State Marijuana Laws in 2019 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.

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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.

Prosecutors and crime lab scientists were scrambling to find a solution after a change in the state's definition of marijuana imperiled criminal cases.

About three-quarters of survey respondents said medical cannabis has helped them cope with their PTSD, a report released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health shows.

The state is drawing inspiration from the gambling industry to get cannabis businesses access to banks.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker celebrates after signing into law a bill to legalize marijuana.

The law provides for selected businesses to be licensed to grow, process, transport and sell the drug. The bill also provides for expungement -- the nullification of lower-level cannabis possession convictions -- and funding for minority neighborhoods hit hardest by prosecution of marijuana possession.

Marijuana tax, license and fee revenue has reached $1.02 billion, and marijuana sales over $6.5 billion, the Colorado Department of Revenue announced in a news release.

A woman smoking a marijuana joint.

Starting in 2020, it will be illegal for employers in Nevada to refuse to hire applicants based on positive results for pot in pre-employment drug testing, thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat.

A male customer smelling marijuana at a pot shop with a female worker.

It's the first state where the legislature -- not voters -- legalized cannabis sales. But that's not all that makes it unique.

A police dog sniffs a person waiting on a train platform.

In a 4-3 ruling, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that, under the state constitution, a dog trained to alert to marijuana cannot be used before an officer establishes probable cause that a crime had been committed.

The bill, introduced by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, however, would exempt safety, sensitive security jobs and those tied to a federal or state contract or grant from the policy.

The General Assembly approved a unique distribution system that could force patients to wait months or years before they're legally able to obtain medical marijuana oil here.

CBD is a common component found in marijuana, along with THC. Different from THC, which gives users a feeling of being "high," CBD has been commonly known for its calming effects.

The SAFE Banking Act passed a congressional committee on Thursday, meaning it’s already made it farther in the legislative process than the previous version.

DeSantis insisted that lawmakers repeal the state's ban on smokable medical marijuana by last Friday, or he would drop the state's appeal of an ongoing lawsuit over the ban.

The announcement culminated a year-long review of marijuana convictions in San Francisco, which critics say disproportionately punished minority communities and made it more difficult for those with criminal records to get jobs and other essentials.

Person smoking a marijuana joint.

In New Jersey, dozens of localities have outlawed sales or possession of the drug even before the legislature legalizes it.

The idea is gaining popularity as a way to get around federal laws that ban banks from handling cannabis businesses' money. But a new report pans the idea.

On the eve of the announcement, de Blasio's administration issued a 71-page report by the Mayor's Task Force on Cannabis Legalization, making the case for marijuana legalization and the possibility for home delivery, but calling for smoking pot in public to remain illegal.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday called for legalizing recreational marijuana as part of a 2019 legislative agenda that reflected a more leftward course now that Democrats control every lever of New York state government.

A bill to legalize recreational marijuana was approved by a House-Senate committee in the New Jersey Legislature Monday, a giant step toward making the cannabis plant and its products available in the state.

The state Department of Health this week approved medical marijuana use for people who suffer from some severe manifestations of autism, most of whom are children.

City Attorney Pete Holmes filed a motion in April asking the court to take the historic step for all convictions and charges between 1996 and 2010 "to right the injustices of a drug war that has primarily targeted people of color."

Marijuana joint in hand.

The unprecedented legislation implements an automatic statewide process to potentially reduce or dismiss sentences and records for crimes that are no longer illegal under state law. Other states are pursuing similar policies.

Of the 31 states and Washington, D.C., that have legalized medical marijuana, at least seven have enacted laws or regulations that allow students to use it on school grounds, in part because doing so could risk their federal funding.

Prosecutors in New Jersey cannot unilaterally decriminalize marijuana possession in their jurisdictions, the state attorney general announced Wednesday, but they are being encouraged to use their discretion with people charged with low-level cannabis crimes.

There's a small but growing movement among prosecutors to automatically reduce sentences and expunge criminal records from before the drug was legal.

