The oral form THC was given to cancer patients in San Francisco.  A comparative study was also made between the effects of smoked marijuana and oral THC in cancer patients who did not respond to conventional anti-vomiting medication.

 

1981  

Randal establishes Alliance of Cannabis Therapeutics Patients     

Bob Randal and his wife Alice O’Leary formed the Alliance of Cannabis Therapeutics (ACT).  Prior to this, Randal became the first legal medical cannabis patient supervised by the IND.  ACT was formed to guide other patients and medical practioners accomplish Compassionate Care Protocols.

The US Government sold Marinol Patent to Unimed.

FDA approves Marinol for the treatment of nausea related to chemotherapy.

 

1988

Administrative Law Judge Francis Young sides with medical

marijuana advocates.

Young moves marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II.  In his decision, Young writes:

"The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record."

 

1989

DEA Administrator Overrules Francis Young and place marijuana back

to Schedule I Controlled Substance

DEA Administrator Jack Lawn overturned the decision of Judge Young and moved marijuana back a Schedule I. Lawn rules that “that there was no medicinal benefit to smoking marijuana...that marijuana should remain a Schedule I controlled substance.” 

 

 

1990

National Institute of Mental Health discovers cannabinoid

receptor system

Miles Herkenham, Senior Investigator at the National Institute of Mental Health, and his research team discover the cannabinoid receptor system in 1990. The discovery helped scientists understand the pharmacological effects of cannabinoids, which occur when the THC in marijuana binds with the

cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

 

1991

Majority of oncologists recommends cannabis use by prescription

Survey results in 1991 showed that 53% of oncologists recommend medical marijuana to their patients. The survey was conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to measure the attitudes of American oncologist regarding the use marijuana for patients undergoing can chemotherapy.

 

1992

FDA approves Marinol for the treatment of anorexia for AIDS patients suffering weight loss.

Marinol was sold in capsule form and was placed in ‘Schedule II’. FDA allows AIDS patients to use Marinol.

 

 

1996

The State of California legalizes medical marijuana

California becomes the first US state to approve medical use of marijuana when 56% of voters voted “yes” to Proposition 215. The legalization revoked criminal penalties on the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana for patients with recommendation from their doctors.

 

1997

National Institute of Health recommends reevaluation of evidence in medical marijuana

An Ad Hoc Group of Experts organized by the NIH concluded that there was insufficient evidence for the therapeutic potential of marijuana. The experts recommended the use of traditional scientific process in evaluating medical marijuana for specific disorders.

 

1998

US Congress blocks implementation of Medical Marijuana Law in the District of Columbia

The district Court overturned The Barr Amendment, an amendment that allowed the counting of 1998 voter-approved initiative that would have allowed the medical use of cannabis in D.C.  As a result, the Medical Marijuana Law as barred from being implemented.

 

 

Alaska Oregon and Washington legalizes medical marijuana

With fifty-eight percent of Alaska voters approving Ballot Measure#8, the state removes criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana with documented recommendation from their doctors.

In Oregon, fifty-five percent of voters passed Measure 67 and likewise removes criminal liability for patients possessing and using marijuana. 

Washington was granted the same privilege for its medical marijuana patients when fifty-nine percent of their voters approved Measure 693.

 

UK’s House of Lords bats for the legalization of medical marijuana

House of Lords Science and Technology Committee recommended that “the government should allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for medical use” in a published report dated Nov. 11, 1998.

 

1999

DEA moves Marinol to Schedule III to widen increase availability

 DEA granted the petition of Unimed  to reschedule. The Department of Health and Human Services did not find substantial evidence that Marinol could be used for drug abuse. As a Schedule III drug, Marinol was now subjected to lesser regulatory controls.

 

 

Health Canada allots funding for medical research on marijuana

Health Canada announced that its agency would provide $1.5 million annual funding to support research on medical marijuana until 2004. 

 

The State of Maine legalizes medical marijuana

On November 2, 1999, Maine became the fifth state to legalize medical marijuana after Alaska, Oregon, Washington and California.

 

2000

Hawaii, Colorado and Nevada legalizes medical marijuana

The State of Hawaii legalized medical marijuana when it passed Senate Bill 862 by a vote of 32-18 in the House and 13-12 Senate.  In Colorado, fifty-four percent of voters approved Amendment 20, an amendment that allows the medical use of marijuana.  Sixty-five percent of Nevada voters voted for Question 9, a similar amendment to Colorado’s Amendment 20, and paved the way for legal medical marijuana in their state

 

2001

The Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative wins court case

Versus US government

The Ninth Circuit overturned the decision of the district court to stop The Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative from distributing marijuana to qualified patients for medical reasons.

 

2002

Study confirms that medical marijuana improves life of patients

A study on the IND Program made by FDA concluded that "cannabis smoking, even of a crude, low-grade product, provides effective symptomatic relief of pain, muscle spasms, and intraocular pressure elevations..." and that "clinical cannabis patients are able to reduce or eliminate other prescription medicines and their accompanying side effects."

 

DC court overturns ruling on medical marijuana initiative

A federal appeals court overruled an earlier court ruling that allowed an initiative to give the state a chance to vote for or against medical marijuana.

 

2003

Canada issues first state-grown marijuana to HIV patient

At 62 years old, HIV patient Jari Dvorak becomes the first Canadian to receive government-grown marijuana.

 

Pharmacies in Netherlands start supplying medical marijuana

In an unprecedented move, the Netherlands government obliged pharmacies to stock and dispense medical cannabis,  and give guidance on how to brew hemp plant with tea.

 

US Department of Health and Human Services receive

Cannabinoids Patent

Except from the patent abstract states: “Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties... The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants... in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease..."

 

2004

Senate Bill 420 limits medical marijuana possession in California

SB 420 restricts possession limits of medical marijuana of “no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana per qualified patient" and "no more than six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants per qualified patient."

 

Vermont and Montana legalizes medical marijuana

Vermont and Montana becomes the 9th and 10th US states to legalize medical marijuana.  In effect, the legalization removes state-level criminal penalties on the use and cultivation of marijuana by patients with documented recommendation from their doctors in their respective states.

 

2006

SB 07010 makes Rhode Island the 11th state to legalize

medical marijuana

Following the footsteps of Vermont and Montana, Rhode Islands passed a senate bill that allows patients to use medical marijuana provided they have certification from their physicians.

 

Presbyterian Church express support for medical marijuana

After recognizing the benefits of medical marijuana, the Presbyterian Church made a resolution that encourages its members to actively urge the US government to adopt laws that would enable cancer and AIDS patient’s access cannabis for their treatment.

 

 

2007

SB 523 makes New Mexico the 12th state to legalize medical marijuana

On March 13, 2007, the New Mexico senate approves the "The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act", thereby removing state-level penalties for marijuana possession and use among patients using cannabis for treatment.

 

2008

American College of Physicians supports nonsmoked forms of medical marijuana

Aside from advocating reclassification of marijuana, the American   College of Physicians (ACP) supported the use of nonsmoker forms of THC.  ACP is the second largest physician group in the US.

 

California court declares medical marijuana possession limit unconstitutional

On May 22, 2008, the Second District of California Court of Appeals ruled (with a vote of 3-0) that limiting marijuana possession under state law SB is unconstitutional.

 

Michigan becomes the 13th US state to legalize medical cannabis

With an overwhelming 63% of Michigan voters approving Proposal 1, their state legalizes the use of medical marijuana on November 4, 2008.  The approved proposal removed all state-level penalties on the possession and use of marijuana for medical patients undergoing doctor-sanctioned cannabis treatment.

 

2009

DOJ issues the ‘Ogden Memo’

 The Department of Justice issued a memo instructing federal prosecutors in states that have legalized marijuana not to prioritize the prosecution of patients using medical marijuana for treatment.  Subsequently known as the ‘Ogden Memo’, the instruction made it clear though that “"prosecution of commercial enterprises that unlawfully market and sell marijuana for profit continues to be an enforcement priority."  

 

State of Maine provides marijuana dispensaries

Although Maine has legalized medical marijuana, it lacked the mechanism to distribute it to qualified patients. Voters approved Question 5, a citizen enacted bill that allows the state to provide marijuana dispensaries and distribution system in Maine.

 

 

American Medical Association urges review of marijuana

Schedule I status

AMA softened its position on medical marijuana policy and urged government to review the status of marijuana as a Schedule I drug.  Alongside with this,  AMA wants government to conduct further clinical research in the development of cannabinoid-based medicines.  Although AMA made it clear that their statement is not an endorsement of state-based medical marijuana program, sectors perceive that the association has softened its stand on marijuana policy. 

