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Posted 10/04/2022 in Culture by HappyMD

Online Guide on States with Legal Recreational Marijuana

Online Guide on States with Legal Recreational Marijuana

Online Guide on States with Legal Recreational Marijuana

Studies show that most U.S states have legalized medical marijuana use. Besides legalizing medical marijuana, there has been an increase in states allowing recreational cannabis use. With Canada fully legalizing marijuana use in October 2018, most states will follow suit to legalize medical and recreational marijuana sooner.


Pressure has been continually mounting on the U.S. federal government to scrap the 80+years of marijuana prohibition. However, successive regimes have resisted hearing the call. Despite the prohibition, you can still enjoy your preferred products hassle-free in recreational marijuana legal states. Nevertheless, you must be above 21 years and adhere to the particular state purchasing and possession laws.


This article explores all the states (including the District of Columbia) with legal recreational marijuana.




Alaska decriminalized marijuana use in 1975 and re-criminalized it later in 1990. However, in the early 2000s, the state separated between cannabis decriminalization and criminalization. Legislatures passed Measure 2, a ballot initiative that helped to legalize recreational cannabis use in 2014, and the state effected the law on February 24, 2015.


This state has become the third one to legalize recreational marijuana, allowing residents above 21 to purchase or possess up to one marijuana ounce. Furthermore, the Alaska MMJ program allows the resident to cultivate six cannabis stems, with only three flowering and mature plants at a time. Furthermore, you can legally possess cannabis accessories.




The state has fought hard to legalize marijuana. The state legalized MMJ in 2010 after 50.1% of voters agreed with the proportion 203. The legislation legalizes medical cannabis use, allowing patients to possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana. Despite the legislatures pushing Proposition 205 to legalize recreational cannabis, it failed narrowly in 2016.


Despite the challenges, the state wasn’t stopping at Proposition 207 in 2020. The state’s Smart and Safe Act offered some relief by allowing adults to possess and take one ounce of weed. Furthermore, the Act allows qualified adults to grow up to six marijuana stems at home.


Furthermore, in early 2021, the Department of Health Services in Arizona started issuing licenses to qualified MMJ users, and retail sales began in February 2021.




The marijuana legalization journey in California started with the state downgrading possession of one ounce or less of cannabis to a misdemeanor in 1975. Studies show that Proposition 19 in 1972 made the Golden State the first to legalize marijuana through initiative. Despite being unsuccessful, it made way for the state to be the first to legalize MMJ via Proposition 215 in 1996.


However, it took a long time for the state to legalize recreational weed, as the legislatures achieved in 2016 via proposition 64. Despite the legalization in 2016, the state allowed recreation sales in January 2018.


Currently, the state allows adults above 21 years to buy, possess and consume up to one ounce of marijuana. More so, the marijuana program in the state allows you to cultivate up to six mature stems at home and possess eight grams of marijuana concentrates.




Passing Amendment 20 in 2000 legalized medical marijuana use in this state. Nevertheless, the residents had to wait longer until November 2012, when the legislature enacted Amendment 64 to legalize recreational marijuana.


After the amendment's enactment, you can only buy and possess one ounce of marijuana per transaction. However, the state changed the recreational marijuana laws in October 2016 to allow the residents to poems 800mg of marijuana edibles or 8 grams of cannabis concentrates. Lastly, you can cultivate six cannabis stems with only three mature plants.




This state has had a functional MMJ program for over a decade before allowing adult marijuana use. Governor Malloy, in June 2011, signed legislation that decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. Later in June 2012, the Governor approved the Connecticut medical marijuana law.


However, the attempt to legalize recreational marijuana use stalled in April 2018. Three years later, Governor Ned Lamont renewed the push by vowing that the state would have more recreational cannabis sales by 2022. The Governor signed Senate Bill 1201 in June 2021 to legalize adult marijuana use in the state.


Adult residents can possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana per individual and not exceed five ounces in car trunks, glove boxes, or homes. Nevertheless, retail marijuana sales in the state won’t begin until late 2022, and it’s still illegal to cultivate cannabis at your homestead until July 2023.




