Where Is Marijuana Legal?

Before you rely on the information provided here, remember:

  • Under federal law, marijuana use and possession is illegal in the entire United States of America.  Under federal law, marijuana is a schedule-one drug, meaning that it is as serious as LSD and heroin.  There is a movement to federally eliminate scheduling of marijuana, but that hasn’t happened yet.  While the federal authorities have refrained from prosecuting marijuana, I have seen cases where the Department of Justice has prosecuted and imprisoned persons here in Michigan for operating marijuana dispensaries and for trafficking in marijuana.  
  • I am a Michigan lawyer, and I’m licensed to practice law in Michigan.  Before you travel to another jurisdiction for the purpose of using or possessing marijuana, make sure to check with an authority about the legality of marijuana in that jurisdiction—many of the decriminalized jurisdictions have limits on the purpose for using and on the quantity of possessing marijuana.  
  • In any jurisdiction, do not operate a motor vehicle, all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile, boat, or airplane while intoxicated by marijuana.
  • In any jurisdiction, do not carry concealed, possess, or discharge a firearm while intoxicated by marijuana.
  • Before you use or possess marijuana in Michigan, review the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, which includes age limits, possession limits, and cultivation limits.  If you stray from the legal limits, you risk conviction for a misdemeanor or even a felony.  The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act can be found here.

Recreational Use:

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • District of Columbia

Medical Use:

Marijuana is legal for use as treatment for a medical condition in:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
  • Puerto Rico
  • United States Virgin Islands

Decriminalized:

Marijuana use has been decriminalized in some way, perhaps reduced to a civil infraction in:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri 
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina 
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

Criminal: Marijuana use is either a misdemeanor or a felony in:

  • Idaho
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota
  • American Samoa
Map of cannabis laws in the US

Map showing legal status of cannabis in the United States: 

Map includes laws which have not yet gone into effect. 

Image citation: Legality of Cannabis by U.S. Jurisdiction, Wikipedia, Web, September 21, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis_by_U.S._jurisdiction#By_state 

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