The legalization of marijuana has become a hotly debated issue in the US. Other names for weed include marijuana and cannabis. Its legalization is gaining support, and an increasing number of states are doing so.
Some people think that marijuana usage should be made legal for both medical and recreational purposes. Some people think that only medical marijuana should be permitted. Others are vehemently opposed to legalization.
There have been numerous disagreements over the legalization of marijuana. One is that compared to other illegal narcotics, marijuana has less harmful effects on health. On the internet, you can learn how to pass a marijuana drug test, which may be useful. Furthermore, it appears that minorities have been more impacted by the criminalization of marijuana. Legalization is seen by those who favor it as a weapon for social justice. They also contend that the economic benefits of recreational cannabis sales are enormous.
The reports from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration seem to confirm this. In 1996, California became the first state in the US to approve medical marijuana. They made $293.54 million in the first quarter of 2022 from taxes on cannabis usage by adults. Additionally, according to their website, they have generated $3.76 billion since January 2018.
On the grounds of morality, opponents of marijuana legalization make their case. Concerns over public health and safety are also raised. Most state legislatures now are occupied with enacting rules governing both recreational and medical marijuana. Additionally, there are continuous efforts to decriminalize marijuana on a federal level.
Several states have made marijuana legal.
There are two types of marijuana-legalizing states in the United States. Only medical marijuana has been allowed in some states. There are shops where you can legally purchase marijuana online. On the other hand, some states have passed legislation making both medical and recreational marijuana legal. In the US, marijuana is already legal for recreational use in 19 different states. Additionally, it is permitted in the District of Columbia, two US inhabited territories, and a portion of a third territory (Washington DC). Here is the whole list:
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2014 legalization in Alaska
In Alaska, a ballot proposal passed in November 2014 made marijuana usage for recreational purposes legal. The Alaska Campaign to Regulate Marijuana, a citizen’s organization, was responsible for it. The ballot was adopted into state law as a legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
Adults over 21 are allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, under the law. They are permitted to grow up to six cannabis plants. Additionally, it made it permissible to possess additional marijuana-related equipment.
2020: Legalized in Arizona
The approval of Proposition 207 made marijuana use for recreational purposes legal in Arizona. The Smart and Safe Act is the name of the law. It began as a ballot measure that two cannabis-focused organizations in Arizona supported.
Adults in Arizona are permitted to possess up to six marijuana plants and an ounce of marijuana under the law. A household can have up to 12 plants if there are two or more adults living there. All marijuana sales are subject to taxes based on this act and adults must be at least 21 years old. Additionally, it outlaws marijuana use in public areas.
Additionally, employers can control drug use in their workplaces. Following the act’s passage with a 60 percent majority, Arizona started selling marijuana with a state license a few months later. Arizona is the state that started retail sales of marijuana the quickest.
2012: Legalized in Colorado
Cannabis use became legal in Colorado in 2012 according to Amendment 64 to the state’s constitution. Due to the state’s early legalization, marijuana tourism is becoming more popular. In Colorado, adults over 21 may purchase or possess marijuana weighing less than one ounce.
Adults are permitted to give marijuana as gifts to other adults but not to sell it. Even home-grown marijuana cannot be sold. Retail sales can only be made by those who have a state license. Additionally, it is prohibited to use the substance in public and it is also illegal to possess more than 2 ounces of it there.
Legalized in Connecticut in 2021
One of the states where marijuana has just been legalized by the government is Connecticut. Through the legislative process, a bill became the law. After the governor signed it in 2021, it went into effect. Adults over the age of 21 in Connecticut may legally use marijuana recreationally.
In public, adults are allowed to have up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana. In addition, there are 5 additional ounces. The marijuana must be kept locked away in a vehicle or at home by the owner. Although they haven’t started yet, retail sales ought to commence by the end of 2022.
Legalized in Guam in 2019
Marijuana usage by adults in Guam was became legal in 2019. The bill that became the law in Guam’s legislature narrowly passed before being signed by the governor. The first American territory where people live to legalize marijuana for recreational use was Guam.
The governor stated that the plan was to control the drug’s pervasive illegal use. One ounce of marijuana may be used, owned, and transferred by adults over 21. Selling, however, is not allowed. Additionally, they are allowed to plant up to six marijuana plants, but only three of those will reach maturity.
