Ahh, legalizing weed. It seems like only yesterday people were getting arrested for smoking a plant. Now it’s 2022, and you can legally purchase and consume weed in so many states!
It’s truly a glorious time to be alive.
Not only is weed legal in many states, but it’s also become quite socially acceptable. From your boss to your grandma, everyone seems to be talking about weed these days.
So, which states have legalized weed? Let’s take a look!
Federal Marijuana Legalization
Marijuana is now federally legal in the United States. This change in the law comes after the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, and it effectively removes hemp from the list of controlled substances. The bill also allows states to regulate their own cannabis markets, which should lead to a more varied landscape when it comes to marijuana legality across the country. So far, a total of 37 states have legalized marijuana in some form.
Medical usage means that you need a doctor’s note or recommendation in order to legally purchase and consume weed. Recreational usage, on the other hand, means that anyone over the age of 21 can buy and smoke weed without a doctor’s note. Some states have decriminalized possession of small amounts of weed- meaning you won’t get arrested or face criminal charges but may get fined instead.
States Where Marijuana Is Fully Legal
The following states all currently have full legalization laws in effect. This means that adults in these states are able to purchase and consume cannabis products without any restrictions. In most of these states, retail stores are already open and selling a variety of cannabis products to customers.
Legal for Recreational Use
- Alaska (2014)
- Arizona (2020)
- California (2016)
- Colorado (2012)
- Connecticut (2021)
- Florida (2022)
- Illinois (2019)
- Maine (2016)
- Massachusetts (2016)
- Michigan (2018)
- Montana (2020)
- Nevada (2016)
- New Jersey (2020)
- New York (2021)
- Oregon (2014)
- Rhode Island (2022)
- South Dakota (2020)
- Vermont (2020)
- Washington (2012)
- Washington, DC (2015)
States Where Weed Is Legal for Medicinal Use
In this list of states, weed is only legal for medicinal use. In order to purchase cannabis products, you’ll need to get a doctor’s recommendation or prescription. In some cases, patients are also able to grow their own marijuana plants at home.
Legal for Medicinal Use Only
- Alabama (2020)
- Arizona (2020)
- Arkansas (2016)
- Delaware (2011)
- Hawaii (2000)
- Iowa (2017)
- Louisiana (2015)
- Maryland (2017)
- Minnesota (2014)
- Missouri (2018)
- Mississippi (2022)
- New Hampshire (2013)
- North Dakota (2016)
- Ohio (2016)
- Oklahoma (2018)
- Pennsylvania (2016)
- Utah (2018)
- West Virginia (2017)
States Where Marijuana Is Still Illegal
In this list of states, marijuana is still considered to be illegal. This means that you can’t purchase or consume cannabis products without the risk of criminal penalties. In some states, possession of small amounts of weed may only result in a fine, but in others, you could end up spending time behind bars.
Illegal for All Uses
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
What Is Decriminalization?
There are also states where the possession of small amounts of weed is decriminalized.
Decriminalization is the lessening of criminal penalties in a particular legal jurisdiction in relation to a particular offense.
In some jurisdictions, offenses that are decriminalized are still illegal but are merely subjected to lesser penalties than before, while in others, they may be legal but heavily regulated (for example, prostitution and gambling). It should not be confused with legalization, which is the act of completely removing all criminal penalties for an offense.
States Where Marijuana Is Decriminalized
Here are some examples of states that have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- US Virgin Islands
- Washington, DC
What Is the Limit of Weed You Can Possess for Decriminalization?
When it comes to decriminalization, there is typically a small amount of weed that you are allowed to possess without facing any criminal penalties or charges. For example, in California, the limit is 28.5 grams (just over an ounce) of marijuana flower or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.
It’s important to note that decriminalization is not the same as legalization.
While decriminalization typically means that you will not face any criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana, it is still technically illegal. In most cases, you will be subject to a fine if caught with marijuana under decriminalization laws.
The decriminalization of marijuana possession has been a major step forward in the fight to end prohibition, but it is not the same as full legalization.
In states with decriminalization laws, it is still possible to be arrested and charged with a crime if you are caught with large amounts of marijuana or if you are caught selling it.
Additionally, decriminalization laws do not typically provide for the legal regulation and sale of marijuana. For that, you will need to look to states with full legalization laws.
So there you have it! A comprehensive list of all the states in the US where weed is currently legal in some capacity.
As you can see, the legal landscape of marijuana in the United States is a complex one.
With so many states changing their laws on an annual basis, it can be hard to keep up with the latest developments. However, it’s important to know the laws in your state so that you can consume cannabis products safely and legally.
To stay up-to-date on cannabis-related news or to learn great tips for enjoying cannabis, to the max, in its many forms, check out Cannabolish’s blog–we’re always sharing exciting use tips for Cannabolish and interesting facts about our favorite plant.