U.S. States Where Weed is Legal

0 Comments
states-where-weed-is-legal
August 12, 2021
0 Comments

If you’re a weed-lover you’ve likely been following the proposed bills for legalization. With the recent spate of legislative changes, many people are unsure if they live in one of the states where weed is legal. 

Join us as we delve into the latest knowledge about states where marijuana is legal.

According to the federal government, weed is still a prohibited substance in the USA despite the increase in the amount of cannabis legal states.

You can serve time in federal prison or face a hefty fine if the feds catch you with a joint.

While cannabis enthusiasts tote the increase in states where weed is legal in 2021 as evidence that change is looming, this seems unlikely.

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden fired several White House employees after they admitted using cannabis.

Despite the increase in legal marijuana states, we’re unlikely to see federal legalization under the current political regime.

Biden has been a part of the war against cannabis use for many years and is unlikely to change sides now. 

What are the current federal marijuana laws?

Marijuana has been an illegal substance in the United States since 1937, when the government introduced the Marihuana Tax Act.

In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act only served to maintain weed’s illegal status.

Today, despite a nearly overwhelming number of states where weed is legal, the federal government still classifies marijuana possession as a crime.

Charges range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the amount and the intent of the person with the weed. 

Types of legalization

As lobbyists fight for the rights of marijuana users, we see several different types of drug reform. You might encounter any one of the following:

  • Prohibition:  Citizens may not cultivate, possess, or sell marijuana. You’ll encounter this in all states without legal marijuana.
  • Decriminalization: Decriminalized states aren’t the same as states where weed is legal. Decriminalization means the state has suspended charges for specific circumstances (i.e., possession of small amounts or first-time possession). 
  • Medical legalization: States with legal medicinal cannabis allow people to use marijuana for specific medical conditions. In most cases, the patient requires a prescription to possess and use weed legally.
  • Legalization: States where weed is legal allow people to smoke for medical or recreational reasons. Most legal states also allow smokers to grow their own.

    Even in states where recreational marijuana is legal, you may still encounter restrictions on how much cannabis you can legally possess and where you can smoke it. Even though cannabis use is legal in some states, it may not be allowed on a college campus.

Map of marijuana legality by state

As the scale slowly shifts in favor of states with legal marijuana, the status of many places has become obscure.

Take a look at this map of states where weed is legal to help you see what’s what.

Alabama 

Illegal for any use.

Alaska 

Legal for personal use. Adults may possess up to 1 oz. or grow up to 6 plants. Smoking in public is illegal.

Arizona 

Legal for personal use. Adults may possess up to 1 oz. or grow up to 6 plants.

Arkansas 

Illegal for any use.

California

Legal for personal or medical use. Adults may possess up to 1 oz. or grow up to 6 plants.

Colorado

Legal for personal or medical use. Adults may possess up to 1 oz. or grow up to 6 plants.

Connecticut 

Legal for medical use. Adults 21 and older in Connecticut can now possess as much as 1.5 ounces of marijuana. Medical cannabis patients can start growing up to six plants starting on October 1. 

Delaware 

Legal for medical use. Patients may possess up to 6 oz.

Florida 

Legal for medical use by qualifying patients. Patients may possess strains with more than 10% CBD and less than eight tenths of a percent THC. Terminally ill patients may possess higher-THC strains purchased through licensed medical dispensaries.

Georgia 

Medical CBD oils are legal. Patients can possess up to 20 oz. Must contain THC of no more than 5% and a higher CBD content.  

Hawaii

Medical marijuana legal. Patients may possess up to 4 oz. and grow up to seven cannabis plants.

Idaho

Illegal for any use.

Illinois 

Legal for medical and personal use. Recreationally, adults may legally possess up to 1 oz. Medically, patients may possess 2.5 oz. per 14-day period, and grow up to five mature plants.

Indiana

CBD products with less than 0.3% THC and at least 10% CBD are legal. 

Iowa 

Medical CBD legal.

Kansas 

Low-THC CBD products legal.

Kentucky 

Illegal for any use.

Louisiana

Non-smokable medical CBD legal.

Maine 

Medical marijuana legal. Patients may possess up to 2 oz. and grow up to six mature cannabis plants.

Maryland

Medical marijuana legal. Patients may possess up to 4 oz. per 30-day period.

Massachusetts

Legal. Adults may grow up to five plants, and possess up to 1 oz. for personal use (10 oz. at their homes).

Michigan 

Legal. Adults may grow up to 12 plants, and possess the harvests of those plants. Non-growers may possess up to 2.5 oz. for personal use and up to 10 oz. at their homes.

Minnesota

Medical marijuana legal. Patients may possess enough for a 30-day period.

Mississippi 

Medical CBD legal for intractable epilepsy. No more than 15% CBD, and no more than 0.5% THC.

Missouri

Medical marijuana legal. Patients can own up to 4 oz. per 30-day period.

Montana 

Legal. Growers may grow up to two adult plants and two seedlings at any time. You may possess up to 1 oz. for personal use.

Nebraska 

Illegal.

Nevada 

Legal. You may possess up to 1 oz. for personal use.

New Hampshire 

Medical marijuana legal. Patients may possess up to 2 oz.

New Jersey 

Legal. Adults may possess up to 6 oz.

New Mexico

Legal. Adults may possess up to 2 oz.

New York

Legal. Adults may possess up to 3 oz.

North Carolina

Medical CBD legal for intractable epilepsy. CBD content must be at least 5%, and the THC content can’t be more than nine-tenths of a percent.

