On November 2, 2010, ballot measures failed in California, Arizona, South Dakota, and Oregon that would have eased state regulation of marijuana. California's Proposition 19 [PDF] would have legalized possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, authorized the cultivation of marijuana for personal consumption, and allowed the state to tax the sale of marijuana. Arizona's Proposition 203 [PDF] and South Dakota's Initiated Measure 13 would have legalized possession of small amounts of marijuana by people with certain debilitating diseases, like cancer and AIDS. Oregon voters rejected a ballot measure that would have expanded the state's medical marijuana regulations to allow private dispensaries. As of October 2011, thirteen states have effectively decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, while 16 states have legalized the medical use of marijuana for patients with certain conditions. However, under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) marijuana remains a Schedule I narcotic with no medically accepted use.
Learn more about efforts to legalize marijuana from the JURIST news archive.