Legalization in Illinois in 2019
Using a bill, the state of Illinois legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2019. By June 2019, the governor has given his approval. Illinois will allow individuals over 21 to buy and possess marijuana starting in 2020. However, the amount of marijuana that a resident may openly possess is limited by law.
Only one ounce of plant matter is permitted per person. Additionally, it states that adults may possess marijuana edibles containing no more than 500 mg of THC. Only half of the amounts specified are permitted for non-residents. Further, only licensed dispensaries can lawfully sell the product.
Maine – 2016 legalization
In November 2016, residents of Maine approved the legalization of cannabis for recreational use. The government of Maine established authorized dispensaries to sell the product afterwards. Since then, Maine has seen a significant increase in cannabis sales revenue. This is because marijuana for adult use is subject to an additional 10 percent tax, in addition to a 15 percent excise tax.
People must be at least 21 years old and in possession of a current government-issued ID card in order to purchase marijuana. The legal limit for marijuana possession on a person is 2.5 ounces. Depending on the plant’s maturity level, they can also grow 6 to 12 plants.
Additionally, adults in Maine should not consume more than 5 grams of concentrated marijuana. There are restrictions on how many mature or young plants a person can own, but there are no restrictions on how many seedlings someone can have. The retail market in Maine is governed by the government. Despite having a small number of items at first, it is now quite productive.
- 2016 – Legalized in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, a ballot proposal passed in November 2016 made marijuana usage for recreational purposes legal. Five grams of the concentrate and an ounce of the flower are acceptable public consumption amounts for adults over the age of 21.
They are also permitted to keep up to 10 ounces and six plants at home (12 for a home with two or more adults). However, public use is prohibited. A grownup who wants to purchase marijuana does not have to live in Massachusetts. They must possess a legitimate official ID, though. The law stipulates that taxes must be paid on marijuana sales.
Michigan – 2018 legalization
With 56% of the vote, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act was approved. State-licensed sales began in 2019 after the initiative was created in 2018.
Adults in Michigan can now possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in public as a result of the statute. Up to 12 plants and 10 ounces of cannabis can be grown by one person at home. Only private use of marijuana is permitted by law, and growth and sales are subject to state licensing.
2020: Legalized in Montana
In Montana, the procedure got under way with a bill proposal. Marijuana activists who supported marijuana legalization were the ones who took the initiative.
The law was approved by the legislature in 2020 and went into force in 2021. It permits adults over 21 to possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana. Additionally, they are allowed to grow two seedlings and two mature plants in their home. Public usage is still prohibited. Furthermore, it is only permitted for private use; public ownership is prohibited.
Sales are only permitted in Montana counties where the majority of voters approved the legislation proposal. In other countries, it is still prohibited.
Legalized in 2016 in Nevada
In 2017, the state of Nevada formally launched the licensed selling of recreational cannabis. Nevada residents who are older than 21 are allowed to possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana. They are permitted to consume up to one-eighth of an ounce of potent marijuana.
Additionally, depending on how many other adults live in the house, adults can cultivate 6 or 12 plants there. It is still prohibited to possess or use in public because doing so carries criminal penalties.
2020: Legalized in New Jersey
By adding a new clause to its constitution, New Jersey legalized marijuana in 2021. After a successful ballot proposal in 2020, it became law. Customers are allowed to purchase up to 1 ounce of dried cannabis flower.
Additionally, they are allowed a total of 5 grams of marijuana in other forms, including as oils and concentrates, and 1 gram of edible marijuana. The legal purchase and using age is 21 and anyone can obtain it from authorized dispensaries.
Legalized in 2021 in New Mexico
In April 2021, the governor of New Mexico will formally legalize marijuana by signing the proposed legislation. Adult New Mexicans are permitted to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana in public under this measure. The same amount of concentrates and other product types may also be used.
Additionally, a person can cultivate a maximum of 12 plants—six mature and six immature—in their lifetime. The product is only sold by state-licensed dispensaries, and public usage is punishable by fine.
Legalized in New York in 2021
The Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) became a legal requirement in New York in 2021. Adults age 21 and older can now legally consume cannabis thanks to this law. It permits anyone to carry up to 3 ounces of marijuana with them in public. They are unable to utilize it in public though. Marijuana use by adults is only permitted in private residences.
If there are two or more adults residing in the home, they may additionally have up to six plants total, including three cannabis plants. Three of the plants must be young, though. A person is allowed to keep 5 pounds of the plant and 0.85 ounces of concentrated marijuana in their residence. New York also permits the use of marijuana in public spaces on the premises.
