MPP Alert: The worst and best states for marijuana users to live in

People convicted of marijuana offenses — even minor ones — may face punishments that go far beyond whatever fines or jail sentences the court imposes, according to a new study. These "collateral sanctions" can haunt offenders for their whole lives and, in some cases, be worse than those faced by violent criminals. The report, issued by the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, was funded by MPP's grants program and is the first report to analyze the extra punishments faced by marijuana offenders. Some key findings of the report include: Sanctions triggered by a marijuana conviction can include loss of access to food stamps, public housing, and student financial aid, as well as driver's license suspensions, loss of or ineligibility for professional licenses, other barriers to employment or promotion, and bars to adoption, voting, and jury service. Sanctions triggered by felony marijuana convictions can be more severe than those for a violent crime — and a felony can be as little as growing one marijuana plant or possessing over 20 grams of marijuana. Marijuana offenders are subject to the most severe collateral sanctions in Florida, Delaware, Alabama, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Utah. Marijuana offenders are subject to the least severe collateral sanctions in New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Missouri, and Maine. Please click here to see the ranking of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. These types of reports are important because they systematically highlight the injustices caused by marijuana prohibition. Indeed, the issue of collateral sanctions is getting attention from officials: A story on June 24 in the Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey described Mayor Cory Booker as incensed about laws that keep people with minor drug convictions from having a driver's license or getting many types of jobs, saying, "The drug war is causing crime. It's just chewing up young black men." The laws that create a kind of "double jeopardy" for marijuana offenders are too often a "feel-good" way for legislators to appear tough on drugs. But the results can be devastating to people's lives.
United States

We need to focus the nation on these kinds of reports... the upcoming weeks and months before CA's initiative vote in November.
The public needs to be reminded that this isn't jut about the right to get high (as basic and worthy as that fight may be) it's about keeping
the government from ruining people's lives. Please spread this information far and wide and engage with everyone you know about this. I know I will be.

TOTAL BS-Anyone who thinks this list is right is an idiot.

It says that Kansas has moderate marijuana laws, this is probably the dumbest thing i have ever heard. If you get caught with less than one gram it's incarceration for a year in jail and a fine up to $2,500 dollars and subsequent offenses are longer than a year in jail, maybe even a felony pending on the situation and not only that. Let me get to the hefty fine you pay, a unjust fine of $100,000 dollars wow. Just for smoking a herb that grows with sunlight and water. Know wonder the state has financial problems. Why doesn't the state just start proposing medical marijuana and decriminalize it and start making some profit off of this cash crop. If you do this, you'll eliminate arrest, help suffering patients of debilitating diseases and make some money, have people gain more respect for their state politicians and most importantly SAVE MONEY LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY!!!

I can't see why the whole nation can't at least decriminalize, almost every state widely uses marijuana, (including Kansas) which is the most used substance in the state. This will probably not happen because of narrow minded, brainwashed fools mostly republicans. God i have almost no respect for most republicans.

borden's picture

wrong again in the same way as the other guy

This is an important and impressive report on the collateral consequences of convictions, not on the sentences. You've knocked down a strawman. See my explanation in response to an earlier, similar comment posted here.

This list is an outright lie.

If you really want to see which states are worse look up the NORML website. This list of states is utter BS. Texas which has several people in prison for life for simple possession, one because they had THC in there blood, South Dakota is a ONE YEAR mandatory minimum!!!!, and Oklahoma are by far the worst. Whomever made this list is a moron. They have non mandatory states on here which is so ridiculous. I've done actual research. This list is bogus.

borden's picture

an extensive and impressive piece of work

The report is an extensive and impressive piece of work, which carefully documents all of the "collateral consequences" of marijuana convictions in all the 50 states, and the author (whom I know) is one of the smarter attorneys around.


As the press release states, it is about the "collateral consequences" -- extra punishments that continue for people are they've finished paying their fines or serving their sentences. It was not about the criminal sentences themselves. I've done work on some of the collateral consequences, and I was impressed by the report.


