America’s marijuana laws have been a hot topic in 2015. In November, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana, and in December, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC, joined Alaska in legalizing the drug for medical purposes. In January, Washington, DC, became the third US state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In March, DC residents voted to legalize the drug for recreational use by the end of the year. In April, Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.

The United States has always been a culture and group of people who have a tendency to get pretty preachy about certain things. As a result of this mentality, a huge part of the country feels that Marijuana should be illegal, despite the fact that most agree that it is not. In the last few years, the United States has seen a significant amount of legal Marijuana usage, with the states of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Washington, D.C. all making it legal.

Since 2012, 19 states and Washington have legalized marijuana for adults over 21. And 37 states have legalized medical marijuana, meaning most Americans have access to cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes.

Three states – New Mexico, Virginia and South Dakota – have passed legalization laws in recent months that went into effect in late June and early July.

South Dakota passed a ballot measure for medicinal and recreational cannabis on the November ballot. But only the medical program seems to be on track, while recreational marijuana faces challenges.

In New Mexico, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the legalization bill into law in April. Retail begins next year, but state residents can buy starting on the 29th. June may grow and possess marijuana.

In April, the Virginia legislature legalized cannabis. The law took effect Jan. 1, 2009. July, but marijuana sales in the state won’t begin until 2024. On the 18th. In June, the Connecticut legislature legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older.

The 31st. In March, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed marijuana legalization into law. The decision comes shortly after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a law officially legalizing marijuana in his state.

New Jersey is one of four states, along with Arizona, Montana and South Dakota, where voters approved the legalization of recreational cannabis in November. Voters in Mississippi have approved the introduction of a medical cannabis program.

In May, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a law legalizing medical marijuana in the state, but patients are not expected to have access to cannabis until next year.

Some states that have passed a bill for medical or recreational purposes have not yet decided on the details. For this reason, Insider does not count South Dakota among the markets where the substance is allowed for recreational use. Mississippi’s medical program also ran into trouble after the election.

Canada legalized marijuana on a federal level in 2018, but the U.S. did not follow suit, forcing states to go their separate ways. Currently, cannabis is still considered a Schedule 1 illegal drug.

This article was first published in January 2018 and has been updated with new information on where cannabis is legal. She was last seen on the 8th. Updated in July after official legalization in New Mexico, Connecticut and Virginia. Melia Russell contributed to an earlier version of this story.


Cannabis testing laboratory in Santa Ana, California. AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Adults 21 years of age and older can indulge in Alaska. In 2015, the northernmost U.S. state allowed residents to use, store and transport up to one ounce of marijuana – about a full sandwich bag – for recreational purposes. The first cannabis store opened in 2016.

Alaska seized the opportunity to turn its marijuana shops into a tourist attraction. More than 2 million people visit Alaska each year and spend $2 billion.


Nate McDonald, general production manager at Curaleaf NY, talks about medical marijuana plants. AP Photo/Hans Pennink

Arizona has voted to legalize cannabis for all adults over 21 by 2020.

The measure was supported by nearly 60 percent of Arizona voters.

The ballot measure was supported by a number of cannabis giants, including Curaleaf, Cresco and Harvest Enterprises.

Arizona Department of Health Services on the 19th. January began accepting applications for adult licenses. The permits were not issued until three days later, on the 22nd. January, granted. The sale began immediately.

Arizona started selling adult-use cannabis faster than any other state that voted for recreational cannabis in the November election. Companies already active in the state’s medical market were given the opportunity to become the first recreational customers.


MedMen store in West Hollywood, California, 2. January 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. California became even more marijuana-friendly in 2016 when it legalized the use and carrying of up to 1 ounce of marijuana.

The law also allows adults 21 and older to purchase up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrates as part of edible beverages and to grow up to six marijuana plants per household.


Marijuana leaf. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Colorado has more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks and McDonald’s combined. The state, along with Washington, became the first two states to fully legalize the drug in 2012.

Residents and tourists over 21 may purchase up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrates. Some counties and cities in Colorado have passed stricter laws.

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