State Marijuana Laws in 2018 Map
Thirty states and the District of Columbia currently have laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form.
Eight states and the District of Columbia have adopted the most expansive laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Most recently, sales of recreational-use marijuana in California kicked off on Jan. 1. In Massachusetts, retail sales of cannabis are expected to start later this year in July. Voters in Maine similarly approved a ballot measure legalizing marijuana in 2016. The state, however, has not yet adopted rules for licensed marijuana growers or retailers, nor has it begun accepting licenses. Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill that would have established a legal framework for sales of the drug.
The vast majority of states allow for limited use of medical marijuana under certain circumstances. Some medical marijuana laws are broader than others, with types of medical conditions that allow for treatment varying from state to state. Louisiana, West Virginia and a few other states allow only for cannabis-infused products, such as oils or pills. Other states have passed narrow laws allowing residents to possess cannabis only if they suffer from select rare medical illnesses.
A number of states have also decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Our map shows current state laws and recently-approved ballot measures legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. Final rules for recently-passed medical marijuana laws are pending in some states.
Information is current as of March 30, 2018.
||Medical marijuana broadly legalized|
||Marijuana legalized for recreational use|
||No broad laws legalizing marijuana|
NOTE: Although Louisiana is considered to have legalized marijuana on our map, it cannot be used in a form that can be smoked -- only oils, topical applications and other types. Some states shown above with no laws broadly legalizing medical marijuana provide limited access under certain circumstances. States like Alabama and Mississippi, for instance, maintain laws permitting medical marijuana for severe epileptic conditions.
Other states, such as Virginia, enacted laws decades ago allowing for the possession of marijuana if individuals received prescriptions from doctors. Federal law, however, prohibits doctors from prescribing marijuana, rendering those laws invalid. Doctors can only write a recommendation for medical marijuana, which is different than a prescription.