Between constant elections, state laws and federal regulation, it’s hard to keep track of what States have legalized Cannabis. Even if you know where it might be legal, what states have legalized medical cannabis only? We’ll provide details on the laws across all states that have legal cannabis, who is medical only, and what states are likely to legalize in the near future.
The Highest Level – Where is Weed Legal?
According to Governing.comthere are a total of 29 states (and Washington DC) across the United States that have legalized mary jane in some fashion. This doesn’t mean that you are free to walk the streets and light a duby, it simply means that there is some state legislation that has passed allowing some form of marijuana. Most of this is medicinal, while a small handful is recreational as well.
What States Have Legalized Cannabis?
While some medical cannabis laws are more general than others, the specific medical conditions that warrant a medicinal marijuana card can vary from state to state. Outside of the list below, there are other states that have passed very limited laws which allow residents to possess weed only if they have a few rare medical conditions. Alabama and Mississippi, for example, both have laws in place which allow the use of medical marijuana for severe epileptic conditions only.
Federal law also often gets in the way. Virginia has had laws in place for 20+ years allowing for the possession of cannabis with a prescription from a doctor. What a Catch 22! Federal law actually prohibits doctors from prescribing marijuana directly – it can only be recommended.
The states with broad legalized medicinal marijuana include:
What States Have Legal Recreational Cannabis
While increasing pretty regularly, there are still only a handful of states that allow for the use, possession, and sale of recreational marijuana. All of this is only legal for adults 21 years and older. Legalized recreational weed provides state residents without a medicinal marijuana card to have the ability to purchase cannabis. This provides a number of benefits including pain management, sleep assistance, relief from anxiety and more. Outside of medicinal uses, recreational marijuana makes it legal for you to enjoy a bud session with your closest friends.
In addition to the use and ownership of grass, it also fuels the economy and profits from tax collected tend to benefit the states’ education systems among other departments.
The states with the most expansive laws regarding marijuana use and possession are:
Legal Cannabis is not Equal Everywhere
While there are seven states in addition to Washington DC with expansive laws legalizing cannabis for recreational use, they are not uniform from state to state. For example, most recently, California passed Proposition 64 allowing 21+ to have up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to 6 plants in their homes. While that is more generous legislation, Massachusetts is already looking at bills that would actually lower the amount its residents can legally have and place additional restrictions on marijuana retail stores.
Who is Next to Legalize Marijuana?
As of September of 2017, though already included in the list above, it looks like Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota are the closest to joining the legalized marijuana club. All three states are in the final rule period for medical marijuana laws. While medical marijuana is a start, it will be a long way to go to get these to convert to fully recreational states.
High Times lists Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont as good candidates for recreational legalization based on their current medical programs and proximity to Massachusetts. Arizona, Michigan, and Ohio are also potentials for 2018.
Elections are right around to corner. We’ll keep you informed with the most up to date information regarding the legalization of marijuana across the US. Check back for updates on what States have legalized Cannabis soon.