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    Where is Pot Legal? Marijuana Laws in Every State

    Cannabis is legal -- either recreationally or medicinally -- in three-quarters of US states.

    News Politics

    Where is Pot Legal? Marijuana Laws in Every State

    Cannabis is legal -- either recreationally or medicinally -- in three-quarters of US states.

    Dan Avery

    June 23, 2022 6:53 a.m. PT

    7 min read

    Cannabis is legal, either for medical or recreational purposes, in three-quarters of US states.

    Olena Ruban/Getty Images

    Legalizing marijuana is good for the economy. That's the takeaway from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration's report in May that showed the state has taken in $294 million in cannabis tax revenue in the first quarter of 2022.

    Since recreational use was legalized in 2018, California has raked in nearly $4 billion from the excise, cultivation and sales tax on marijuana. The tax revenue is so flush that Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed the elimination of the cultivation tax to make the industry more competitive and to stamp out the black market.

    Last year in the US, sales of legal. recreational cannabis reached nearly $15 billion. That figure is on target to surpass $25 billion by 2025, according to Statista.

    On the federal level, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act cleared the House in April and is now before the Senate. If passed and signed by President Joe Biden, it would legalize cannabis on the federal level, expunge the records of nonviolent offenders and fund social and criminal-justice programs in communities most impacted by overpolicing. The House passed the MORE Act mostly along party lines, but it faces a tougher battle in the Senate.

    Here's what to know about marijuana legalization, including which states have passed laws, what happens to the MORE Act next and how Americans feel about legal weed.

    Which states have legalized recreational marijuana?

    According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the adult use of marijuana for recreational purposes: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

    Marijuana is also legal for medical purposes in all these localities. In addition, recreational cannabis is legal in Washington, DC, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

    Recreational use of marijuana for adults is legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia.

    Heath Korvola

    Which states have legalized medical marijuana?

    As of June 2022, 38 states have legalized the medical use of cannabis to varying degrees, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

    In addition, the District of Columbia and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands have all legalized medical marijuana.

    Each jurisdiction has its own criteria regarding what conditions cannabis can be prescribed for, at what amounts and what the process is for issuing medical marijuana licenses to qualified residents.

    What does federal law say about marijuana?

    Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the Drug Enforcement Agency still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, "with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." (Other Schedule I drugs include heroin and LSD, while cocaine is listed as a Schedule II drug.)

    In 2013, President Barack Obama directed the Justice Department to defer to state authorities in jurisdictions that had legalized marijuana, "based on assurances that those states will impose an appropriately strict regulatory system."

    Known as the Cole Memorandum, this guidance was rescinded in 2018 by Jeff Sessions, attorney general under President Donald Trump. Marijuana legalization advocates have encouraged President Joe Biden to direct current Attorney General Merrick Garland to reinstate the Cole memorandum.

    What is the MORE Act?

    Now heading to the Senate, the Marijuana Opportunity and Reinvestment Expungement Act would abolish federal criminal penalties for those growing, possessing or distributing cannabis and expunge nonviolent cannabis convictions. It would also institute a tax on cannabis to help communities impacted by decades of policing focused on nonviolent crimes related to marijuana use. The money would pay for programs such as job training, legal aid and youth mentoring.

    The act wouldn't require states to legalize cannabis, however. Regulation would be left up to state lawmakers.

    Source : www.cnet.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

    Where is weed legal in 2022? These states have OK'd recreational pot.

    The list of states where weed is legal has grown since Colorado and Washington voted to legalize its recreational use in 2012.

    In what states is weed legal? Here is the list.

    Orlando Mayorquin USA TODAY

    Nearly a decade has passed since the voters of Colorado and Washington decided at the ballot box to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. In the time since, sixteen states and the District of Columbia have followed suit. New Jersey, which voted for legalization in 2020, authorized its first, legal sales of marijuana to adults 21 and older to begin on April 21— one day after the annual celebration of cannabis culture. All but a handful of 11 states have OK'd its medical use, and legalizing the substance at the federal level has picked up new momentum. The House recently passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana, and another bill that would legalize the plant is in the works in the Senate.

    What's everyone talking about?:Sign up for our trending newsletter to get the latest news of the dayThe world's oldest living dog: A chihuahua in Florida named TobyKeith breaks Guinness World record

    What states have legalized recreational marijuana? 

    The number of states that have legalized recreational use has risen steadily over the last 10 years. New York became the 15th state to legalize weed last year, but retail sales in the state aren't expected to begin until late 2022 at the earliest.  Every state on this list had authorized the use of cannabis for medical purposes prior to full legalization.

    Connecticut: Legalized in 2021

    New Mexico: Legalized in 2021

    New York: Legalized in 2021

    Virginia: Legalized in 2021

    Arizona: Legalized in 2020

    Montana: Legalized in 2020

    New Jersey: Legalized in 2020

    Vermont: Legalized in 2020

    Illinois: Legalized in 2019

    Michigan: Legalized in 2018

    California: Legalized in 2016

    Maine: Legalized in 2016

    Massachusetts: Legalized in 2016

    Nevada: Legalized in 2016

    District of Columbia: Legalized in 2014

    Alaska: Legalized 2014

    Oregon: Legalized in 2014

    Colorado: Legalized in 2012

    Washington: Legalized in 2012

    What states have legalized medical marijuana? 

    Marijuana is allowed for medical treatment in most of the country. Only 11 states prohibit the drug completely. Here are the states that allow medical marijuana only. Mississippi and Alabama are the latest states to legalize medical pot, but it is still unavailable for purchase as the states try to establish regulations.

    Mississippi - Legalized 2022

    Alabama- Legalized 2021

    South Dakota - Legalized 2020

    Missouri - Legalized 2018

    Oklahoma - Legalized 2018

    Utah - Legalized 2018

    Iowa - Legalized 2017

    West Virginia - Legalized 2017

    Arkansas - Legalized 2016

    Florida - Legalized 2016

    North Dakota - Legalized 2016

    Ohio - Legalized 2016

    Pennsylvania - Legalized 2016

    Georgia- Legalized 2015

    Louisiana - Legalized 2015

    Minnesota - Legalized 2014

    Maryland- Legalized 2013

    New Hampshire - Legalized 2013

    Delaware - Legalized 2011

    Rhode Island- 2006

    Hawaii- Legalized 2000

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