Legalized in 2014 in Oregon
In Oregon, a ballot initiative made marijuana use and growing for recreational purposes legal. Adults in Oregon are permitted to possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana indoors and 1 ounce outside. A maximum of four plants, 16 ounces of edible marijuana, and 72 ounces of liquid marijuana are also permitted. In Oregon, however, it is still unlawful to use marijuana in public.
Dispensaries are authorized by the state. Marijuana retail sales are permitted in this country and are taxed. Measure 91, which was enacted in 2014, is responsible for all of these privileges.
Massachusetts – Legalized in 2022
In 2022, Rhode Island will become the newest state to permit the recreational use of marijuana. The sale and consumption of marijuana by adults is lawful. Additionally, it strikes old offenses from the books. A person is permitted to carry one ounce of the flower in public.
They are permitted to possess the same amount of marijuana in different forms. Additionally, the measure permits up to 10 ounces of marijuana per resident. In addition, each person is allowed three cannabis plants in their home. Such cannabis products must be stored safely in a home where there are adults.
Sales haven’t started yet, but they’ll probably start in December 2022. In public areas where smoking tobacco is permitted, residents may also consume marijuana.
Vermont – 2018 legalization
In July 2018, the Vermont government approved cannabis for recreational usage. The governor neither signed nor vetoed the proposed legislative bill that was the cause of the problem. The bill legalizes marijuana possession and cultivation, but not trade. Purchasing and selling will probably become legal in Vermont soon.
The cannabis legalization bill allows for the carrying of one ounce of marijuana by adults. They can also grow four young plants or two old ones. There are no longer any penalties for having a little amount of cannabis. Trading is not permitted, although there are plans to open licensed dispensaries by October 2022. In Vermont, marijuana use in public is also prohibited.
Legalization in Virginia: 2021
In 2021, the General Assembly of Virginia altered the law to make marijuana legal. Virginia adults who are older than 21 are allowed to possess an ounce of marijuana for recreational use. They are also permitted to grow up to four cannabis plants in their individual residences.
There is currently no legal structure in place for marijuana commerce. However, sharing or giving among adults is permitted by law. The only requirement is that the present must be 1 ounce or less in weight.
Legalized in Washington in 2012
Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use in the US in 2012. The first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use were Washington and Colorado. The statute in Washington, however, limited selling to just authorized stores.
Both cultivation and direct sales from growers to consumers are still prohibited. This state law allowed adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. Personal cannabis cultivation is prohibited in Washington. Only processors with government licenses may purchase from growers.
The legal system safeguards marijuana use in one’s home. It implies that one may openly use marijuana on one’s own property or that of another (if the owner permits). However, use is not permitted in public areas, on government property, or in plain view of the general public.
Washington, DC – 2014: Legalized
In 2014, voters in DC adopted a ballot measure to legalize marijuana. The 2014 Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act is the official name of the regulation. The possession and use of cannabis for recreational purposes by adults became legal in 2015. It is allowed to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana.
Three mature and three immature plants may also be grown. Adults may also give each other up to an ounce of marijuana under the terms of the law. Marijuana usage is still prohibited in public places. However, it is acceptable to possess marijuana accessories or paraphernalia in public.
The District of Columbia does not regulate its marijuana sales, in contrast to other states. Congress’s monitoring of it and opposition to the idea are the causes of this situation.
Only Medical Marijuana Has Been Legalized In Some States
The use of marijuana for medical purposes is permitted in 37 US states. In addition, four US territories and DC have medical marijuana legalization laws. All states where marijuana use for recreational purposes is permitted also allow medical marijuana.
As a result, the general population is more accepting of medical marijuana than recreational marijuana. The majority of US states have legalized medical marijuana as a result. In addition to approving medical marijuana, five states have also approved CBD oil use. Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa are among these states.
States where cannabis use is prohibited
Julie A. Werner Simone, a cannabis industry expert, claims that legalization has four levels.
Legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use is the first step.
The next step is to solely allow marijuana for medical purposes.
Residents of third-degree states only occasionally get access to marijuana. These states may have decriminalized it or made specific kinds of it lawful, such as CDB products.
The complete prohibition of marijuana is the last stage of legalization. Marijuana is prohibited in these locations. Only three US states and one US territory fit this description. They are American Samoa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Idaho. In each of these places, discussions between the legislatures and the populace are still ongoing. There are efforts to either decriminalize or legalize marijuana for medical usage.
