States Where Weed is Legal 2021
Marijuana has been federally illegal in the United States for over a century. However, decriminalization of marijuana has been happening on a local level for decades. Those grassroots efforts pressured American states to start legalizing medical, and eventually, recreational marijuana around 2012.
Since the initial legalization boom, many states have created their own laws surrounding marijuana. These differences make buying and traveling with cannabis in America confusing.
Don't fret! We've got you covered. Here's the lowdown on states where weed is legal.
United States Cannabis Legalization Terminology
When it comes to possessing a federally illegal substance, you must know your rights. Here's everything you need to know about the cannabis laws in America.
As of June 1, 2021, 36 states, 4 territories (Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico & U.S. Northern Mariana Islands), and the District of Columbia (D.C.) have enacted medical marijuana laws. You must get an evaluation from a medical marijuana caretaker and apply for a medical marijuana card to buy medical marijuana in the United States.
There are currently 17 states, 2 territories (Guam and U.S. Northern Mariana Islands), and the District of Columbia (D.C.) with recreational marijuana laws.
You must be 21 or older to purchase marijuana from a recreational store unless you have a medical marijuana card and the store has a medical marijuana sales license.
Around 13 states have decriminalized marijuana possession in various ways. Most people caught with marijuana in decriminalized states will face fines and lose their weed but won't see jail time. Many medical marijuana states decriminalize marijuana, but not all do.
Illegal is illegal. Some local cities and towns might have looser laws. Research the community before traveling.
Having marijuana in Austin, Texas is a different look than in Ft. Worth, Texas. However, carrying marijuana on state highways, parks, or public areas can lead to arrest.
It's been a long journey, but medical marijuana is legal in Alabama as of January 29, 2021. The Senate had tried three times to get a medical marijuana law in Alabama enacted. However, it never passed the House. However, SB46 was powered through the House by a physician and Republican Senator, Tim Melson. The House legalized medical marijuana in Alabama on May 6, 2021.
Alaska: Medical & Recreational
Alaska has a long love affair with marijuana. This bold state legalized marijuana following the ruling of Ravin v. State in 1975 that allowed a small possession of marijuana at home for personal use. In 1990, marijuana became legal through a ballot initiative called Measure 2. The Last Frontier State legalized medical marijuana in 1998 and recreational under Measure 2 in 2014. Two adults over 21+ can possess 12 pot plants, and an adult can transport one ounce. No public smoking, except in dispensaries, depending on COVID protocols.
Arizona: Medical & Recreational
Arizona legalized medical marijuana in 2010 under Proposition 210. Recreational cannabis would follow with the passage of Proposition 207 on November 3, 2020. Arizona is conservative about marijuana use, so be discreet in public if you hit you're hitting your pipe. Don't possess more than an ounce. Meanwhile, residents with two adults who are 21+ can grow up to six plants.
While Arkansas used to have very strict cannabis laws, they've lightened up (and lit up) over the years. Medical marijuana in Arkansas became legal through Issue 6 on November 8, 2016. As of June 2021, recreational marijuana is illegal in Arkansas. However, The Natural State started decriminalizing it. Possession with up four ounces is just a misdemeanor, with a $2,500 fine.
California: Medical & Recreational
California has always seemed synonymous with progressive cannabis laws. However, they were the first state to criminalize cannabis. To California's credit, they were also the first to start decriminalizing and then began a trailblazer by legalizing medical marijuana in 1996. 2016's Proposition 64 made recreational marijuana sales in California legal, with the first sales happening in 2018.
Colorado: Medical & Recreational
We go from one cannabis trailblazer to the next. Colorado helped spearhead a change in views on cannabis when they legalized medical and recreational marijuana in 2012. The Rocky Mountain State was put on the map when a child having 300 seizures per day moved to Colorado to get medical marijuana. When the world saw her seizures stop on T.V., medical marijuana laws spiked across the States. This child's story inspired the hit CBD brand Charlotte's Web. Currently, you can possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana and buy 28 grams in a single transaction.
