Nearly a decade has passed since the voters of Colorado and Washington decided at the ballot box to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, becoming the first Americans to be able to celebrate “420” in relative peace.
In the time since, sixteen states and the District of Columbia have followed suit. New Jersey, which voted for legalization in 2020, authorized its first, legal sales of marijuana to adults 21 and older to begin on April 21— one day after the annual celebration of cannabis culture. All but a handful of 11 states have OK’d its medical use, and legalizing the substance at the federal level has picked up new momentum. The House recently passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana, and another bill that would legalize the plant is in the works in the Senate.
What states have legalized recreational marijuana?
The number of states that have legalized recreational use has risen steadily over the last 10 years. New York became the 15th state to legalize weed last year, but retail sales in the state aren’t expected to begin until late 2022 at the earliest. Every state on this list had authorized the use of cannabis for medical purposes prior to full legalization.
- Connecticut: Legalized in 2021
- New Mexico: Legalized in 2021
- New York: Legalized in 2021
- Virginia: Legalized in 2021
- Arizona: Legalized in 2020
- Montana: Legalized in 2020
- New Jersey: Legalized in 2020
- Vermont: Legalized in 2020
- Illinois: Legalized in 2019
- Michigan: Legalized in 2018
- California: Legalized in 2016
- Maine: Legalized in 2016
- Massachusetts: Legalized in 2016
- Nevada: Legalized in 2016
- District of Columbia: Legalized in 2014
- Alaska: Legalized 2014
- Oregon: Legalized in 2014
- Colorado: Legalized in 2012
- Washington: Legalized in 2012
What states have legalized medical marijuana?
Marijuana is allowed for medical treatment in most of the country. Only 11 states prohibit the drug completely. Here are the states that allow medical marijuana only. Mississippi and Alabama are the latest states to legalize medical pot, but it is still unavailable for purchase as the states try to establish regulations.
- Mississippi – Legalized 2022
- Alabama- Legalized 2021
- South Dakota – Legalized 2020
- Missouri – Legalized 2018
- Oklahoma – Legalized 2018
- Utah – Legalized 2018
- Iowa – Legalized 2017
- West Virginia – Legalized 2017
- Arkansas – Legalized 2016
- Florida – Legalized 2016
- North Dakota – Legalized 2016
- Ohio – Legalized 2016
- Pennsylvania – Legalized 2016
- Georgia- Legalized 2015
- Louisiana – Legalized 2015
- Minnesota – Legalized 2014
- Maryland- Legalized 2013
- New Hampshire – Legalized 2013
- Delaware – Legalized 2011
- Rhode Island- 2006
- Hawaii- Legalized 2000
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