A question that I get quite often in my e-mail inbox is ‘how many medical marijuana patients are there in the United States?’ It’s a good question with an answer that is hard to pin down.
The main reason that it is hard to pin down is due to the State of California. I posed this question to the head of California NORML once upon a time, and I was told that there is no 100% accurate number due to the fact that California allows doctor’s approvals to designate someone as a medical marijuana patient – they don’t have a card system. So at best they could give me a range that they felt the answer could be found.
Compare that with states like Oregon and Colorado, where it is very easy to figure out how many medical marijuana patients there are. Oregon releases it’s program numbers once every three months. A recent article on TheAnswerPage.Com tried to answer the question of ‘how many medical marijuana patients are there in the United States.’ According to the article, there are 2,421,069 medical marijuana patients in the United States. How they got such an exact number I’m not sure, especially when it involves California, but I’d imagine that’s about as accurate a number as can be found right now.
The article went on to break down each state, and how many medical marijuana patients there are per 1,000 residents. The state with the most medical marijuana patients per 1,000 residents was Colorado at 21.04. Coming in second by a hair is my home state of Oregon at 14.71 medical marijuana patients per 1,000 residents. Josephine County has the highest percentage of medical marijuana patients per residents in Oregon. I’m not sure about Colorado.
New Jersey only has .03 medical marijuana patients per 1,000 residents according to the article, which doesn’t surprise me. New Jersey has the worst medical marijuana program in the country in my opinion due to the political hostility towards medical marijuana by it’s leaders, and the implementation foot dragging that has gone along with it. The .03 medical marijuana patients per 1,000 residents in New Jersey probably go the longest without medicine as well due to the rules of their program. Soon Illinois will join them. All states need to allow patients to grow their own medicine, and allow consistent safe access to those that don’t have the ability to grow their own. Otherwise their medical marijuana programs are just a shell of what they could be, and patients suffer as a result.