Connecticut: Medical & Decriminalized
Connecticut has a medical marijuana program. They recently started decriminalizing marijuana. Possession of a half-ounce is $150 the first time and $500 the second time. Up to an ounce can result in up to $2,500 in fines and possible jail time. It is a felony to travel with marijuana in Connecticut. Recently, House Bill 6377 passed to legalize recreational cannabis in Connecticut on February 4, 2021. Now, SB88 still sits in the Senate as of June 2021.
Delaware: Medical & Decriminalized
Delaware allows medical marijuana for patients with severe conditions. They enacted the law in May 2011, with a brief suspension in 2012. In December 2015, Delaware decriminalized marijuana. Less than an ounce is a civil infraction with a $100 fine. On March 18, 2021, State Rep. Ed Osienski introduced HB 150 to the House in hopes of legalizing recreational marijuana in Delaware. It passed the House and is set to enter the Senate post-June 2021.
Florida started a medical marijuana program in 2017. An astounding 71% of Floridians voted to pass Amendment 2, one of the largest state votes, especially for a conservative state. There were hopes of legalizing recreational weed in Florida. However, the Florida Supreme Court shot down HB 343 and SB 710. Marijuana did become decriminalized in Florida in February 2021, with 3/4 an ounce being a misdemeanor with a fine up to $1,000.
Georgia: Medical Low-THC in July 2021
Marijuana in Georgia was illegal until February 21, 2021. Up to 30 medical cannabis dispensaries within Georgia are expected to open in July 2021. While they will carry only low-THC strains, this has been a long battle for Georgia, which fought to have a CBD program in 2015. Georgia cannabis laws have become decriminalized in many metro areas, like Atlanta and Clarkston. It is illegal to drive with or possess more than an ounce on your person and can result in jail time.
Hawaii: Medical & Decriminalized
Medical marijuana has been available in Hawaii since 2000. However, medical marijuana dispensaries didn't start popping up until 2015. Recreational cannabis in Hawaii is still illegal. However, the Aloha State is saying "aloha" (in the "bye" way) to heavy marijuana fines. Three grams is just $130. Don't push your luck, though, as HB 1383 almost didn't pass.
Idaho has been steadfast on cannabis prohibition. The Gem State had a strict no-THC policy up until July 1, 2021. On that date, CBD oil is allowed to possess 0.1% THC, rather than 0. That's still well below the 0.3% in most states. In February 2021, a Medical Marijuana Act started making its rounds around the House; however, there isn't much hope it will pass.
Illinois: Medical & Recreational
Illinois was actually the first state to sign a medical marijuana bill, as they did it in 1978! However, the Illinois state government never implemented the bill into law. In January 2014, legal Illinois medical marijuana sales went into effect. On May 31, 2019, Illinois legalized recreational marijuana. As of January 1, 2020, adults 21+ have been allowed to possess up to 1.1 ounces of marijuana and five plants at home.
Indiana has a pretty staunch take on cannabis. You are allowed to have CBD oil with 0.3% THC or less. The Hoosier State is strict on marijuana laws, even toughening down on zero tolerance driving laws. There has been a push to decriminalize marijuana in Indiana. HB1028 was introduced to the Indiana House in February 2022, but nothing has come of it yet.
Iowa law has a very low tolerance for marijuana. It is illegal to buy or sell marijuana, and you can't have any CBD oil products with more than 0.3% THC. Possession of up to five grams used to land six months in jail. However, it was decriminalized in March 2021 to include just a $625 fine. Each year, more Iowan citizens want medical and recreational marijuana laws. While medical legalization is almost a unanimous decision, 2021 was the first year more than half of Iowa voted they'd like a recreational marijuana program.
Will The Wheat State become The Weed State? Marijuana is illegal in Kansas. Even CBD products must have 0.0% THC. Thankfully, the Kansas Equal Access Act passed through the House in January 2021. S.B. 92 has been sitting in the Senate since May 6, 2021.
