There’s simply no denying it, marijuana use around the country is on the rise. After years of fighting for its legislation and showing that the stigmas surrounding the plant are inaccurate at best — and complete falsehoods at worse — every year more and more states are decriminalizing its possession.
This has led to some governments totally ignoring public consumption in many areas, and even legalizing the sale of various cannabis products. As of this article’s publication, 33 states have legalized medical cannabis and of those 33, 11 have legalized cannabis for recreational use by adults as well. See more.
As things around the country are drastically changing every year, it’s important to know the laws in your area. Use this guide to get a quick understanding of the cannabis dos and don’ts around the country.
On The 2020 Ballot
There are five states with legalization in one fashion or another up for a vote this year:
- Arizona – While a recreational-use bill was defeated with 51.3% of voters saying no in 2016, this year has some of the biggest names in the US cannabis business and a LOT of money backing the measure, making proponents optimistic that it will pass this time around.
- New Jersey – Governor Phil Murphy’s attempt to fulfill a 2017 campaign promise has put the measure before the voters this year.
- South Dakota – Going against the “norms” other states have set on the way to legalization, going for medical and then recreational, they are looking to get both types of usage legalized at the same time.
- Montana – Ballot issue I-190 looks to legalize both the purchase and possession of the helpful plant.
- Mississippi – Both medical and recreational use are on the ballot this year.
States Where Marijuana is Totally Legal
While there are a few states with various forms of legalization on the ballot in the next couple of weeks, there are several states where both medicinal and recreational usage are completely legal.
As of October 2020, this includes: Alaska, D.C., Washington, Vermont, Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine and Michigan.
Other Marijuana Laws by State
Texas still has some pretty severe penalties for possession of certain amounts of marijuana, but they have actually recently passed some strict laws regarding its medical use and advocates are hopeful that further steps towards legalization will be taken in the very near future.
These states have taken the first step and legalized a fairly wide-range of medicinal usage:
Oklahoma, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, New York and New Hampshire.
You should also know that the transportation of marijuana from one state to another can present a whole new set of legal problems, and while flower may be completely legal in your area, the procession of concentrate or oils is considered a felony in several states.
So, while the legalization of marijuana is growing more and more acceptable, you should definitely pay attention to local laws, especially when traveling or relocating to a new area.