Are you wondering which states marijuana is legal in? Which ones offer recreational use or medical marijuana use only? This guide will give you all of the answers you need to be informed on the issue.
The federal government currently classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, which means any type of use is considered illegal under federal law. However, because of a loophole that exists, each state has the option to decriminalize marijuana, if they have a system in place to regulate the drug. Essentially, this means that marijuana use can be legal to varying degrees in each state.
So far, recreational marijuana use has been legalized in four states and the District of Columbia. Nineteen other states have legalized marijuana for medicinal uses only. Let’s take a more detailed look at those states:
Alaska legalized marijuana usage on November 4, 2014 by passing Measure 2.
Arizona voters said “yes” to the legalization of medical marijuana by passing Proposition 203 with just over half of the vote.
On November 5, 1996, California became the pioneer of the legalization of medical marijuana by passing Proposition 215 with 56% of the vote.
On November 6, 2012, Colorado made a groundbreaking decision to support the legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes by adding the 64th amendment.
Connecticut allows for the sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes only.
The state of Delaware also only allows marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes.
Georgia allows the form of medical marijuana that does not contain THC. THC is the active cannabinoid that gives users a “high”. It was legalized on April 16, 2015.
June 15, 2000 was the date that the governor of Hawaii signed the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes into law.
In Illinois, Governor Quinn signed a bill into law for the legalization of medical marijuana. This bill went into affect on January 1, 2014.
Maine legalized marijuana on November 2, 1999. 62% of the voters said “yes” to Question 2 on the ballot. In addition, in 2013, the cities of Portland and South Portland made it legal to carry up to 2.5 ounces within city limits to be used for any purpose.
October 1, 2014 was when legislation went into effect which allows medical marijuana in the state of Maryland.
On November 6, 2012, Massachusetts residents voted on legislation for the legalization of medical marijuana. A whopping 62% voted yes!
Michigan allows marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes only.
Medical marijuana is legal in Minnesota. However, this is only in pill, oil or vapor form. They have not yet supported the legalization of smoking marijuana for medical reasons.
Montana is another state that allows marijuana to be used for medical purposes.
65% of the population of Nevada voted “yes, we want it!” to the legalization of medical marijuana through question 9 on November 7, 2000.
Governor Maggie Hassan, of the state of New Hampshire, legalized marijuana by signing into effect HB 573.
In New Jersey, Governor Jon Corzine, signed the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act into law.
We will continue to explore the different states and their decisions regarding medical or recreational marijuana use in the next post. It varies greatly from state to state. Remember, it is important to get out and vote if you do not see your state listed!