It's obvious that you just read the headline from the press release -- which was designed by the press person to get the reader's attention -- without actually reading what the report purports or does not purport to study. I don't know if it was carelessness, or if you deliberated set out to attack a strawman, but either way, your behavior is typical of people who are quick to throw out words like "moron" and so forth, theirs is the behavior which is generally the closest to moronic, I've observed over the years...


As for your research, since you signed this anonymously only, we can only take your word (or in my case not take your word).


David Borden,


Medical Marij is illegal in FL so I swear I'm not stoned, so it must be you... wtf are you TALKING about? Straw men? Real meanings of reports? You're too subtle or it's too early or I moved to CA like my MD


Elucidate, pls.

Marijuana vs. Drinking

I understand that smoking marijuana is illegal and everything, but how many times have you every heard on the news or on the radio or seen on the internet that a family was killed by a man that was stoned. If I can remember correctly it has never happened. More people are hurt, and even killed by people that are drinking some kind of alcohol rather than somebody who is stoned. There is nothing in any medical books or science books or anything that like that says that pot is going to kill you, but yet everyday people are dying of scerosis of the liver because they drank their whole lives. I am pretty sure that alot of our grandparents smoked pot when they were in their hay days. And the last time that I checked my grandparents are still doing great. But alot of our grandparents will probably never see their 60th birth day because they spent most of their lives drinking alcohol like it was goin out of style. I don't understand what the big deal is about people who choose to do things like smoke pot inside the comfort of their own home. They worked hard to make the money that paid for that pot so they shouldn't be criticized for doing some thing that makes them feel good. Whats the difference between smoking a joint or drinking a 6 pack? In my opinion there is only one difference and that is Death and disease.


Well, frankly, its great that you can say that most Americans have become informed on the issues, but until the politicians get the proverbial sticks out of their collective holes and learn to look past the "reefer madness" ideology of their fathers and the educational system which lumps marijuana into the same category as methamphetamine and crack, the voice of the people will never be heard. Unlike most, I have no fear of repercussion from my government because I leave my name on this because frankly, I couldn't be more oppressed whilst simultaneously being fed the constant ideological high of "freedom" than I already am.


Am I going to disappear because I believe the American people should have a voice about what they do, how they behave, and what they believe? If I do, then we don't live in America anymore. Florida may not be America anymore...

I know Florida may be pretty, but we have a saying here:
Come on vacation, leave on probation, come back for violating.

I believe in the voice of the people. The problem is getting people to stop talking and start DOING. You want marijuana legalized, get a group together, a large group, a minimum of 25-30 to gather in DC and start handing out and smoking spliffs in front of the white house. Smile and wave at the police officer who will inevitably come over and explain you are exercising your right to gather and peaceably protest. Wave a f***ing sign or something already.

Americans are starting to

Americans are starting to realize that marijuana prohibition is simply outdated. General public perception of the "dangers" of marijuana use have been formed by the condition of prohibition; not actual facts.

I went through years of ignorant disdain for marijuana users before I realized that this is a harmless and potentially positive substance. The source of my disdain was more or less the fact that I classified marijuana users as criminals. This is the case with nearly everyone that surrounds me. Most of my friends and family scoff at marijuana use, yet fill themselves with terribly harmful amounts of alcohol. It's disturbing that public policy has so much influence on people's thoughts and opinions.

Considering the financial and moral toll that prohibition enforcement is taking on American society and the facts about marijuana and controlled substance use in general, the pro-prohibition crowd is running out of arguments to sling at the public. The side is losing.

Idaho ranked the fifth sate in Marijuanna

damn we smoke it cuz this shit state were bored and have nothing to do


these attacks on them is far to great,when an illegal can break our law and get nothing! What harms people more-drinkers or smokers? Our lawmaker only think of money! They are closed-minded,stupid and care nothing of the total vote on this subject! Again Money! There root of this EVIL will only put them in HELL!

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