UTopiAH. This is Part of a series for comparing census based life expectancy and death rate tables, ranking states by how long we live, from 1960 to 2015. Included are medical conditions rating Utah’s #1 health rankings. After 2012, state rankings are now correlated to voting in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, with Blue states on top, and Red states assigned to the bottom. Utopia is Sir Thomas More’s (1516) perfect place to live, and with a slight variation in spelling, perfectly describes Utah.

Part Sixteen. Life expectancy, state rankings, marijuana and tobacco use by state.

Utah has a number one track record among all states for health. Specifically, from 1960 to 1990, Utah’s rank for life expectancy climbed from 6th to 1st , the best, citing the US Census, as of 2006.Born of God

Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote -The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.

In the 1960 census Utah ranked 6th highest in life expectancy, climbing steadily in 1970, 1980, until 1990 Utah ranked 1st – best- in life expectancy, and California ranked 32nd highest (4th quintile). The 1990 census was reported in 2004, as it takes about a decade and a half to crunch figures on 300 million people.

In 2018, MSN listed life expectancy rankings for the 50 states, with Hawaii 1st, California 3rd, and Utah 13th (a huge tumble for Utah from 1st). This is based on CDC switching

Utah ranks best (as of 2017) in many health categories according to United Health foundation, US Census, CDC, other major foundations that rank the 50 states – lowest smoking, lowest smoking among youth, lowest smoking among seniors, lowest deaths from cancer all types, lowest lung cancer, lowest diabetes, lowest hypertension, highest birth rate, lowest divorce rate, largest family, lowest DUI fatalities, lowest alcohol addiction, lowest drug addiction, lowest gambling addiction , best income advancement possibilities for poor from bottom quintile to top quintile (gini index), etc.

So now all the top quintile of state rankings for life expectancy are the Marijuana legal states. Who knew?

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICESCenters for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics

3311 Toledo Road, Room 5419

Hyattsville, MD 20782

Marijuana legalized


StateStatutory Language (year)Patient Registry or ID cardsAllows DispensariesSpecifies ConditionsRecognizes Patients from other statesState Allows for Retail Sales/Adult Use
AlaskaMeasure 8(1998) SB 94 (1999) Statute Title 17, Chapter 37YesYesYesNo, but adults over 21 may purchase at retail adult dispensaries.Ballot Measure 2(2014)

Marijuana Regulations

ArizonaProposition 203 (2010)YesYesYesYes, for AZ-approved conditions, but not for dispensary purchases.
ArkansasIssue 6 (2016) Details pendingPendingPendingPendingPending
CaliforniaProposition 215 (1996)  SB 420 (2003)YesYes (cooperatives and collectives)NoNoProposition 64 (2016)

Medical program info

Adult-use info

Amendment 20 (2000)YesYesYesNoAmendment 64(2012)

Task Force Implementation

Analysis of CO Amendment 64 (2013)
Colorado Marijuana Sales and Tax Reports

2014 “Edibles” regulation measure

FAQ about CO cannabis laws by the Denver Post.

ConnecticutHB 5389 (2012)YesYesYes
DelawareSB 17 (2011)YesYesYes Yes, for DE-approved conditions.
District of ColumbiaInitiative 59(1998)  L18-0210 (2010)YesYesYesInitiative 71 (2014)
FloridaAmendment 2(2016) Details pendingPendingPendingPendingPending
GuamProposal 14A

Approved in Nov. 2014, not yet operational.

Draft rules released in July 2015

HawaiiSB 862 (2000)YesYesYesNo
IllinoisHB 1(2013) Eff. 1/1/2014


MaineQuestion 2(1999)  LD 611(2002)

Question 5(2009)   LD 1811 (2010)

LD 1296(2011)

YesYesYesYes, but not for dispensary purchases.Question 1 (2016) page 4
MarylandHB 702 (2003) SB 308 (2011) HB 180/SB 580 (2013)  HB 1101-Chapter 403 (2013)

SB 923 (signed 4/14/14)
HB 881- similar to SB 923

MassachusettsQuestion 3(2012)
YesYesYesNoQuestion 4 (2016)
MichiganProposal 1 (2008)YesNot in state law, but localities may create ordinances to allow them and regulate them.YesYes, for legal protection of posession, but not for dispensary purchases.
MinnesotaSF 2471, Chapter 311 (2014)YesYes, limited, liquid extract products onlyYesNo
MontanaInitiative 148(2004) SB 423 (2011)
Initiative 182(2016)

