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    Where Is Marijuana Legal? A Guide to Marijuana Legalization

    Recreational marijuana is legal in 19 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam.

    Where Is Marijuana Legal? A Guide to Marijuana Legalization

    Recreational marijuana is legal in 19 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam.

    By Claire Hansen, Horus Alas, and Elliott Davis Jr.

    May 27, 2022

    Marijuana is weighed at a dispensary in Los Angeles in 2018.FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

    On Election Day in 2012, voters in Colorado approved a ballot initiative legalizing the recreational use and sale of cannabis, making the state the first in the U.S. to do so.

    Eighteen other states, Washington, D.C., and Guam would go on to legalize the drug in the next 10 years as public support for legalization rose rapidly – despite marijuana being illegal at the federal level.

    Some strains of the cannabis plant – often called marijuana or weed – contain a psychoactive compound called THC that produces a "high" when ingested.

    Today, support for marijuana legalization has become mainstream among Democratic politicians, and some Republicans also back the idea. State legislatures are grappling with if and how to legalize the drug, while several marijuana-related bills – including those aiming to decriminalize it on the federal level – have been introduced in Congress. Most recently, the House passed a marijuana decriminalization bill on April 1, 2022, but it was facing an uncertain future in the Senate.

    States Where Marijuana Is Legal

    Opponents say marijuana poses a public health and safety risk, and some are morally against legalization. Proponents, however, argue that it is not as dangerous as alcohol and point to evidence that it has therapeutic benefits, such as stress and pain relief.

    Advocates also see it as a moneymaker for states and a necessary social justice initiative. Marijuana laws have disproportionately affected people from minority communities, contributing to mass incarceration. States where the drug is legal have sought to retroactively address the consequences of marijuana prohibition, often including provisions allowing for the expungement or vacation of low-level marijuana convictions.

    States where recreational marijuana is legal:

    Colorado Washington Alaska Oregon Washington, D.C. California Maine Massachusetts Nevada Michigan Vermont Guam Illinois Arizona Montana New Jersey New York Virginia New Mexico Connecticut Rhode Island

    Retail marijuana could hit the shelves in Vermont in the fall of 2022, according to television station WCAX. The District of Columbia is set to have a regulated recreational market as soon as August 2022, but a proposed budget in Congress could keep a ban on sales in the district in place. Meanwhile, Guam officials in November 2021 got closer to launching the territory’s own industry by contracting with Metrc, a provider of cannabis regulatory systems.

    [ READ:

    Recreational Marijuana: A Business Boon for States? ]

    States have their own processes for licensing dispensaries, but in all states where marijuana is legal, businesses that sell marijuana must have a license from the state to do so.

    The sales are regulated and taxed by the states at varying rates. Some states implement an excise tax on the sales, which are taxes on a particular good – in this case, marijuana – levied on the seller, which typically passes it on to the consumer by including it in the product's price.

    Provisions outlining the amount of marijuana an adult can legally possess, if adults can grow their own marijuana plants and how the tax revenue is spent vary from state to state.

    Colorado - legalization measure approved November 2012

    Adults over the age of 21 in Colorado can possess and give away up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants each, though residences are limited to 12 plants total no matter how many people live there. Using marijuana in public is illegal.

    Retail purchases at licensed dispensaries are subject to standard sales tax, plus an additional 10% marijuana sales tax. A 15% excise tax is applied to the wholesale price of retail marijuana – that is, the price that businesses pay cultivators.

    Washington - legalization measure approved November 2012

    In Washington, adults over 21 can buy and possess up to an ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused edibles in solid form, 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquid products, and 7 grams of marijuana concentrates. It's illegal to consume marijuana in public, and recreational users can't grow the plants at home.

    Retail sales are legal at licensed dispensaries and there is a 37% excise tax on those sales.

    Alaska - legalization measure approved November 2014

    Alaskan adults over the age of 21 can possess and give away up to an ounce of marijuana and can grow up to six marijuana plants, though only three of those plants can be mature. It's illegal to consume the drug in public.

