Technically, cannabis is still illegal in the United States, according to federal law. However, in recent years, many states have made significant progress towards legalizing and regulating the drug’s use, and some have achieved a significant level of success.
In states like Nevada, Michigan, Colorado or Alaska, both recreational and medical marijuana are now legal. However, it’s important to note that even these states have restrictions regarding who is able to benefit from the recreational use of cannabis based products and in what quantity.
What States Have Approved Recreational Marijuana?
To have a clear picture about which states have approved the legal use of recreational marijuana, here is a complete list of them and a few of the details regarding the legality of the drug in these areas:
- In Alaska, recreational use is legal, and households of 2 or more adults are even allowed to grow up to 12 plants, even without a commercial license.
- California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, and now approves of the recreational use of the drug as well.
- Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, and now allows up to 3 mature plants per household. The best recreational dispensary near me has a variety of quality products and accessories, as well as a knowledgeable staff to help you choose the best product for your needs.
- Illinois is one of the states where marijuana has only been legalized recently, its recreational use being allowed as of January 1st, 2020.
- 2016 saw the legalization of recreational Marijuana in a number of states, including Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.
- Michigan and Vermont both legalized its use in 2018.
- Oregon saw the decriminalization of cannabis as early as 1973, being the first state that showed this initiative. By 2015, recreational marijuana was already legal here as well.
- The state of Washington legalized recreational marijuana as early as 2012, but doesn’t allow for home growing.
- In the District of Columbia, it was legalized two years later, but the main restriction is the commercial use of the drug.
Aside from these twelve areas, a number of states have recently made efforts to make the punishments for possession or use more lenient, while in the territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, recreational cannabis has also been legalized in the past two years.
The Ongoing Effort to Legalize Cannabis in the USA
Politics, a strict existing policy regarding the use of cannabis and other drugs, as well as public opinion are often the culprits behind the ongoing stigma and the slowing of legalization efforts in other states. Although the USA now has a far broader view regarding the use of marijuana than many other countries in the world, certain states still stand firm in their efforts to prevent legalization.
Whether or not some of these states will make more strides in implementing new programs for recreational marijuana remains to be seen. However, with government officials and activists working hard to change things in influential states such as Texas, we can expect many new changes to come in the following years, and possibly a number of additional states to legalize cannabis or reduce the penalties associated with its use and possession.