ADVERTISEMENT

State Marijuana Laws - U.S. Map

Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have passed laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form.

The District of Columbia and 11 states -- Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington -- have adopted the most expansive laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Most recently, Illinois became the second most-populous state to legalize recreational marijuana after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill passed by the legislature. Vermont earlier became the first state 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.

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. States with limited medical marijuana laws, such as those only permitting use of CBD oil, are not considered to have adopted broad medical marijuana laws. Final rules for recently-passed medical marijuana laws are pending in some states.

Information is current as of June 25, 2019.

 
Marijuana Legalization Status
 
Medical marijuana broadly legalized
 
Marijuana legalized for recreational use
 
No broad laws legalizing marijuana

NOTE: Some states shown above with no laws broadly legalizing medical marijuana permit only cannabis-infused products, or provide limited access under certain rare circumstances. States like Alabama and Mississippi, for instance, maintain laws permitting medical weed 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.

Related Readings

New Mexico, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania allow people with an opioid addiction to qualify for a medical marijuana card.


One potential cause for the lag time is that the commission is essentially a startup, unlike other boards and agencies with built-in procedures and existing members.


Person smoking a marijuana joint.

The legislation will treat possession of less than one ounce as a violation subject to a $50 fine and possession of between one to two ounces, currently a misdemeanor, will become a violation punishable by up to a $200 fine.