States’ Laws


Driven by the Drug War, the U.S. prison population is six to ten times as high as most Western European nations. The United States is a close second only to Russia in its rate of incarceration per 100,000 people. In 2012, more than 749,000 people were arrested in this country for marijuana-related offenses alone.

Marijuana prohibition causes far more problems than it solves, and results in the needless arrest of hundreds of thousands of otherwise law abiding citizens each year. The NORML Legal Committee provides legal support and assistance to victims of the current marijuana laws. NORML also monitors developments in state and federal law, and files appellate and amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs in cases which may affect the interpretation of existing marijuana laws, or which will, hopefully, change them.

This section of provides important information for the marijuana consumer: state-by-state laws on marijuana penalties; state listings of attorneys on NORML’s Legal Committee; a detailed description of your rights, including a NORML Foundation Freedom Card you may print out and carry with you; and information on drug testing and presenting a medical necessity defense.

If you need legal assistance, or have any questions regarding the legal material on this PAGE, please contact the NORML Foundation, at 202-483-5500.