While lawmakers last month rejected adding more medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, one surviving component of the legislation has quietly begun: sales to out-of-state residents.

New Jersey's attorney general immediately halted all municipal prosecutions of marijuana offenses Tuesday, effectively placing on hold thousands of cases across the state that involve possession of the drug while lawmakers continue to debate its legalization.

The former top lawyer at the Oklahoma Health Department was accused Tuesday in a criminal charge of sending threatening emails to herself in an attention-seeking ploy.

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed emergency rules regulating Oklahoma's medical marijuana industry a day after they were introduced by the State Board of Health.

Most New Yorkers caught smoking marijuana will face criminal summonses instead of being arrested, under a new city policy announced by the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday.

The Denver and Thornton mayors have joined a new coalition of U.S. city leaders that will lobby Congress and the Trump administration to increase local control over marijuana policy.

President Donald Trump said he likely will support a congressional effort to end the federal ban on marijuana, a major step that would reshape the pot industry and end the threat of a Justice Department crackdown.

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday set a new benchmark for vetoes in a year as he rejected a measure that would have provided medical marijuana access for people with autism spectrum disorder, saying he could not ignore "overwhelming concerns from the medical community."

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday vetoed a bill that would have allowed licensed marijuana "tasting rooms" in Colorado -- legislation that was the first of its kind in the nation -- citing health and safety concerns.

State taxes on legal marijuana sales in California are coming in far short of projections -- $34 million in the first quarter of 2018, about a third of the revenue that officials anticipated, according to data released Wednesday by the Legislative Analyst's Office.

Jeff Sessions' announcement attracted bipartisan criticism. But some legal experts are skeptical of its impact, and several states have vowed to continue their marijuana markets or plans for one.

Taxes on marijuana would hit to 28 percent under the bill Massachusetts House lawmakers plan to propose and take up this week. A legalization advocacy group called the tax hike "irrational" and a boost to the black market.

The recount of votes on Maine's contentious marijuana legalization initiative began Monday in Augusta with volunteers slowly hand-sorting through thousands of "Yes" and "No" votes, one by one.

Memphis and Nashville cannot legally enforce new civil fines for small amounts of marijuana, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slattery III said in an opinion issued Wednesday.

An initiative that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California officially took its place on the Nov. 8 ballot on Tuesday as its campaign took a commanding lead in fundraising to battle the measure's opponents.

Hundreds of cheering families, legislators and patients watched Gov. Wolf sign a medical marijuana bill into law Sunday afternoon, many hopeful at last for relief from pain, seizures and other medical conditions.

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a conservative challenge to the marijuana legalization laws adopted in Colorado and elsewhere that permit adults to buy, sell or use an ounce of the drug.

Medical marijuana is back on the Florida ballot.

Wichita's marijuana ballot initiative has been struck down by the Kansas Supreme Court.

The amendment adopted Tuesday reverts Alaska residency requirements to Permanent Fund dividend eligibility, which, among other qualifications, requires a person be physically present in the state.

Bill Wilson can't stand the smell of marijuana. He said he's anti-drug and anti-alcohol, yet there he was Monday, buying medical cannabis on the first day it was authorized by Illinois law.

The legal controversy is the latest clash between federal law, which still lists marijuana as a dangerous illegal drug, and the movement in some states to allow its use for medical and sometimes recreational purposes.

Ohio voters struck down a citizen-led measure that would have made it the first Midwestern state to legalize marijuana. But it won’t be the last time the issue makes it to the ballot.

Years after voters made medical marijuana legal, Montana and some other states struggle to regulate it.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office filed suit Tuesday against the city of Toledo, asking a judge to declare invalid several key sections of the city's new "Sensible Marihuana Ordinance."

Starting Thursday, it's legal to buy marijuana in Oregon.

As more states make medical and recreational marijuana use legal, they increasingly are grappling with what constitutes DUID, or driving under the influence of drugs, and how to detect and prosecute it.

Ohio will vote on a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana in November, state officials announced Wednesday.

