- A map of states where weed is legal
- Is marijuana legal in the USA?
- Federal cannabis laws
- State cannabis laws
- The different levels of cannabis legalization
- States where marijuana is legal, decriminalized, or illegal
Nowadays, there is an ever-increasing amount of states where weed is legal, however, many states are still in limbo regarding the exact legislation that applies.
While there are several states where weed is legal to registered cardholders and others permit recreational use, the legislation surrounding cannabis use in the USA still has a long way to go.
A map of states where weed is legal
Naturally, there are more states where medical weed is legal or weed is completely illegal and far fewer states where weed is legal for recreational use.
Legalization has been a hot topic for the last few years. Many state senators are proposing bills to legalize the sale, consumption, and cultivation of marijuana products.
These laws affect all marijuana users and growers in the USA, requiring that they be informed of their particular state’s presiding legislation.
Is marijuana legal in the USA?
While many consider decriminalization to be a positive step, many argue that federal laws need amendment in the USA. There are some marijuana legal states, but this won’t stop lobbyists pushing to have weed made legal across the USA.
An introduction to federal cannabis laws
Under the controlled substances act of 1970, the use or possession of marijuana is still deemed illegal under federal law in the continental US. However, in recent years there has been a rise in states with legal marijuana.
According to the CSA, medical marijuana is classed as a Schedule 1 substance, grouping it with numerous other substances considered highly addictive and yielding no medicinal value.
California has been at the forefront as one of the pioneering marijuana legal states.
State cannabis laws
As mentioned before, many states are in the process of adapting their marijuana laws to allow for medical and recreational use and cultivation.
Like Alabama, some semi-legal marijuana states may permit the use of cannabis for medical purposes; they may also consider recreational use and cultivation as a felony, punishable as a misdemeanor.
There are more legal medicinal cannabis states than there are states where recreational marijuana is legal. That being said, recently we have seen an increase in states with legal recreational marijuana.
The different levels of weed legalization
When it comes to the reformation of the laws that govern drug policy, four different categories govern the use of cannabis in legal cannabis states and others.
- Prohibition: Prohibition implies that the use of cannabis as a whole is considered against state laws.
- Decriminalization: Decriminalization removes the heavy penalties against offenders, replacing them with fines or community service.
- Medical legalization: Many states are coming around allowing the use of marijuana to relieve medical conditions. Most states with legal medical cannabis provisions require medical marijuana cards issued from the local authority. Currently, there are 36 states with legal medicinal cannabis.
- Legalization: Full legalization is the ultimate goal of many cannabis proponents. Even the states where cannabis is legal may limit the amounts allowed but reflect a step in the right direction. This would make cannabis activity completely legal. These are the states where recreational weed is legal alongside medical marijuana. There are 17 states where weed is legal as of 2020. That is an increase from the 11 states with legal recreational cannabis in 2016.
States where weed is legal, decriminalized, or illegal
Below we have compiled a table depicting the current states where marijuana is legal for recreational, medical consumption, and cultivation in each US territory. Where possible, we also provide the regulations presiding over the transportation of cannabis as well.
You’ll notice that there was an increase in states where recreational weed is legal in 2020.
CBD cannabis oil is legal in all 50 states, providing it meets federal guidelines in terms of THC content.
So if you want to know how many states marijuana is legal in, this table is an indispensable resource. Make sure you check out our map of states where weed is legal at the top of the page too!
|STATE||MEDICAL USE||RECREATIONAL USE||CULTIVATION||TRANSPORTATION|
|ALABAMA||Only in the form of Non-psychoactive CBD oil||Illegal||Illegal||Legality is unverified|
|ALASKA||Legal||Legal||No limit for licensed commercial growers. Max. Twelve plants per household of two adults.||Up to 1 ounce|
|ARIZONA||Legal||Legal||Max. twelve plants per household of two adults||Up to 1 ounce|
|ARKANSAS||Legal||Illegal||Medical use only||Medical use only|
|CALIFORNIA||Legal||Legal||No limit for licensed commercial growers. Max. Six plants per household / per adult.||Up to 1 ounce|
|COLORADO||Legal||Legal||No limit for licensed commercial growers. Max. Six plants per household / per adult.||Up to 1 ounce|
|CONNECTICUT||Legal||Decriminalized||Felony||Medical use only|
|DELAWARE||Legal||Decriminalized||Medical use only||Medical use only|
|FLORIDA||Legal||Illegal||Medical use only||Medical use only|
|GEORGIA||Only in the form of Non-psychoactive CBD oil containing less than 5% THC||Illegal but decriminalized in the cities of Atlanta, Clarkston, Forest Park, Macon-Bibb County, Savannah, South Fulton, Statesboro, and unincorporated parts of Fulton County||Illegal||Medical use only|
|HAWAII||Legal||Decriminalized||Medical use only||Legality is unverified|
