The Ultimate List of States Where Cannabis is Legal

where cannabis is legal

Where can you buy marijuana cannabis seeds legally? This is one of the most frequently asked questions of a cannabis consumer since there are different laws and regulations in the United States on marijuana.

Just two decades ago, cannabis also called marijuana was considered illegal in all of the 50 states in North America. Now the U.S. is making another history by having 33 of its states to legally use medical marijuana and 11 states to also allow the use of recreational marijuana. To make things more confusing, the federal government still classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 substance. This means that possession of cannabis also known as marijuana is illegal in the entire United States.

The Domino Effect of Marijuana Legalization and Decriminalization in the US

After Proposition 215 was passed in 1996, California led the country and started the chain reaction which causes other states to follow the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis. This domino effect hasn’t stopped yet, as there are strong speculations that the remaining states where marijuana is currently illegal may also follow the footsteps of those states that already permitted the use of marijuana.

Marijuana has been gaining popularity in the last two decades which causes lawmakers to consider changing the rules and regulations of marijuana consumption in the United States. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2018, there are about 6 in every 10 adult Americans who agree to marijuana legalization. This is the opposite of what most Americans think about marijuana two decades ago, during this period 63% of the adult Americans said that cannabis should be illegal.

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Decriminalization As Opposed To Legalization

Legislators are still debating whether the medical and recreational marijuana use should decriminalize or legalize throughout the United States. People inadvertently misuse the words legalize and decriminalize in describing the rules and regulations that permit and restrict the use of marijuana. The two terms are not the same.


To make it clear, the word decriminalization is used by a state to amend its laws towards making certain acts criminal no longer subject to prosecution. In the case of marijuana, anyone caught possessing a small amount of recreational marijuana will not be prosecuted and avoid having a criminal record. However, people in different states should still be aware of the criminal laws because even if marijuana is decriminalized in some states, being caught possessing large quantities may still result in major legal penalties.


Cannabis legalization in some states means that an individual possessing recreational marijuana can’t be arrested, ticketed and convicted as long as this person followed the state laws. The authorities may still do arrest to those non-licensed cannabis business owners or marijuana traffickers. The rules and regulations are constantly changing, so it is best for all consumers of cannabis to only obtain marijuana from a legal source.

List of States Where Cannabis is Legal

The voters in the State of Alaska passed the state marijuana legalization in November of 2014. This effectively made the manufacture, sale, and use of recreational marijuana legal in the entire state. The Alaskan Marijuana Legalization in 2014 officially made this state as the third one after Washington and Colorado to legalize the use of recreational marijuana.

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The California voters in November of 2016 passed Proposition 64 also called the Adult Use Marijuana Act (AUMA). This makes California became the fourth state to legalize adult-use marijuana. The official recreational marijuana sales had begun in January of 2018.

The State of Colorado was included on the list of legalized marijuana states after passing of Amendment 64. This permitted the Colorado residents 21 years of age or older to legally buy a maximum of one ounce of cannabis.

The current laws in this state about recreational marijuana are a little bit more difficult. The voters passed the legalization of adult-use marijuana in 2016. However, the rules and regulations have not yet been determined for commercial recreational dispensaries. Only the medical dispensaries in this state are allowed to sell cannabis to patients.

The recreational marijuana legalization was passed in November of 2016. This paved the way for the state to offer its people more robust medicinal and recreational cannabis programs. The recreational marijuana dispensaries started operating after two years of passing the legislation permitting the use of adult-use marijuana in Massachusetts.

In November of 2018, after Proposal 1 passed by the voters Michigan became the tenth state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Adult-use marijuana sales are expected to begin in 2020.

The state of Nevada made huge progress in the cannabis industry after the medical marijuana dispensaries opened in 2015. This led the state to also consider legalizing the use of recreational marijuana. After a few years of legalizing medical marijuana, Nevada voters made history for passing the use of recreational marijuana in November of 2016.

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The passing of Senate Bill 460 has legalized recreational marijuana in Oregon. However, as of 2017, the marijuana laws in Oregon changed to only allow the sales of recreational marijuana from licensed dispensaries.

Vermont became the first US state to legalize recreational marijuana through an act of the legislature. The legislation started allowing adults 21 years of age or older to use or cultivate cannabis in July of 2018.

This state was the second one in the United States to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. The transition completed after voters passed Initiative 502 in 2012. These changes in Marijuana Washington laws have given a huge help to boost cannabis tourism in Washington.

Washington D.C.
The passing of Initiative 71 in 2014 went into full effect in February of 2015. This means that Washington D.C. also joined the other ten states to legalize the use of recreational cannabis to their residents.

Final Thoughts

Based on the trend we are seeing in this country’s cannabis industry, it seems likely that there will be more additions to those states where marijuana is legal. Even if the federal government does not support the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, we can still expect growth in the marijuana industry. The opposing laws of some states and the federal government made it trickier for consumers and businesses to conduct sales activities. It is always best to check each state’s laws regarding the requirements and limitations when obtaining marijuana seeds.

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