   

2010

New Jersey becomes the 14th US state to legalize medical marijuana

On January 11, 2010, the New Jersey Legislature approved a law that legalized medical marijuana for patients with chronic illnesses like cancer, muscular dystrophy, sclerosis, AIDS and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

 

California SC affirms unconstitutionality of possession limits

With a vote of 7-0, the California Supreme Court affirms the ruling that medical marijuana possession limits are unconstitutional. 

 

Medical marijuana legalized in   DC

Congress paved the way for the city to establish eight marijuana dispensaries where chronically ill patients can obtain the drug. Yet despite of its legalization,  patients had to wait for several months before they can buy marijuana from city-approved dispensaries.

 

Arizona becomes the 15th state to legalize medical marijuana

On Nov. 2, 2010, voters approved Proposition 203 or the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. The act allows qualified patients to buy marijuana from a registered dispensary.

 

DEA restricts use of five synthetic marijuana drugs

Because of reported abuses, the DEA issued an order to temporarily place five synthetic cannabinoids under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and  reclassified them as Schedule I drugs.

 

2011

Delaware becomes 16th US state to legalize medical marijuana

On May 13, 2011, SB 17 legalized the possession and use of medical marijuana for adult patients with debilitating conditions. Patients were allowed to possess up to six ounces of marijuana provided they have doctor’s prescription.

 

Montana law requires state residency to qualify as medical

Marijuana patient

Montana Senate Bill 423 took effect on July 1, 2011 and it required state residency before a patient can qualify for medical marijuana use. The bill also requires patients to show proof of chronic pain and registration before they can purchase medical marijuana.

 

Israel establishes marijuana growing and supply facilities

On August 7, 2011, Israeli Health Ministry's (IHM) became the official grower and supplier of medical marijuana in their country. IHM built the state-run cannabis growing facility in Tikun Olam.

 

2012

Connecticut becomes the 17th US state to legalize medical marijuana

By legalizing medical marijuana in May 31, 2012, the State of Connecticut "allows licensed physicians to certify an adult patient's use of medicinal marijuana after determining that the patient has a specified debilitating disease or medical conditions and could benefit from its regulated treatment."

 

LA City Council bans medical marijuana dispensaries

The LA City Council voted to ban around registered 762 marijuana dispensaries in the city and ordered them to be locked down. Dispensaries that won’t

Under the ban, each of the 762 dispensaries that have registered with the city will be sent a letter ordering them to shut down immediately. Dispensaries that don’t comply within 30 days would face legal sanction.

 

2012

Massachusetts becomes the   18th US state to legalize

medical marijuana

Sixty-three percent of Massachusetts voters approved Ballot Question 3, a law allowing doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients with serious medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS and Chrohn’s Disease, among others.

 

2013

New Hampshire becomes the 19th US state to legalize

medical marijuana

The State of New Hampshire authorize the possession and use of cannabis by passing House Bill 573 into a law. The bill also created the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis Advisory Council, a board that will assess the medical marijuana program within five years after its implementation.

 

2013

Illinois becomes the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana

The Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act was created when House Bill 1 was made into law.  The Act will provide a patient registry program and organize a medical marijuana dispensing process for both patients and their medical caregivers.

 

Justice Department defers its rights challenge state marijuana laws

Although the US federal government was mandated to enforce national narcotics laws, the state and local authorities are expected to   regulate marijuana possession and imposed penalties for violations. The federal government, deferred its right to challenge the state laws on the assurance that states which legalized marijuana will implement strict regulatory policies.

 

 

2014

Obama Administration issue financial guidelines for

legal marijuana sellers

On February 14, 2014, the Obama administration issued a road map to guide banks on how to help marijuana sellers in their transactions, taxation and ensure transparency in their financials. In its effort to maintain legitimacy and discourage criminality among marijuana sellers, the federal government detailed more than 20 ‘red flags’ or fraud indicators the bank should look out for in the transactions being undertaken by marijuana sellers.

 

 

Maryland becomes the 21st US state to legalize medical marijuana

 Upon approval of House Bill 881, Maryland legalized medical marijuana on April 14, 2014. Like other states which legalized marijuana, patients suffering from chronic pains, severe nausea, muscular spasm and seizures were allowed possession and use of cannabis provided they have doctor’s prescription.