Backers of an effort to put the question of legalizing marijuana before Ohio voters in November filed nearly 96,000 new signatures Thursday in hopes they'll patch a roughly 30,000-signature hole identified in their prior petitions.

Even if California voters legalize cannabis in 2016, it will take "many years" of patience to figure out how to tax and regulate a multibillion-dollar industry that's forever been largely underground.

Fifteen years after Hawaii legalized medical marijuana, the state plans to begin licensing pot dispensaries.

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Maine legislators overwhelmingly affirmed on Monday that they would not pass a law to legalize, tax and regulate recreational use of marijuana.

While it's legal to smoke pot in Colorado, the Colorado Supreme Court rules that employees aren't protected from termination for marijuana consumption.

The pot shop's surveillance video shows Santa Ana police officers entering Sky High Holistic, a marijuana dispensary, and forcing patrons to the ground as they raid the facility. Then an officer appears to toss an edible into mouth and flash a thumbs-up.

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After her state takes her child, a Kansas woman is at center of a national marijuana debate.

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Marijuana legalization got a boost on Capitol Hill on Tuesday as a trio of rising stars in the Senate launched an effort to rewrite federal drug laws.

The city that brought America government shutdowns and all-night filibusters is set to make pot legal on Thursday. But by the time the chaos over implementing the law is settled, most everyone in the District of Columbia might wish they were smoking some.

Ringing in the eve of marijuana legalization in Alaska, Wasilla’s city council on Monday banned making pot brownies at home.

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The shortage that began the state's controversial legalization policy appears to have eased.

Colorado and other states are frustrated they cannot bring banking to the cash-heavy legal marijuana business.

Opening the door for what could be a lucrative and controversial new industry on some Native American reservations, the Justice Department on Thursday will tell U.S. attorneys to not prevent tribes from growing or selling marijuana on the sovereign lands, even in states that ban the practice.

Mayor Ed Murray says he wants to shut down businesses that delivery marijuana to customers.

Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer asks a judge to stop a smartphone app that allows people to order pot and alcohol delivered to their doors.

Possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana no longer will be grounds for arrest in New York City under a new policy aimed at ending the lifelong stigma that can follow pot users, city officials announced Monday.

Voters legalized pot in three more places Tuesday, and now they have to decide how to regulate it. Some favor the government selling the drug directly to consumers over creating a for-profit pot industry.

Marijuana is legal in Washington, but residents are still subject to $27 fines for smoking or possessing marijuana in public. A review of summonses this year showed more than 80% of them issued in 2014 came from one police officer.

Pot's growing legitimacy hasn't yet turned it into a political weapon for Colorado politicians.

Many states are watching to see how much tax revenue legalized marijuana brings in – so far in Colorado, sales have been far under projections.

Joe Allbaugh, former FEMA director and Perry and Bush campaign manager, gets piece of pot business, He says his mind was changed through his wife’s fight with cancer.

Supporters say the measure would help combat the state's epidemic of painkiller abuse, but polls have fluctuated wildly, and opponents are seizing on a controversial video to question their true intentions.

Island marijuana farmers are facing a legal question when trying to ship to the mainland.

Oregon voters will get a chance in November to decide whether marijuana should be legal for those 21 years and older.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón backs the measure, though most other prosecutors oppose it.

Rick Scott signs (limited) into law a bill legalizing "non-euphoric strain" of marijuana for use in treating certain medical conditions.

The campus of the University of Mississippi is home the only source of pot allowed for researchers who want to conduct FDA-approved tests on using marijuana for medical purposes.

With no conclusive research, states are all over the map as they try to assess intoxication by measuring blood levels of THC, the main ingredient in marijuana.

Despite opposition from the governor and law enforcement, the Senate passed a medical pot bill. The next stage is where it gets tough.

Families head to Colorado so suffering kids can get medical marijuana.

One supporter, facing a felony trial for selling pot, has filed to run for state representative.

By the time confetti fell in Annapolis on Monday night, state lawmakers had loosened marijuana laws, made Maryland the second state in the country to raise its minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and whittled their way through more than 2,600 bills considered during the 434th legislative session.