Since 2013, this state has legalized medical marijuana use. In the previous years, the MMJ program has increased the number of conditions that can qualify patients for the program to thirty.


Illinois becomes one of the latest states to legalize recreational marijuana use. The state's Governor, a pro-marijuana individual, has outlined his plan and intention to legalize weed in the state. In June 2019, the state passed another bill that allowed adults above 21 years from January 2020 to purchase recreational marijuana legally in the state.




The state decriminalized marijuana in 1976 and made medical marijuana use legal in 1999. Residents voted to pass ‘Question 1” making recreational cannabis legal. However, it was a tight or close-run thing that saw the measure pass by less than one percent.


Despite passing the Bill, the residents had to wait for a long time, as the Governor vetoed this Bill to taxes and began regulating recreational cannabis sales in November 2017.


This new law allows adults above 21 years to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and cultivate six flowering marijuana stems and 12 immature plants. Furthermore, the program exempts job applicants from cannabis tests.

 Online Guide on States with Legal Recreational Marijuana



The state decriminalized marijuana in 2018 and swiftly legalized medical cannabis use. Legalizing medical cannabis use became possible after the voters passed Question 3 with over 60% of the total votes.


Furthermore, Massachusetts made provisions in 2016 to allow residents to grow cannabis in their homes. The state allows adults to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivate six plants.


Importantly the law allows you to grow up to 12 stems if the residence or home has more than one adult. In July 2018, the state started the sale of recreational weed.




In 2008 Michigan legalized medical marijuana use after 63% of residents voted to pass ‘Prop 1.’ However, the state decriminalized recreational use later in 2018.


This state becomes the tenth one to legalize recreational marijuana use in the country and the first among the Midwest states. New data reveal that the state allows residents to cultivate approximately 12 marijuana stems in their residences and store a maximum of 10 ounces of cannabis in their homes. However, they must lock amounts exceeding 2.5 ounces in locked spaces and containers.




Experts term Montana a state with a long-running MMJ program in the U.S.


More than 60% of Montana voters approved ‘Measure 1-148’ in 2004. Despite legalizing MMJ long ago, the state took so long to legalize adult marijuana use. In 2011, the legislatures started introducing various restrictions on the medical marijuana program.


However, in recent years, Montana has begun becoming more marijuana-friendly. The changes resulted in the state legalizing adult cannabis use via CI-118 and I-90 in November 2020, allowing adults above 21 to obtain and possess a maximum of one ounce of marijuana without the MMJ card.


Furthermore, the program allowed the residents to cultivate four mature stems and four seedlings in homes or private residences. The guidelines or law started to function in early 2021, while recreational sales in the state began in January 2022.




t was among the first states to allow medical marijuana use in 2000. With the earlier legalization of medical marijuana, individuals voted over 54% pass the 'Question 2 initiative' to legalize recreational marijuana. The legislature made this marijuana initiative into law in January 2017.


The law allowed tourists and residents above 21 years to buy a maximum of one ounce of weed. More so, you can possess an eighth ounce of marijuana concentrates. The program also allows you to gift a maximum of an eight-ounce of concentrate or a flower to your adult friend.


You can also cultivate or grow up to six marijuana stems in a household or 12 plants when the residence has more than one adult. Lastly, to cultivate marijuana, you must be residing more than 25 miles from a cannabis dispensary.


New Jersey


On January 18, 2020, Governor Jon Corzine signed the state’s Compassionate Use Marijuana Act. This regulation increased the conditions that qualify patients for the MMJ program. Despite the various efforts and campaigns, the state failed to legalize full marijuana.


Fortunately, everything changed in November 2020, as more than 67% of the voters passed 'NJ Question 1' to legalize recreational marijuana use. The Bill is on the table for lawmakers to implement the new system; with the effective date being January 1, 2021, it's unclear when the state will begin recreational cannabis sales.