|IDAHO||Illegal||Misdemeanor if found with 3 ounces or less||Felony||Legality is unverified|
|ILLINOIS||Legal||Legal||No limit for licensed commercial growers. Max. 5 plants per household for medical use only.||Up to 1.1 ounces|
|INDIANA||Only in the form of Non-psychoactive CBD oil containing less than 0.3% THC||Misdemeanor||Illegal||Legality is unverified|
|IOWA||Only in the form of Non-psychoactive CBD oil containing less than 3% THC||Illegal||Felony||Legality is unverified|
|KANSAS||Only in the form of Non-psychoactive CBD oil containing less than 0% THC||Misdemeanor||Illegal||Legality is unverified|
|KENTUCKY||Only in the form of CBD oil||Misdemeanor if found with 8 ounces or less||Misdemeanor if found with less than five plants||Legality is unverified|
|MAINE||Legal||Legal||No limit for licensed commercial growers. Max. 3 mature plants per household||Up to 2.5 ounces|
|MARYLAND||Legal||Decriminalized 0.35 ounces or less||Illegal||Medical use only|
|MASSACHUSETTS||Legal||Legal||No limit for licensed commercial growers. Max. six mature plants per household, 1 ounce of marijuana outside, 10 ounces inside||Up to 1 ounce|
|MICHIGAN||Legal||Legal||No limit for licensed commercial growers. Max. twelve plants per household, 2.5 ounces of marijuana outside, 10 ounces inside||Medical and recreational|
|MINNESOTA||Legal||Decriminalized||Medical use only||Medical use only|
|MISSISSIPPI||Legal||Decriminalized 30 ounces or less||Medical use only||Medical use only 2.5 ounces|
|MISSOURI||Legal||Decriminalized||Legal for medical use||Legality is unverified|
|NEBRASKA||Illegal||Decriminalized (only for first offenders)||Illegal||Legality is unverified|
|NEVADA||Legal||Legal||No limit for licensed commercial growers. Max. six plants per household for adults 21 years and older||Medical and recreational use|
|NEW HAMPSHIRE||Legal||Decriminalized for up to 0.75 ounces||Medical use only||Medical use only|
|NEW JERSEY||Legal||Legal||No limit for licensed commercial growers||Max. Six ounces for individuals. Licensed delivery services are permitted to operate|
|NEW MEXICO||Legal||Decriminalized up to 0.5 ounces. June 29, 2021, will see legality. After April 1, 2022, commercial sales may begin||Max. Six plants per adult, up to Max. Twelve plants per household||Up to 2 ounces|
|NEW YORK||Legal||Legal||Max. 6 plants per adult (3 mature and 3 seedlings or plants in veg), up to Max. 12 plants per household||Up to 3 ounces of cannabis for recreational use or 0.85 ounces of concentrates like CBD oil|
|NORTH CAROLINA||CBD oil||Decriminalized for 1.75 ounces or less||Illegal||Illegal|
|NORTH DAKOTA||Legal||Decriminalized for 0.49 ounces or less||Medical use only||Medical use only|
|OHIO||Legal||Decriminalized - Charged as a civil infraction||Medical use only||Legality is unverified|
|OKLAHOMA||Legal||Illegal||Legal with medicinal license||Legality is unverified|
|OREGON||Legal||Legal||No limit for licensed commercial growers. Max. four plants per household for adults 21 years and older||Up to 1 ounce|
|PENNSYLVANIA||Legal||Illegal in the greater state - Decriminalized In the city of Philadelphia||Illegal||Medical use only|
|RHODE ISLAND||Legal||Decriminalized - Charged as a civil infraction||Medical use only||Medical use only|
|SOUTH CAROLINA||Only in the form of Non-psychoactive CBD oil containing less than 0.9% THC||Misdemeanor||Illegal||CBD oil only|
|SOUTH DAKOTA||Legal||Misdemeanor||Medical use only||Medical use only|
|TENNESSEE||Cannabis oil (under 0.9% THC)||Misdemeanor for 0.5 ounces on the first and second offenses only||Misdemeanor if found fewer than nine plants. Felony if found with ten or more||CBD oil only|
|TEXAS||Only in the form of Non-psychoactive CBD oil containing less than 0.9% THC and no less than 10% CBD||Illegal||Illegal||Legality is unverified|
|UTAH||Legal||Misdemeanor||Illegal||Legality is unverified|
|VERMONT||Legal||Legal up to 1 ounce||Max. 6 plants (two mature and four seedlings or plants in veg) per household||Legal|
|VIRGINIA||Legal||Decriminalized up to 0.5 ounces. June 29, 2021, will see legality. After April 1, 2022, commercial sales may begin||July 1, 2021, will bring legality up to 4 plants per household||Medical use only July 1, 2021, will see legality up to 1 ounce|
|WASHINGTON||Legal||Legal||No limit for licensed commercial growers. Restrictions apply to home growers||Legal|
|WASHINGTON, DC||Legal||Misdemeanor||Illegal||Legality is unverified|
|WEST VIRGINIA||CBD oil||Misdemeanor on the first offense, Charged as a felony on second and further offenses; decriminalized in the city of Milwaukee||Felony. Only qualified medical patients may have up to twelve plants per household||Legality is unverified; Patients that qualify for medical use - up to 3 ounces|
|WISCONSIN||CBD oil||Misdemeanor||Illegal||Legality is unverified|
|WYOMING||CBD oil||Misdemeanor||Illegal||Legality is unverified|
|PUERTO RICO||Legal||Illegal||Medical use only||Medical use only|
|US VIRGIN ISLANDS||Legal||Decriminalized||Medical use only||Medical use only|
Now that you’ve looked at our list of states where marijuana is legal, you may have found a lot of new information regarding neighboring states. This is useful if you intend to travel there. While some states where weed is legal in 2021, one can see that the USA requires a standardization of the laws that apply to legitimize cannabis use.
Furthermore, you should also familiarize yourself with local regulations; even though cannabis use is legal in some states it may not be allowed on a college campus, for example.
While strides are being made towards having all states with legal cannabis, cannabis legal states are still far outnumbered by states that consider it illegal.