North Dakota

Medical marijuana legal. Patients may possess up to 3 oz. purchased from a legal dispensary.

Ohio 

Medical marijuana legal.

Oklahoma

Medical marijuana legal. Patients may possess up to 8 oz. of dried flower (at home). They can also have up to 1 oz. of concentrate, 72 oz. of edibles, and 3 oz. on their person. Growers may possess six seedlings and six mature plants at any time.

Oregon

Legal – you may possess up to 1 oz.

Pennsylvania 

Medical marijuana legal. Patients may possess a 30-day supply.

Rhode Island

Medical marijuana legal. Patients may possess 2.5 oz., 12 seedlings, and 12 plants. Growers may possess up to 10 oz. of usable marijuana.

South Carolina

Medical CBD legal. CBD content must be at least 15% and the THC content can’t be more than nine-tenths of a percent.

South Dakota

Medical marijuana legal. Patients may possess 3 oz. and three plants. 

Tennessee

Medical CBD legal. THC content can’t be more than nine-tenths of a percent.

Texas 

Medical CBD legal. CBD content must be at least 10% and the THC content can’t be more than one-half of a percent.

Utah 

Medical marijuana legal. Patients may possess approximately 4 oz. over a 60 day period. 

Vermont 

Legal – may possess up to 1 oz. for personal use and 2 oz. for medical use.

Virginia

Legal – may possess up to 1 oz. for personal use and 4 oz. (per 30-day period) for medical use. Personal cultivation of up to four plants at home is also allowed. 

Washington

Legal, may possess up to 1 oz. for personal use and 3 oz. for medical use.

West Virginia

Medical marijuana legal in very specific forms and doses. Home cultivation of up to six medical cannabis plants is also now legal for cardholders.

Wisconsin

Medical CBD legal as long as it doesn’t involve a psychoactive effect.

Wyoming  

Specially-prepared Medical CBD legal for intractable epilepsy.

Marijuana legalization FAQs

Apart from ‘How many states is marijuana legal in?’, questions abound about legalization.

We’ve gathered your frequently asked questions about legal cannabis states and answered them below.  

What are the pros and cons of marijuana legalization?

As with any serious consideration, there are advantages and disadvantages to cannabis legalization.

Prohibitionists often tote increases in cannabis abuse as a disadvantage. Studies have shown that reasoning to be a myth and record decreased marijuana use in states with legal weed.

Here are a few documented disadvantages to marijuana legalization:

  • Cannabis use can trigger certain mental disorders among vulnerable people.
  • Legalization opens the door to more accidental exposures among children. There’s been a marked increase of such emergencies in states with legal marijuana.
  • There’s vast potential for negative physical side effects among the medically vulnerable.
  • Populations that are vulnerable to addiction disorders may misuse cannabis.

The potential benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. Here are just a few advantages for cannabis legal states:

  • A significant increase in tax revenue (up to billions of dollars).
  • Decreases in cannabis prices.
  • More police focus on significant crimes.
  • Less money spent on prosecuting marijuana possessions.
  • Increased property valuations (many homes within a 1-mile radius of a dispensary have seen up to an 8% increase in value).
  • Job creation.
  • Less profit for gangs and cartels.

Is marijuana legalized?

According to federal law, cannabis is still an illegal substance, but each state can make an independent ruling regarding marijuana use. There are now many states where medical weed is legal. 

We have reached a turning point in the fight for cannabis legalization. Many states that previously didn’t tolerate marijuana use now allow medical cannabis consumption. Other regions that previously only allowed medical use have become states with legal recreational marijuana.

While we hope to see all 50 states legalize medical and recreational cannabis use, marijuana isn’t fully legalized yet. Multiple regions still need to change sides, as does the federal legislation.

How will marijuana legalization help the economy?

Many of the states where cannabis is legal earn significantly more than their weed-free counterparts. Few people understand the economic significance of legalizing marijuana.

Here are a few advantages:

  1. Removing prohibitions changes weed from an underground product (no reportable income government) to a taxable item (profit from sales directly to the government).
  2. Legalization opens the door for law-abiding citizens who enjoy ganja to buy these products.
  3. As with industries like the alcohol and tobacco trade, changing the legal status of potentially habit-forming substances opens the way for multi-million dollar businesses.

Through taxes, trade duties, and other forms of governmental income, states where weed is legal for recreational use experience significant economic advantages. Some states have the potential to earn several hundred thousand dollars every year.

How does legalizing marijuana reduce crime?

Evidence shows that states with legal cannabis have significantly less crime than their prohibitive counterparts.

Experts attribute this disparity to having removed a popular drug from the hands of cartels and gangs. Where marijuana is legal, there’s no real profit in smuggling it underground. 

The other side of the matter is that people no longer need to sneak about to get their fix. By eliminating the need for illegal bakehouses, dealerships, and similar institutions, the government limits the exposure of weed smokers to other forms of organized crime.

The most obvious answer is that legalizing weed removes the entire ganja community from the police radar. States where weed is legal free up their police force to pursue perpetrators of more significant crimes actively.

Does marijuana use increase with legalization?

Many legal forces claim that marijuana use increases with legalization, and it’s one of the strongest arguments against reform.

There hasn’t been evidence of a drastic rise in cannabis consumption in the states where weed is legal.

Some research has shown an increase of just over two percent among teenagers. At the same time, the overall cannabis use in states where recreational weed is legal shows a decrease of around 16%.

Most significant sources agree that legalization decreases rather than increases weed use.