New Mexico


Since 1978, New Mexico has had various MMJ programs. Nevertheless, the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act was the most restrictive one, which provided 250 cancer patients with THC across eight years.


In 2007, the state finally got a scale of MMJ programs after the Governor signed Senate Bill 523. Despite signing the Bill into law, the resident had to wait 14 years for the state to legalize marijuana. The legislatures passed House Bill 2 (Cannabis Regulation Act) in 2021, fully legalizing marijuana use.


Adults in this can purchase or possess a maximum of two ounces of marijuana from June 29, 2021. Furthermore, they can still cultivate 12 stems, six immature and six mature plants, in a private residence. The state began retail sales in April 2022, with an increase of 1% on the 12% excise taxes per year from 2025 until 2030, reaching 18%.


New York


New York legalized recreational marijuana use in March 2021, after Governor Cuomo signed the Bill into law.


The law allows New York residents above 21 to possess 24 grams of marijuana concentrates or three ounces of cannabis. Remember, the law allows individuals to smoke cannabis in tobacco or cigarette smoking zones. Recreational marijuana users can also grow six marijuana stems at their residences.


However, the authorities have suspended adult marijuana use sales until 2022. Remember, 40% of the state municipalities voted to ban adult or recreational marijuana use.




In 2014, the state approved Measure 91, which legalized recreational cannabis cultivation and use. Governor Kate Brown, later in 2015, signed the emergency bill to declare recreational marijuana legal for sale from October 2015.


However, by January 2017, the authorities require dispensaries to have an Oregon Liquor Control Commission License to sell recreational marijuana.


Remember, you can possess up to one ounce of cannabis in Oregon. You can have up to eight ounces of marijuana in your homes for state residents. You also cultivate four cannabis stems. However, the law prohibits the public possession of more than one marijuana ounce.




Vermont’s legislatures in may 2004 passed Senate Bill 76 to legalize medical cannabis. Later in January 2018, the state passed HB 511 to legalize recreational marijuana use. The Bill was a landmark as it made Vermont the first state to legalize adult marijuana use.


The state allows adults to possess one ounce of marijuana and cultivate two stems. Currently, the state doesn’t offer any revenue provisions or sales but plans to create them soon.




Virginia legalized recreational cannabis in July 2021, which is earlier than the July 2024 anticipated date.


Currently, the state allows adults above 21 to obtain one marijuana ounce. Furthermore, the residents can grow approximately four plants. Nevertheless, the residents will have to wait until 2023 for commercial sales.




Studies show that it was one of the pioneer states in legalizing MMJ in 1998. Thus, it’s no brainer that on December 6, 2012, Washington became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana use.


The state’s Initiative 502 allowed adult residents to possess:


● 7 grams of marijuana concentrate


● A maximum of one usable marijuana ounce


● 16 ounces of solid cannabis-infused product


● 72 ounces of liquid cannabis-infused product


Washington D.C.


Cannabis lovers in this state have a huge struggle. For instance, despite the state approving MMJ in 1998 via Initiative 59, due to various congressional blockages, it became effective in 2009.


Furthermore, in 2014 voters passed Initiative 71 to legalize recreational cannabis, only for congress to pass the law in February 2015.


For instance, the federal government views marijuana as illegal, comprising 30% of the state’s land.


Furthermore, you can purchase marijuana products traditionally like other products in this state. Instead, you must buy something else for the seller to donate or gift you a free marijuana product.


What is the Future of Recreational Cannabis?


It’s extremely hard for the federal state to change its stance on marijuana legality soon. Thus, it’ll be appropriate to chip away at the existing state laws. With the current developments, it’s evident that the War on Drugs is almost over. Recently, Oregon residents voted in November 2020 to decriminalize all drugs.


Nevertheless, some observers feel New Jersey was one of the topping points. The state became the first on the East Coast to allow adult marijuana use. Despite D.C. and Vermont technically allowing adult marijuana use, none has a proper system to facilitate the sales. With the growing number of states and jurisdictions legalizing recreational marijuana, the current federal regime will have to change its stance on marijuana's legality.


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