Believe it or not, Kentucky has played a significant role in cannabis legalization. Kentucky-grown hemp helped paved the way in decriminalizing and changing the control ranking of hemp. CBD oil with up to 0.3% THC is legal in Kentucky; however, marijuana is not. Possession of up to 8 ounces can amount to 45 days in jail and a $250 fine, while sales of less than 8 ounces are up to one year in prison and a $500 fine. HB 136 proposed legalizing medical cannabis in Kentucky and passed in January 2021. It's turned into HB467 and has stalled since February 10, 2021.
The Bayou is a relaxing place to chill, especially if you're a Louisiana medical marijuana patient. The Creole State legalized medical cannabis in 2015. In 2020, they expanded the program to a doctor's discretion. In 2021, smokable medical marijuana became legal. Currently, recreational marijuana in Louisiana is illegal. It narrowly lost a House vote in 2021. However, a May 2021 legislation lifted jail time on possession and dramatically lowered fines.
Maine: Medical & Recreational
The Pine Tree State has always had an affinity for greens. Maine decriminalized marijuana back in 1976 and started the Maine medical marijuana program in 1999. More decriminalization happened in 2009, where jail time was reduced to fines between $350 and $1,000. Recreational weed was legalized in Maine in 2016. You can have three mature plants, 12 immature plants, and unlimited seedlings. Anyone traveling about Maine can have up to 2.5 ounces on them.
Maryland: Medical & Decriminalized
Maryland is a very forgiving state when it comes to marijuana laws. While recreational marijuana is illegal, you can possess up to 10 grams. Possession fines increase each time slowly, at $100, $250, and $300/drug treatment, as penalties. Maryland has a medical marijuana program. Per the 2014 HB 881, Maryland patients can acquire up to four ounces of weed. The Free State looks to be in line to legalize recreational marijuana. HB32 passed in February 2021. Now SB 708, the only hold up is that the Senate wants to increase the amount you can possess from the proposed two ounces to four ounces!
Massachusetts: Medical & Recreational
Massachusetts has always been a forward-moving state. In 2008, they decriminalized possession of one ounce of weed to just a $100 fine. The Massachusetts medical marijuana program went into effect in 2012, with recreational legalization following in 2016. You are allowed to have one ounce of weed and 5g of concentrate as long as you smoke at your home.
Michigan: Medical & Recreational
Michigan took many great leaps in legalizing marijuana throughout the first decade of the 2000s. The Great Lake State legalized medical cannabis in 2008. Under Michigan law, medicinal patients can possess up to 10 ounces and 12 plants per household! Recreational cannabis legalization in Michigan happened in 2018. You're allowed to transport up to 2.5 ounces in Michigan. Road trip!
Minnesota: Medical & Decriminalized
Hemp was a cash crop in historic Minnesota. It's no surprise that the North Star State is working towards complete marijuana legalization. Minnesota started decriminalizing marijuana back in 1976 but didn't create a medical marijuana program until 2014. In May, HF 600 passed the House of Representatives and is poised to sit in front of the Senate. This bill proposes recreational marijuana users can buy up to 1.5 ounces, four mature plants, and four immature plants.
Mississippi: Medical CBD & Decriminalized
Mississippi has steadily worked toward overturning weed prohibition. It's just been a bumpy road for the Hospitality State. They started decriminalizing marijuana arrests back in 1978. CBD oil became the sole medical cannabis program in 2014 until 2020, when medical marijuana briefly became legal. However, the Senate overturned the ruling. In May 2021, the Senate also turned down a bill that 73% of Mississippi residents voted in favor of, that would give seniors access to medical marijuana. On the bright side, marijuana has been decriminalized, with possession of 1.1 ounces only being a misdemeanor fine.
Missouri: Medical & Decriminalized
2014 was a landmark year for cannabis in Missouri. It saw possession of 10g of marijuana be decriminalized from jail time to a $500 fine. That year, CBD oil also became legal. In 2018, Missouri residents voted on Amendment 2. This unanimous vote allowed for medical marijuana sales in Missouri. Medical marijuana patients in Missouri are allotted eight ounces over a 60 day period.
Montana: Medical & Recreational
Who wouldn't want to lay under the Big Sky and get high? Now you can (in the privacy of your own home, that is). On November 3, 2020, Constitutional Initiative 118 (CI-118) amended the Montana Constitution to legalize weed. Under CI-118 and I-90, Montana residents may possess up to an ounce and four plants.
While Nebraska is actively decriminalizing marijuana, they still have some heftier sentences than some other states. Anyone possessing up to an ounce gets a $300 fine and be subjected to drug treatment. The second offense is a $500 fine and can land up to five days in jail. A third arrest is another $500 fine and up to a week in the slammer. A Constitutional amendment to lift the ban on cannabis and a bill on medical marijuana is debated in the Nebraska House of Representatives as of June 2021.
Nevada: Medical & Recreational
Nevada is home to the City of Sin. It would only make sense that marijuana would eventually become legal. Medical marijuana in Nevada became legal on November 7, 2000. Shockingly, it wouldn't be until 2016 when cannabis became legal in Nevada. You can possess up to 6 plants in your home and are allowed to cultivate marijuana if you are more than 25 miles from a dispensary. Unlike open containers on the Vegas Strip, Nevada has a "no smoking" policy that could result in up to $600 in fines.
New Hampshire: Medical
New Hampshire is one of the slowest New England states in cannabis progression. While the state legalized medical marijuana through HB 573 in 2013, they've hit many snags in New Hampshire marijuana legalization since. Gov. Chris Sununu is against marijuana legalization and won the 2020 election. While cannabis legalization has passed the House twice, it's at a standstill in the New Hampshire Senate. In 2017, New Hampshire did decriminalize the possession of 3/4 an ounce to fines up to $300.
New Jersey: Medical & Recreational
The Garden State sure likes their trees. Their medical marijuana program started in 2010, with many amendments to add more conditions since, including Chris Christie, including PTSD in 2017. Medical marijuana patients are allowed to possess up to 6 ounces of weed. Recreational marijuana became legal in New Jersey on January 29, 2021. NJ A5342 was almost vetoed due to language over decriminalization in the bill, but that veto was redacted in February. Marijuana sales in New Jersey should start in early 2022.
New Mexico: Medical & Recreational in July 2021
If Heisenberg could cook meth on Breaking Bad in New Mexico, the least they can do is legalized marijuana, right? New Mexico is almost a recreational state that will have sales beginning in April 2022! Currently, marijuana is decriminalized in New Mexico until it becomes legal on June 29, 2021. After June 29, 2021, citizens in the Land of Enchantment can possess 6-12 plants per household and travel with up to two ounces of marijuana on them.
New York: Medical & Recreational
As a progressive state, the Big Apple was a bit behind the ball regarding marijuana legalization. New York didn't start a medical marijuana program until 2014. Gov. Andrew Cuomo even banned smoking marijuana from the initial program's rollout. In 2019, Gov. Cuomo decriminalized weed in New York substantially by making under 2 ounces just a $50 fine. On January 19, 2021, A3009 and S2509 passed through New York legislatures, legalizing recreational cannabis in New York on March 31, 2021. You can carry up to three ounces of marijuana in New York and have up to 12 plants per household.
North Carolina: Medical CBD Program & Decriminalized
Marijuana is illegal in North Carolina, but the Tar Heel State is making slow progress in the right direction. They started off promising by decriminalizing weed in 1975. A 1/2 ounce became a $200 fine. Then, the conservative state went quiet on cannabis until they allowed for a medical CBD program in 2015. Now, there is a strong push to begin a North Carolina medical marijuana program. HB 617, SB 646, and SB 669 are all awaiting discussion as of June 2021.
North Dakota: Medicinal
North Dakota was slow to the dance, but they're making up for a lost time. Measure 5 passed in 2016, allowing North Dakota to begin a medical cannabis program. In 2019, North Dakota started decriminalizing weed. First-time offenders are no longer guaranteed jail time. However, they could face up to a year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine. North Dakota constituents are hopeful that Maryjane will be legal soon. HB 1420 to legalize adult-use cannabis passed the House on February 23, 2021.
Ohio: Medical & Decriminalized
Hey, the home state of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame should loosen their pot rules. Thankfully, Ohio is coming around on cannabis. Gov. John Kasich signed off on an Ohio medical marijuana program in June 2016. While Ohio hasn't legalized recreational weed, it was the sixth to decriminalize it, back in 1975. Up to 100g is a $150 fine. However, over 300 grams can land you up to 30 days in jail, with a $250 fine on top. That's not how you rock on!
Oklahoma: Medicinal & Decriminalized
When HB 26126 passed in 2018, Oklahoma implemented a medical marijuana program. You can have up to eight ounces at home and three ounces on your person. Okies can also have 6 mature plants and 6 seedlings, 1 ounce of concentrate, and 72 ounces of edibles. The Sooner State also recently tornadoed, jailing people for having over 1.5 ounces. Instead, you can get up to a $450 fine. Boomer Sooner!
Oregon: Medicinal & Recreational
Oregon is a forerunner in cannabis advocacy. The Beaver State was the first to build a dam in marijuana arrests by decriminalizing cannabis in 1973. Under Measure 91, Oregon legalized all marijuana sales in 2014. Recreational smokers are allowed to possess an ounce and four plants, while medical patients may get up to 24 ounces, 6 mature plants, and 18 seedlings!
Pennsylvania made the most marijuana progress in 2016. That year, they enacted a medical cannabis program and started their decriminalizing efforts. Under an ounce can set you back a $500 fine and even up to 30 days in jail. More than 1.1 ounces can land you up to $5,000 in fines and a year in jail. However, marijuana is decriminalized in Philadelphia. The Adult Use Cannabis and Economic Recovery Act was introduced to the House in February 2021, but no progress has been made.
Rhode Island: Medical & Decriminalized
Rhode Island has had a medical cannabis program since 2006. Patients are allowed up to 2 ounces of flower, 12 mature plants, and 12 seedlings. Now, Little Rhody is in the process of creating a recreational program. SB 568 reached Senate in January 2021. There are still talks, but constituents are hopeful to have Rhode Island marijuana sales by April 2022. In the meantime, marijuana in Rhode Island is decriminalized with just $150 fines for an ounce or less.
South Carolina: CBD Program & Decriminalized
Marijuana is illegal in South Carolina. However, they do allow CBD oil with a medical provider. These CBD products can have up to 0.9% THC, which is well above the federal limit of 0.3% THC. So, you need a doctor's prescription to get medical CBD oil in South Carolina. HB 3361 and SB 150 entered legislation in hopes of starting a South Carolina medical cannabis program. As of June 2021, no progress has been made. Simple possession in South Carolina has been decriminalized, with 1 ounce coming with up to $250 in fines.
South Dakota: Medical
South Dakota's medical marijuana program started on July 1, 2021. That was supposed to the same day that recreational sales started. However, the recreational deal was deemed unconstitutional and dropped. The Supreme Court heard an appeal to reenact the recreational marijuana program, but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Patients can possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis. Non-medical smokers with 2 ounces or less might face a $2,000 fine and up to one year in jail.
Tennessee: Medical CBD Oil & Decriminalized
The Volunteer State is the home of the Great Smokys, and people might have a reason to smoke soon. Medical marijuana in Tennessee finally passed on March 3, 2021. There should be cannabis shops in Tennessee soon. For now, patients can get medical CBD with up to 0.9% THC. In January 2021, HB 413 saw Tennessee decriminalize marijuana, giving first and second-time offenders probation rather than jail. However, they get this punishment with over just a 1/2 ounce!
