Cannabis is considered a Schedule I drug according to the CSA, meaning it has abuse potential and no recognized medicinal benefit, making even medically sanctioned drug usage illegal. Despite this restrictive status at the federal level, state rules on recreational and medical marijuana usage vary widely. Many of these state policies even strongly contradict federal law.
Only 12 years ago, no state in the United States had legalized marijuana, but legalization is rapidly spreading across the country. Since 2012, marijuana for individuals over 21 years of age has been legal in 18 states and Washington DC. Furthermore, medicinal marijuana is allowed in 37 states, implying that most Americans can access cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.
At Happy Garden CBD, we believe it’s a matter of time before lawmakers in Washington, D.C., will come up to speed and enact legislation ending federal prohibition. For now, we share with you the U.S. states where marijuana is legal.
Although the plant is still classified as a Schedule I substance, the Rohrabacher–Farr Amendment protects anyone who follows state medicinal cannabis legislation from federal punishment.
Governor Kay Ivey approved a measure legalizing marijuana for therapeutic use. Medicinal THC is only accessible in the form of capsules, lozenges, oils, suppositories, and topicals — no smoking, vaping, or edibles. Also, the reform only allows medical marijuana for a limited number of diseases.
Alaska is a pioneer state regarding legal medicinal marijuana, doing so in 1998 — but the law did not permit sales, so it wasn’t very successful. After voters approved a ballot proposal in 2014, the state became one of the first to legalize recreational use by adults.
Proposition 203 authorized medical marijuana in 2010, and Proposition 207 legalized recreational marijuana on November 3, 2020. Adults 21 and older were permitted to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow a maximum of six plants under the new law.
In 2016, Arkansas legalized cannabis for medical purposes. Residents may carry up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana to treat qualifying ailments.
Since the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996, California has been a trailblazer in legalizing marijuana in the United States. Persons over 21 years can now purchase up to 8g of marijuana extracts used in edibles.
In 2012, Colorado paired with Washington to become one of the first two states to legalize marijuana completely. Residents and visitors 21 and above may purchase up to an ounce of marijuana or 8g of concentrates. More stringent rules have been enacted in several Colorado counties and towns.
Connecticut legalized cannabis for adults over 21 on June 18, 2021. Adults are now permitted to acquire or use up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana.
Delaware authorized marijuana for therapeutic purposes in 2011, but home production is prohibited.
With a doctor’s prescription, Floridians can purchase cannabis from medicinal dispensaries. However, home growing and other ways of obtaining the plant are illegal.
In Georgia, high-CBD/low-THC cannabis is authorized for medical usage, but don’t be fooled. THC products are strictly prohibited.
Medical marijuana is allowed, and the state government legalized possession of below three grams of cannabis in 2019. However, there is no recreational marijuana program in Hawaii.
Illinois lawmakers enacted a measure in June 2019 that makes marijuana possession and sales legal in the state beginning January 1, 2020.
Maine citizens now have the legal right to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, which is more than twice the amount in most other states, according to a referendum measure passed in 2016.
Since 2016, cannabis has been legal in the state. In November 2018, the public could access the first marijuana dispensaries. Adults 21 and older can buy a maximum of one ounce of marijuana, but they can’t use it in public spaces.
Montana citizens are allowed to use medical and recreational marijuana. They can also grow a maximum of 4 plants per household.