    Source : www.usnews.com

    Where marijuana is legal in the United States

    Where marijuana is legal in the United States.

    Where marijuana is legal in the United States

    California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Since then, the medical use of cannabis has been legalized in 39 states and the District of Columbia. The recreational or adult-use of cannabis is also legal in DC and 18 states.

    State Recreational Year legalized (Rec) Medical Year legalized (Med)

    California Yes 2016 Yes 1996

    Alaska Yes 2014 Yes 1998

    Nevada Yes 2016 Yes 1998

    Oregon Yes 2014 Yes 1998

    Washington Yes 2012 Yes 1998

    Maine Yes 2016 Yes 1999

    Colorado Yes 2012 Yes 2000

    Hawaii No Yes 2000

    Montana Yes 2020 Yes 2004

    Vermont Yes 2020 Yes 2004

    Rhode Island Yes 2022 Yes 2006

    New Mexico Yes 2021 Yes 2007

    Michigan Yes 2018 Yes 2008

    Arizona Yes 2020 Yes 2010

    New Jersey Yes 2020 Yes 2010

    Delaware No Yes 2011

    Connecticut Yes 2021 Yes 2012

    Massachusetts Yes 2016 Yes 2012

    Illinois Yes 2019 Yes 2013

    Maryland No Yes 2013

    New Hampshire No Yes 2013

    Minnesota No Yes 2014

    New York Yes 2021 Yes 2014

    Georgia No Yes 2015

    Louisiana No Yes 2015

    Arkansas No Yes 2016

    Florida No Yes 2016

    North Dakota No Yes 2016

    Ohio No Yes 2016

    Pennsylvania No Yes 2016

    Iowa No Yes 2017

    West Virginia No Yes 2017

    Missouri No Yes 2018

    Oklahoma No Yes 2018

    Utah No Yes 2018

    Mississippi No Yes 2021

    South Dakota No Yes 2020

    Virginia Yes 2021 Yes 2020

    Alabama No Yes 2021

    Idaho No No Indiana No No Kansas No No Kentucky No No Nebraska No No

    North Carolina No No

    South Carolina No No

    Tennessee No No Texas No No Wisconsin No No Wyoming No No

    District of Columbia Yes 2015 Yes 2011

    Does not include states that have legalized only CBD-based oils.

    Source : mjbizdaily.com

    Marijuana Laws by State 2022


    Legal Status


    Legal for medicinal use


    Click on a tile for details.

    Marijuana Laws by State 2022

    Marijuana, as known as weed, pot, bud, ganja, Mary Jane and several other slang terms, is a greenish-gray mixture of dried Cannabis flowers. Cannabis is a psychoactive drug that can be used for recreational or medicinal purposes. Twenty years ago, marijuana was illegal in all 50 states; however, today, 33 states have legislation allowing for marijuana use in some form.

    In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, legalizing medical marijuana. California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Within the following four years, several other states followed by passing their own medical marijuana legislation, including Alaska, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Colorado, Hawaii, and Nevada. Since then, more states have gradually voted to pass legislation allowing for medical marijuana use.

    In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Since then, nine states and the District of Columbia have followed by legalizing marijuana for recreational use. The states where recreational and medical marijuana are legal are: Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. While recreational marijuana is legal in Vermont and Washington D.C., both jurisdictions have barred sales for recreation purposes but allow possessing and growing.

    The following 22 states have legalized medical marijuana only Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and West Virginia.

    Each state has strict regulations regarding their marijuana laws for both medical and recreational use. Medical marijuana users must see a marijuana doctor to be approved for and obtain a medical marijuana card, which requires follow-up appointments and annual renewal. One must be at least 21 years old to purchase recreational marijuana. Most states require that marijuana only be sold from dispensaries, which are heavily regulated. The amount of marijuana that one can buy, possess and grow is also restricted and varies by state. For example, California allows users to buy up to eight grams of concentrates and can have no more than six marijuana plants.

    Because marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, it is automatically illegal in all states unless legislation has previously passed.

    Source : worldpopulationreview.com

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