New details pending


New details pending


New details pending


New details pending

NevadaQuestion 9(2000) NRS 453A NAC 453AYesYesYesYes, if the other state’s program are “substantially similar.” Patients must fill out Nevada paperwork. Adults over 21 may also purchase at adult retail dispensaries.Question 2 (2016) page 25
New HampshireHB 573 (2013)YesYesYesYes, with a note from their home state, but they cannot purchase through dispensaries.
New JerseySB 119(2009)
Program information
New MexicoSB 523 (2007)
Medical Cannabis Program
New YorkA6357 (2014) Signed by governor 7/5/14YesIngested doses may not contain more than 10 mg of THC, product may not be combusted (smoked).YesNo
North DakotaMeasure 5(2016) Final details pendingYesYesYesNo
OhioHB 523 (2016) Approved by legislature, signed by governor 6/8/16, not yet operationalYes
OregonOregon Medical Marijuana Act(1998)

SB 161(2007)

YesYesYesNo, but adults over 21 may purchase at adult retail dispensaries.Measure 91 (2014)
PennysylvaniaSB 3 (2016) Signed by governor 4/17/16 Not yet operationalYesYesYes
Puerto RicoPublic Health Department Regulation 155 (2016) Not yet operationalCannot be smoked
Rhode IslandSB 791(2007)  SB 185 (2009)YesYesYesYes
VermontSB 76(2004) SB 7(2007) SB 17(2011)

H.511 (2018)

YesYesYesNoH.511 approved by legislature, signed by governor 1/22/18.
Effective July 1, 2018.

Does NOT provide for legal production or sales.

Allows adults 21 years or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana.

Selling marijuana in Vermont remains illegal.

Allows adults to grow two mature plants.

Public consumption of marijuana is also not allowed.

WashingtonInitiative 692(1998) SB 5798 (2010)

SB 5073(2011)

NoYes, approved as of Nov. 2012, stores opened in July, 2014.YesNo, but adults over 21 may purchase at an adult retail dispensary.Initiative 502 (2012)
WAC Marijuana rules: Chapter 314-55 WAC
FAQ about WA cannabis laws by the Seattle Times.
West VirginiaSB 386 (2017)YesYes. No whole flower/cannot be smoked but can be vaporized.YesNo, but may allow terminally ill to buy in other states.

*The links and resources are provided for information purposes only. NCSL does not endorse the views expressed in any of the articles linked from this page.

** While Montana’s revised medical marijuana law limits caregivers to three patients, caregivers may serve an unlimited number of patients due to an injunction issued on January 16, 2013.

StateProgram Name and Statutory Language (year)Patient Registry or ID cardsDispensaries or Source of Product(s)Specifies ConditionsRecognizes Patients from other statesDefintion of Products AllowedAllows for Legal DefenseAllowed for Minors
Alabama  SB 174 “Carly’s Law”(Act 2014-277) Allows University of Alabama Birmingham to conduct effectiveness research using low-THC products for treating seizure disorders for up to 5 years.

HB 61 (2016) Leni’s Law allows more physicians to refer patients to use CBD for more conditions.

NoProvides legal defense for posession and/or use of CBD oil.  Does not create an in-state production method.Yes, debilitating epileptic conditions, life-threatening seizures, wasting syndrome, chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms, any other sever condition resistant to conventional medicine.NoExtracts that are low THC= below 3% THCYesYes
(NEW comprehensive program approved in 2016, included in table above)
Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 CS for SB 1030 (2014)

Patient treatment information and outcomes will be collected and used for intractable childhood epilepsy research

YesYes, 5 registered nurseries across the state by region, which have been in business at least 30 years in Florida.Yes, cancer, medical condition or seizure disorders that chronically produces symptoms that can be alleviated by low-THC productsNoCannabis with low THC= below .8% THC and above 10% CBD by weightYes, with approval from 2 doctors
GeorgiaHB 1 (2015) (signed by governor 4/16/15)YesLaw allows University System of Georgia to develop a lot THC oil clinical research program that meets FDA trial compliance.Yes, end stage cancer, ALS, MS, seizure disorders, Crohn’s, mitochondrial disease, Parkinson’s, Sickle Cell diseaseNoCannabis oils with low THC= below 5% THC and at least an equal amount of CDB.YesYes
IowaSF 2360, Medical Cannabidiol Act of 2014 (Effective 7/1/14)YesDoesn’t define or provide in-state methods of access or production.Yes, intractable epilepsyNo“Cannabidiol- a non-psychoactive cannabinoid” that contains below 3% THC, no more than 32 oz, and essentially free from plant material.YesYes
 Idaho- VETOED BY GOVERNORSB 1146 (VETOED by governor 4/16/15)NoDoesn’t define.The possessor has, or is a parent or guardian of a person that has, cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, fibroymyalgia, Parkinson’s disease or sickle cell disease;NoIs composed of no more than three-tenths percent (0.3%)  tetrahydrocannabidiol by weight;  is composed of at least fifteen (15) times more cannabidiol than tetrahydrocannabidiol by weight; and contains no other psychoactive substance.YesYes
IndianaHB 1148 (2017)YesDoesn’t define.Treatment resistant epilepsy.NoAt least 5 percent CBD by weight. No more than .3 percent THC by weight.YesYes
KentuckySB 124 (2014) Clara Madeline Gilliam Act

Exempt cannabidiol from the definition of marijuana and allows it to be administerd by a public university or school of medicine in Kentucky for clinical trial or expanded access program approved by the FDA.

NoUniversities in Kentucky with medical schools that are able to get a research trial. Doesn’t allow for in-state production of CBD product.Intractable seizure disordersNoNo, only “cannabidiol”.
LouisianaSB 143 The “Alison Neustrom Act”

Please see bolded comment to the right.

Louisiana State Univ. and the Southern Univ. Agricultural Center have the right of first refusal to be the licensed production facility. If they pass, it opens up to a competitive bid process.YesNoNCSL counts this act as a low-THC program based on this statement in the enacted legislation. “THC shall be reduced to the lowest acceptable therapeutic levels available through scientifically acceptable methods.”
NCSL also does NOT count this program as “comprehensive” because it does not allow for the combustion or vaporizing of flowered product. 

Other organizations or groups may count this as a comprehensive program, but please refer to NCSL’s definitions above. NCSL will reconsider its categorization based on final rules, regulations and practice when they are finalized.

MississippiHB 1231 “Harper Grace’s Law” 2014All provided through National Center for Natural Products Research at the Univ. of Mississippi and dispensed by the Dept. of Pharmacy Services at the Univ. of Mississippi Medical CenterYes, debilitating epileptic condition or related illnessNo“CBD oil” – processed cannabis plant extract, oil or resin that contains more than 15% cannabidiol, or a dilution of the resin that contains at least 50 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) per milliliter, but not more than one-half of one percent (0.5%) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)Yes, if an an authorized patient or guardianYes
MissouriHB 2238 (2014)YesYes, creates cannabidiol oil care centers and cultivation and production facilities/laboratories.Yes, intractable epilepsy that has not responded to three or more other treatment options.No“Hemp extracts” equal or less than .3% THC and at least 5% CBD by weight.YesYes
North CarolinaHB 1220 (2014) Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act- Pilot Study

HB 766 (2015) Removes Pilot Study designation

YesUniversity research studies with a hemp extract registration card from the state DHHS or obtained from another jurisdiction that allows removal of the products from the state.Yes, intractable epilepsyNo“Hemp extracts” with less than nine-tenths of one percent (0.9%) tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by weight.

Is composed of at least five percent (5%) cannabidiol by weight.
Contains no other psychoactive substance.

Oklahoma HB 2154 (2015)YesNo in-state production allowed, so products would have to be brought in. Any formal distribution system would require federal approval.People under 18 (minors) Minors with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, or other severe epilepsy that is not adequately treated by traditional medical therapiesNoA preparation of cannabis with no more than .3% THC in liquid form.YesYes, only allowed for minors
South Carolina SB 1035 (2014) Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Treatment Act- Julian’s LawYesMust use CBD product from an approved source; and

(2)    approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to be used for treatment of a condition specified in an investigational new drug application.

-The principal investigator and any subinvestigator may receive cannabidiol directly from an approved source or authorized distributor for an approved source for use in the expanded access clinical trials.

Some have interpreted the law to allow patients and caregivers to produce their own products.

Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, also known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy, or any other form of refractory epilepsy that is not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies.NoCannabidiol or derivative of marijuana that contains 0.9% THC and over 15% CBD, or least 98 percent cannabidiol (CBD) and not more than 0.90% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by volume that has been extracted from marijuana or synthesized in a laboratoryYesYes
TennesseeSB 2531 (2014)
Creates a four-year study of high CBD/low THC marijuana at TN Tech Univ.


HB 197 (2015)

Researchers need to track patient information and outcomes


Only products produced by Tennessee Tech University.
Patients may possess low THC oils only if they are purchased “legally in the United States and outside of Tennessee,” from an assumed medical cannabis state, however most states do not allow products to leave the state.


Allows for legal defense for having the product as long as it was obtained legally in the US or other medical marijuana state.

Yes, intractable seizure conditions.


Yes, intractable seizure conditions.




“Cannabis oil” with less than .9% THC as part of a clinical research study


Same as above.

TexasSB 339 (2015)
Texas Compassionate Use Act
YesYes, licensed by the Department of Public Safety.Yes, intractable epilepsy.No“Low-THC Cannabis” with not more than 0.5 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinols; and not less than 10 percent by weight of cannabidiolYesYes
UtahHB 105 (2014) Hemp Extract Registration ActYesNot completely clear, however it may allow higher education institution to grow or cultivate industrial hemp.Yes, intractable epilepsy that hasn’t responded to three or more treatment options suggested by neurologist.No“Hemp extracts” with less than .3% THC by weight and at least 15% CBD by weight and contains no other psychoactive substancesYesYes
VirginiaHB 1445NoNo in-state means of acquiring cannabis products.Intractable epilepsyNoCannabis oils with at least 15% CBD or THC-A and no more than 5% THC.YesYes
WisconsinAB 726 (2013 Act 267)NoPhysicians and pharmacies with an investigational drug permit by the FDA could dispense cannabidiol. Qualified patients would also be allowed to access CBD from an out-of-state medical marijuana dispensary that allows for out-of-state patients to use their dispensaries as well as remove the products from the state.

No in-state production/manufacturing mechanism provided.

Seizure disordersException to the definition of prohibited THC by state law, allows for possession of “cannabidiol in a form without a psychoactive effect.”  THC or CBD levels are not defined.NoYes
WyomingHB 32 (2015)
Supervised medical use of hemp extracts. Effective 7/1/2015
YesNo in-state production or purchase method defined.Intractable epilepsy or seizure disordersNo“Hemp extracts” with less than 0.3% THC and at least 5% CBD by weight.YesYes

*The links and resources are provided for information purposes only. NCSL does not endorse the views expressed in any of the articles linked from this page.

Additional Resources

  • NCSL’s Marijuana Deep Dive pagefeaturing marijuana and cannabis laws on criminal justice, health and other resources.
  • NCSL FY 2018 letter the LCJPS Committee sent to the Hill  opposing the withholding of funding for state with medical marijuana laws:

NCSL FY 2018 CJS Appropriations Support Letter. (May 16, 2017)


Note California has 13 times the Congressmen as Utah, but same sample size.

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State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) System

Map of Current Cigarette Use Among Adults

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Current Cigarette Use Among Adults (Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System) 2016


About This Map

8.8% – <12.1%

12.1% – <15.3%

15.3% – <18.6%

18.6% – <21.8%

21.8% – 25.1%

Data Table

LocationData ValueLow Confidence LimitHigh Confidence LimitSample Size
District of Columbia14.7%13.2%16.2%3,736
New Hampshire18.0%16.4%19.6%6,212
New Jersey14.0%12.7%15.3%7,298
New Mexico16.6%15.1%18.1%5,808
New York14.2%13.4%15%32,223
North Carolina17.9%16.7%19.1%6,342
North Dakota19.8%18.3%21.3%5,542
Puerto Rico10.6%9.4%11.8%5,730
Rhode Island14.4%13%15.8%5,261
South Carolina20.0%18.8%21.2%10,854
South Dakota18.1%16.2%20%5,623
West Virginia24.8%23.5%26.1%7,015

Download Data (csv)

Based on OSHData dataset: Behavior Risk Factor Data: Tobacco Use (2011 and Later)

2011-2016. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) System. BRFSS Survey Data. The BRFSS is a continuous, state-based surveillance system that collects information about modifiable risk factors for chronic diseases and other leading causes of death. The data for the STATE System were extracted from the annual BRFSS surveys from participating states. Tobacco topics included are cigarette smoking status, cigarette smoking prevalence by demographics, cigarette smoking frequency, and quit attempts. NOTE: these data are not to be compared with BRFSS data collected 2010 and prior, as the methodologies were changed. Please refer to the FAQs / Methodology sections for more details.

  • Page last reviewed:September 19, 2017
  • Content source:
    • Office on Smoking and Health,National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Email

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Disclaimer: The author of each article published on this web site owns his or her own words. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Utah Standard News or official policies of the USN and may actually reflect positions that USN actively opposes. No claim in public domain or fair use. UTopiAH is a trade mark of the author. Utopia was written in 1516 by Sir Thomas More, Chancellor of England. © Edmunds Tucker.