I have lived my entire life in Oregon which is a very progressive state when it comes to marijuana laws. We were the first to decriminalize, the second to legalize medical marijuana, and our medical marijuana limits are some of the highest in the nation. The mood towards marijuana, for the most part, is not that bad compared to other parts of the nation.
Compare that to states that do not have decriminalized marijuana laws, and do not have medical marijuana programs. There are some states out there that are very harsh when it comes to marijuana. Their laws have been ruining lives for decades. These are the states that need reform the most, but sadly, they are the states that are likely to see these failed laws stay on the books the longest.
Below is a list of some of the harshest states in the nation. I put them in alphabetical order, so it's not a top to bottom ranking. It's my hope that I will be able to update this list someday because these laws will be reformed and be removed from the books:
Sale of a controlled substance in Alabama is a Class B felony punishable with a minimum sentence of 2 years and a maximum sentence of 20 years, along with a maximum fine of $30,000.
Distributing or cultivating 1 oz to 10lbs is a felony, punishable by 4-10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Under the influence of marijuana in public is a misdemeanor, punishable by 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Distributing or cultivating less than 1 lb (24 plants) is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Distributing or manufacturing paraphernalia is a felony, punishable by 9 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
Distributing or cultivating 50kg or less is a felony, punishable by 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $7,500.
Cultivation of 5 plants is punishable by 12-17 years in prison.
Distribution or cultivation of any amount requires a mandatory 5 year sentence, up to 30 years.
A positive urine test in South Dakota is considered the same as possession of less than 2 oz, Possession of 2 oz or less is a misdemeanor, punishable by 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Cultivation of any amount is a felony, punishable by 5-30 years in prison, with a $10,000 fine.
Being under the influence of marijuana in public is a misdemeanor, punishable by 90 days in jail and a $100 fine.