Medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access just released its annual report card, which gives a brief history of medical marijuana in this country and then grades and ranks all the states with MMJ programs. The 187-page report evaluates each one according to five categories:
- Patient rights and civil protection from discrimination
- Access to medicine
- Ease of navigation
- Consumer safety and provider requirements
Colorado sat in the upper half of the ranked states, receiving a B- grade overall (80.33/100) and scoring over 86 out of 100 in every category but one. Although the state's functionality, ease of navigation and access to medicine all rated high, its patient rights and civil protection scored a dismal 62/100, getting zeros for parental-rights protections, DUI protections and employment protections. And Colorado's score was actually ten points higher than last year's grade.
Many of the states receiving low grades performed poorly because of the difficulties involved in obtaining an MMJ recommendation, or because of the lack of medication available. "For example, patient advocates debate whether or not to call Louisiana a medical cannabis state, due to the strict limitations of that state’s law, and the fact the state still does not yet have an effective distribution system," the report reads. "Louisiana law ostensibly protects qualified patients from arrest and prosecution, but the state’s dispensing facilities (which are both academic institutions) have failed to become operational."
Read the entire report below: