Monday, June 14, 2021
HomeWeed NowWeed Map: US States that Legalize Marijuana

Weed Map: US States that Legalize Marijuana

Marijuana legalization has come so far since Washington and Colorado legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2012. More and more states have legalized marijuana for recreational, medical or both purposes.

Most Americans now have access to marijuana across the country whether it’s for recreational or medical. The last US election saw states such as New York, New Mexico, Mississippi, Montana, Virginia and South Dakota legalized recreational marijuana.
Despite marijuana being illegal at the federal level, the states that legalized THC outnumbered those that don’t. It’s now a matter of when the rest of the country will follow suit as state legislatures are contemplating ways to legalize it. Bills to decriminalize marijuana have also been passed to Congress.

Among the most common policy questions about medical marijuana include regulation of its recommendation, marijuana dispensing, and patient registration.

Along with the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, there are now 36 states that have extensive medical cannabis programs. The comprehensive cannabis program in 11 states permits the use of “low THC, high cannabidiol (CBD)” products for medical purposes in limited situations or as a legal defence.

States that approved recreational marijuana
Except for Vermont, retail sales from dispensaries are allowed in all states that legalized cannabis. Each state has different processes for granting dispensaries licenses. However, businesses that offer marijuana products should have a license before operating.

Here are the states that allow recreational cannabis:

  • Colorado
  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • Oregon
  • Washington, D.C.
  • California
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • Michigan
  • Vermont
  • Guam
  • Illinois
  • Arizona
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • South Dakota
  • New York
  • Virginia
States that approved recreational marijuana
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
States that allow CBD oil only
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Federal Laws: Where do they Stand?

At the federal level, marijuana remains to be in a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. The Schedule 1 substances are seen to have a high potential for dependency and abuse with no accepted medical use. This means that the distribution, possession and cultivation of marijuana are considered federal offences. This created tension between the federal government and states that legalized marijuana.
However, the federal government has remarkably come a long way as more states got into the legal cannabis program. The U.S. Department of Justice updated its marijuana enforcement policy in August 2013, stating that states should create strong, state-based enforcement efforts and will put off the right to question state legalization. Nevertheless, they reserve the right to challenge the states at any time they feel the need to do so.
In January 2018, the Marijuana Enforcement Memorandum was issued, allowing federal prosecutors to decide how they should prioritize the enforcement of federal cannabis laws.

Marijuana Decriminalization vs legalization

Decriminalization of drug use means that possessing and using small amounts of drugs, specifically marijuana, will not have felony charges or potential jail time. States that decriminalized cannabis treat possession and consumption of marijuana as an offence punishable by a fine.

The District of Columbia along with twenty-seven states have decriminalized small amounts of cannabis. Some states have reclassified the possession of small amounts of cannabis as a civil offence. This means that certain small, personal consumption (an ounce or less) amounts at least for first-time offenders isn’t considered a state crime without any jail time. However, repeat offences, sales, distribution and or possession of a huge amount of cannabis can still result in jail time or a criminal record remains in some states.

The difference between marijuana decriminalization and legalization lies in the legal classifications and penalties. People who possess or smoke a certain amount of marijuana will not have legal consequences under marijuana legalization. Meanwhile, violators are responsible for monetary fines for cannabis possession when cannabis has been decriminalized.

Medical Marijuana Benefits

Among the potential health benefits of cannabis include pain relief, appetite stimulation, anxiety relief, sedation, Alzheimer’s disease, appetite loss, cancer, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, Glaucoma, Multiple sclerosis, and mental disorders. There are plenty of ways
While most people are relying on marijuana for its medical benefits, the FDA has only approved it for treating two rare and severe forms of epilepsy. Since marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I drug, researchers need a special license for further research.
Medical marijuana can be administered by inhaling it via a vaporizer that turns the smoke into a mist. You can also enjoy a brownie or lollipop AKA edibles. Others apply cannabis on their skin topically. Some apply a few drops of cannabis oil under their tongues. The effectiveness of cannabis depends on the method of consumption. Smoking or vaporizing cannabis yields faster results compared to ingesting. Eating edibles can take an hour or two to feel the effects.

The Bottom line

At this point, it will not be a surprise for others to join the bandwagon and make their states a safe place for marijuana enthusiasts. The legalization of cannabis opens up a door of lucrative opportunities for businesses regardless if it’s for medical or recreational.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments