map placeholder


Legal for medicinal use


Hover overClick on a tile for details.

Marijuana Laws by State 2021

Marijuana, as known as weed, pot, bud, ganja, Mary Jane and several other slang terms, is a greenish-gray mixture of dried Cannabis flowers. Cannabis is a psychoactive drug that can be used for recreational or medicinal purposes. Twenty years ago, marijuana was illegal in all 50 states; however, today, 33 states have legislation allowing for marijuana use in some form.

In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, legalizing medical marijuana. California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Within the following four years, several other states followed by passing their own medical marijuana legislation, including Alaska, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Colorado, Hawaii, and Nevada. Since then, more states have gradually voted to pass legislation allowing for medical marijuana use.

In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Since then, nine states and the District of Columbia have followed by legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

The states where recreational and medical marijuana are legal are:

  1. Alaska
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Illinois
  6. Maine
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Nevada
  9. Oregon
  10. Vermont
  11. Washington
  12. Wisconsin

While recreational marijuana is legal in Vermont and Washington D.C., both jurisdictions have barred sales for recreation purposes but allow possessing and growing.

The following 22 states have legalized medical marijuana only:

  1. Arizona
  2. Arkansas
  3. Connecticut
  4. Delaware
  5. Florida
  6. Hawaii
  7. Louisiana
  8. Maryland
  9. Minnesota
  10. Missouri
  11. Montana
  12. New Hampshire
  13. New Jersey
  14. New Mexico
  15. New York
  16. North Dakota
  17. Ohio
  18. Oklahoma
  19. Pennsylvania
  20. Rhode Island
  21. Utah
  22. West Virginia

Each state has strict regulations regarding their marijuana laws for both medical and recreational use. Medical marijuana users must see a marijuana doctor to be approved for and obtain a medical marijuana card, which requires follow-up appointments and annual renewal. One must be at least 21 years old to purchase recreational marijuana. Most states require that marijuana only be sold from dispensaries, which are heavily regulated. The amount of marijuana that one can buy, possess and grow is also restricted and varies by state. For example, California allows users to buy up to eight grams of concentrates and can have no more than six marijuana plants.

Because marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, it is automatically illegal in all states unless legislation has previously passed.

Marijuana Laws by State 2021

State Legal Status Medicinal Decriminalized
AlabamaFully Illegal**
AlaskaFully LegalYesYes
ArizonaFully LegalYesYes
CaliforniaFully LegalYesYes
ColoradoFully LegalYesYes
IdahoFully Illegal**
IllinoisFully LegalYesYes
MaineFully LegalYesYes
MassachusettsFully LegalYesYes
MichiganFully LegalYesYes
MontanaFully LegalYesYes
NevadaFully LegalYesYes
New HampshireMixedYesYes
New JerseyFully LegalYesYes
New MexicoMixedYesYes
New YorkMixedYesYes
North CarolinaMixed*Yes
North DakotaMixedYesYes
OregonFully LegalYesYes
Rhode IslandMixedYesYes
South CarolinaFully Illegal**
South DakotaFully IllegalYesYes
TennesseeFully Illegal**
VermontFully LegalYesYes
VirginiaFully LegalYesYes
WashingtonFully LegalYesYes
West VirginiaMixedYes*
WyomingFully Illegal**

Marijuana Laws by State 2021