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Until last year, the Cooperative provided marijuana to patients with letters of recommendation from doctors. Although marijuana is a Schedule I drug under federal law, California's 1996 Compassionate Use Act legalized the drug's use and cultivation for medicinal purposes in the state. Eight other states, plus Washington, D.C., have passed similar laws: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. At least 30 states have passed some form of legislation sympathetic to "seriously ill patients seeking access to marijuana for medicinal purposes."