Marijuana Laws by State You Should Know

marijuana laws by state

Legal attitudes toward marijuana are changing around the country, so quickly that it may be difficult for the average citizen to keep track. In 2012, it made headlines when two states votes to completely legalize the use, sale, and possession of marijuana. There have been, however, a number of other significant changes to the law around the nation, ones that passed with much less national fanfare and may have been overlooked even by the citizens of the states in which they appeared on the ballot. For this reason, a breakdown of marijuana laws by state is useful.

Legalized Cannabis

The state with the most lenient marijuana laws is Colorado. In 2012, the state passed Amendment 64, a ballot initiative that made it legal to possess, use, sell, and grow marijuana. These are the loosest laws concerning marijuana, not just in the United States, but also anywhere in the world. Also in 2012, Washington state passed a law legalizing the possession of limited amounts of marijuana for adults.

Decriminalized Cannabis

When breaking down marijuana laws by state, an important distinction is between states that have legalized marijuana and those that have decriminalized it. Decriminalization means that it is still illegal to possess marijuana in these states, but the punishment for being caught with the drug is generally a small fine and no criminal record. As of 2014, 14 states have taken steps to decriminalize marijuana to some degree.

Legal Medical Cannabis

More states have made the sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes legal. Medical marijuana laws generally allow for the establishment of dispensaries, special shops with a license to sell medical cannabis. Patients with a prescription from a doctor are allowed to purchase marijuana at these dispensaries. As of 2014, 24 states allow the sale of marijuana for medical purposes. Some of these states are the same ones that have decriminalized cannabis.

While this represents the current state of the laws surrounding marijuana, the information may be subject to change as more legislation is passed. For more information about marijuana laws, visit Weed Depot at or call (480) 385-3800 today.