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Several states that ban the drug for medicinal purposes are considering allowing children suffering from epilepsy to take a marijuana extract. But the bills stop short of easing the sale of those medications.

The Drug Enforcement Administration may approve research to study whether pot can help veterans cope with post-traumatic stress.

Medical marijuana is popular, but the governor's reelection campaign will also reduce ad space available for anti-drug crusaders.

More than 100 marijuana shops shut down, the city attorney says.

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Communities can’t pass ordinances to preempt Michigan’s 5-year-old medical marijuana law, according to a Michigan Supreme Court ruling Thursday — a far-reaching move that “ends a long, tortuous battle in the courts,” one legal expert said.

Under a proposed medical marijuana rule patients who want to qualify for medical marijuana would forfeit their right to own guns.

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Martin O'Malley is opposed to legalizing pot.

Seattle creates a $27 fine for public pot smoking. But police officers will give warnings first and expect to give most people “several free passes.”

In a first, majority of California voters back marijuana legalization.

With legal marijuana taxes set, all eyes on Colorado and Washington.

Marijuana commercials the pot over drug safety, free speech.

A Denver resident smokes marijuana on the official opening night of Club 64, a marijuana-specific social club.

Unless Congress amends the law, marijuana businesses must be cash-only, creating a potentially dangerous situation in which they must keep thousands of dollars in cash on hand.

A Denver resident smokes marijuana on the official opening night of Club 64, a marijuana-specific social club.

In creating regulations for its now-legal pot industry, Colorado referred to the rules already in place for its medical marijuana system – so much so that it can be hard to distinguish between the two.

The California Assembly quashed a bill that would have created a state agency to tax and regulate the state's overgrown medical marijuana landscape.

Without strong federal policies, states have become more active and divergent.

The state is the first to establish regulations for legalized marijuana. But hanging over them is the possibility that the feds will take action.

The California Supreme Court gave local governments the power Monday to zone medical marijuana dispensaries out of existence, a decision that upholds bans in about 200 cities but does little to solve Los Angeles' struggle to regulate hundreds of storefront pot outlets.

A new report by the Congressional Research Service finds that the Federal government may face an uphill legal battle if it wishes to enforce Federal laws banning Marijuana in states that have legalized it.

Pot backers took the first step toward getting the measure on the August 2014 primary ballot, presenting draft language and 100 signatures to the Alaska lieutenant governor's office.

Gov. Christie has proposed a $1.6 million budget for New Jersey's three-year-old medical marijuana program -- more than twice the current spending plan -- in anticipation that more dispensaries will open this year.

For perhaps the first time, an intimate knowledge of marijuana -- its consumption, growth and distribution -- isn't going to land you in jail in Washington. It just might earn you a job with the state government.

In his first comments on the issue, President Barack Obama said that prosecuting pot smokers in Colorado and Washington should not be a “top priority” of the federal government.

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They're the first states to allow recreational use of the drug, setting up a potential showdown between state laws and federal prohibition.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who opposed the now-approved ballot measures that made Colorado and Washington the first states to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use.

Marijuana activists in Washington state hope voters will be reassured by strict new "stoned driving" standards, despite opposition from medical cannabis users who say the limits would make it hard for them to ever drive legally.

Support for marijuana legalization ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington exceeds 50 percent, according to recent polls.

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On Wednesday, after years of lobbying by advocates, the House joined the Senate in agreeing to legalize medical marijuana, which will give Pennsylvanians access to what they say is a safe and effective way to treat chronic and painful ailments. Gov. Tom Wolf, who has always supported the initiative, said he would sign the bill into law Sunday. Pennsylvania will become the 24th state to approve medical cannabis.

Only one state's voters rejected easing access to the drug.

Gov. Christie, surprising skeptics, on Wednesday approved a bill that will allow people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to use medical marijuana when conventional treatments fail.

A woman smoking a marijuana joint.

Legalization measures passed in Michigan but failed in North Dakota.