State Marijuana Laws in 2018 Map
Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia currently have laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form.
Alaska, California, Colorado, D.C., Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have adopted the most expansive laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Most recently, Vermont became the first state earlier this year to legalize marijuana for recreational use through the legislative process, rather than via a ballot measure. Vermont's law allows for adults age 21 and over to grow and possess small amounts of cannabis. However, it does not permit the sale of nonmedical cannabis. Some other state laws similarly decriminalized marijuana, but did not initially legalize retail sales.
Most other 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 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 Oct. 19, 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 rare 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.