Marijuana is currently legal in almost half of the country. Nineteen states have legalized medical marijuana. Four additional states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana.
What about the rest of the United States? Some states, though medical and recreational use have yet to be legalized, have decriminalized marijuana. This means that the possession of marijuana is no longer considered a criminal offense at the state level. Keep in mind, however, that marijuana is still considered a federal offense everywhere in the U.S., regardless of state law.
Let’s take a closer look at the states that have decriminalized marijuana, ad exactly what that means in each state.
Medical marijuana is legal in California. Marijuana possession for recreational purposes has been decriminalized and is now considered a civil infraction.
Connecticut allows medical marijuana use. Possession of marijuana without an issued medical ID card is considered recreational and has been decriminalized. If it is one half ounce or less then you will be faced with a fine and seizure of the drug. If you are under 21 years of age you may temporarily lose your driver’s license.
Since medical marijuana is legal here, Delaware has also moved forward and made possession of recreational marijuana decriminalized. On June 19, 2015, Gov. Markell signed a bill that makes the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana only a civil offense, punishable by a fine of up to $100.00.
Since 1999, medical marijuana has been legal in Maine. On May 1, 2009, the state decriminalized recreational cannabis. Governor John Baldacci signed legislation, known as LD 250, making possession of up to two and a half ounces of marijuana only a civil infraction. The city of Portland, Maine went a step further and made it legal to have up to two and a half ounces of medical marijuana within city limits.
Medical marijuana is legal in Maryland. In 2014, possession of marijuana for recreational use was decriminalized. Ten grams or less of marijuana will only cost you a $100.00 fine for the first offense.
Medical marijuana is legal in this state. In 2008, voters in Massachusetts also chose to decriminalize marijuana. Possessing one ounce or less is considered a civil infraction and comes with a fine of $100.00.
Medical marijuana is also legal here. This state made the choice to decriminalize marijuana for any use. 42.5 grams of less is considered a misdemeanor that comes with a $200.00 fine.
This state has not allowed medical marijuana but surprisingly, they have decriminalized possession of 30 grams or less for first time offenders. A $250 fine is also assessed.
Again, we have a state that does not permit medical marijuana, but has decriminalized first time marijuana possession charges. Any first time offender is charged with a civil infraction and faces a fine of $100.00.
Medical marijuana is legal in this state. If you are over 21, possession is decriminalized. If you are under 21, you can be charged with a misdemeanor.
If you are going to get caught in this state possessing marijuana, it is best to be on private property. Marijuana is decriminalized in New York unless you get caught in public view! So don’t walk down 5th Avenue blazing a joint!
In the next post we can will continue to explore the marijuana rules and regulations in your state and how they can affect you!