Texas: Illegal, Some Medical CBD
Texas is one of the toughest states on cannabis. The Lone Star State does allow medical CBD oil with no more than 0.5% THC. However, the formula must also not contain less than 10% of CBD. Conditions covered under medical CBD have continued to expand, with more inclusions being added in 2019. Everything's bigger in Texas, including the penalties for marijuana possession. Up to 2 ounces can earn you a year in jail and a $200 fine. However, police forces refuse to arrest people in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and Travis County if they have four ounces or less on them!
Utah is known for being a conservative state. However, it's starting to come around to cannabis. The Beehive State isn't big on honey straws, but they started allowing low-THC CBD oil in 2014 to epilepsy patients. In 2019, terminally-ill patients were awarded the right to marijuana access. While these advances are promising, the medical conditions eligible to get a marijuana license in Utah are smaller than most. So, it's a challenging program to join. Possession of an ounce can get you six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. So, we still have a long way to go with cannabis rights in Utah.
Vermont: Medical & Recreational
Vermont has always been a leader in progressive movements. The Green Mountain State started a medical marijuana program in 2004 with S.B. 76. In 2013, possession of an ounce in Vermont became decriminalized. Three incidents are $100, $250, and $500 fines, respectively. Recreational marijuana sales went into effect on July 1, 2018. Adults users can purchase up to an ounce and may have two plants.
Virginia: Medical & Recreational in July 2021
Virginia is one of the more conservative states in America, yet it legalized marijuana before some places in New England. In 2020, Virginia heavily decriminalized weed, with an ounce being just a $25 fine. Recreational and medical marijuana will be legal as of July 1, 2021. However, recreational weed shops in Virginia will probably not operate until January 1, 2024.
Washington: Medical & Recreational
Colorado gets all the glory, but Washington actually legalized marijuana four days before them. Anyone over 21 can buy and transport up to an ounce of weed. Medicinal pot patients in Washington are the only ones allowed to grow weed. HB 1019 is a bill to enable adult cannabis users to grow at home. It was introduced to the House in January 2021 and is still being discussed.
Washington, D.C.: Medical & Recreational
Isn't the fact that marijuana is legal in the nation's capital but not federally the most American thing you've heard today? Well, it's true! In 2014, D.C. decriminalized weed possession to a $25 fine before deciding to legalize weed altogether. While you can buy medical marijuana in D.C., there are no recreational shops. It's just not illegal to possess up to two ounces.
West Virginia: Medical
Medical marijuana has been legal in West Virginia since 2017. They started accepting applicants in January 2021. Yup, it's taken that long for the Mountain State to roll things out. In the meantime, don't get caught with weed in West Virginia...in any amount! Possession of any marijuana can get 90 days to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Wisconsin: CBD Medical Program
Wisconsin is known for its cheese, but not for its greens. The Badger State has strict marijuana laws. While they recently start decriminalizing marijuana possession in Wisconsin, the second offense is considered a felony and comes with jail time. Milwaukee is more open to weed and has a possession fine of just $1.00! CBD oil is legal to medical patients, and some are qualified to buy up to 3 ounces of hemp flowers. Marijuana legalization was written into the 2021-2023 budget by the Wisconsin House. It's still being discussed as of June 2021.
Wyoming: CBD Medical Program & Decriminalized
Wyoming is starting to come around to medical marijuana, but it's had a couple of bumps along the way. Currently, just being high can land you up to 90 days in jail, which is down from the 6 months it was at the end of 2020. There is a medical CBD program and might be a medical marijuana program soon. HB 209 to legalize medical cannabis passed on March 3, 2021. However, it wasn't submitted in time to meet the deadline required for consideration. Back to the drawing board, Wyomingites!