Is Cannabis Permitted Under Federal Law?
Marijuana is forbidden under federal law in the US. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act. It’s a substance that has no therapeutic benefit and that people are very inclined to abuse.
The state laws that recognize medical marijuana are directly at odds with this position. This should imply that federal prosecutors may bring marijuana-related charges against anyone. In actuality, though, this has not been the case.
States that have legalized marijuana usage are free to enact their own regulations thanks to federal government approval. The Cole Memorandum and the 2019 Sensible Enforcement of Cannabis Act both reflect this position. At the federal level, initiatives are being made to either decriminalize or legalize marijuana. The presentation of multiple legislation makes it clear that the law may soon alter. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act is one important piece of legislation. The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act is an additional. The MORE and CAOA Acts are the common names for them.
A MORE Act
In 2020, the lower house approved the Marijuana Opportunity and Reinvestment Expungement (MORE) Act. Although many believe it won’t pass, it is headed to the Senate for approval.
The proposed law would do away with federal penalties for specific marijuana-related offenses. Cannabis cultivation, distribution, and possession are among these activities. The law would also enact a cannabis tax, despite the fact that it does not legalize cannabis.
The law seeks to vacate and erase marijuana convictions for non-violent crimes. Additionally, the taxation would aid in the development of areas where marijuana policing has had a detrimental impact. Communities having a history of non-violent marijuana use will be the main target.
Despite these liberal suggestions, the measure would not make marijuana legal on a national level. State governments are in charge of legalization and regulation. Due to the number of votes required for passage, many people have doubts that the bill would pass.
AKA The CAOA Act
The Senate is still considering this proposed law. Its objectives include full government legalization of marijuana. The prohibition and conviction of marijuana will vanish. Small enterprises will be able to function freely as a result. Among other things, these companies will have access to financial help.
The Memorandum of Cole
A document from James Cole, the deputy attorney general, was known as the Cole Memorandum. The document discussed the strategy used by federal prosecutors to prosecute marijuana-related offenses. The memorandum overcame the conflict between some state legislation and federal law.
Residents of states where marijuana is legal would not face prosecution, according to the Justice Department. This occurred as a result of expectations placed by the federal government on these states’ regulations.
But in 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked this directive. He urged federal prosecutors to follow marijuana law regulations in his memo. Despite this, the standard still doesn’t differ significantly from what was possible under the Cole Memorandum.
Decriminalizing marijuana does not mean making it completely legal; rather, it means lowering the penalties. Due to decriminalization, crimes that would otherwise carry penalties now carry less punishment. Governments may also sanction private possession or use. However, it depends on how much of the material is being discussed.
Decriminalization is intended to decrease the number of arrests of otherwise law-abiding people. Most of their actions don’t pose any danger to the general public. Decriminalization might also affect past events. If incarcerated individuals had only received minor convictions, they might be released.
Decriminalization, according to proponents of marijuana legalization, is a kind of racial justice. It’s because people from minority neighborhoods make up the majority of those imprisoned for marijuana possession. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, marijuana is no longer a crime in 31 US states. Additionally, the District of Columbia has done so. Decriminalization is a reasonable middle ground for those opposed to legalizing marijuana.
public opinion on marijuana legalization
Over time, public opinion on the legalization of marijuana use for recreational purposes has evolved. It appears to indicate a noticeable shift in mentality over the course of generations. Pew Research reports that 2013 marked the first year in which the majority of Americans favored legalization. From just 12 percent in 1969, the percentage had been progressively rising.
The level of support is broken down by several groups in a recent CBS poll from 2022. It was discovered that more than two-thirds of Americans back legalizing marijuana for recreational use in their states. People did not appear to care much about jurisdiction based on the demographics. The majority of respondents thought that marijuana should be made legal on both a state and federal level. The data demonstrated that residents of states with marijuana prohibition shared these sentiments.
The survey also revealed that over 70% of Americans either supported or had no objections to local marijuana sales. Regardless of gender, ethnicity, or degree of education, support was the same. Age and political ideology were the only factors that really differed.
The conclusion is that younger generations are most in favor of legalizing marijuana. In terms of political ideology, liberals are more in favor of legalizing marijuana than conservatives. But as they get younger, the conservatives are becoming more accepting of legalization.