Marijuana usage is common throughout the world, despite many countries having laws against possession and growth of marijuana. Some countries’ laws are much more serious than others, even possession charges leading to imprisonment. Many people in the United States, were charged with possession and arrested for it, around 800,000 people in 2005, closing to 900,000 in 2006. However, given how people’s minds changed with time, so did the official stance on marijuana possession and usage.
Washington, Oregon, and Colorado – The Leaders of Legalization
The first state to decriminalize cannabis was Oregon, in 1973. That was a long time ago, and since then, it took them 42 years to actually legalize marijuana for recreational use. The first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana was Washington in 2012. Colorado was quick to follow, although 2 years passed. In 2014, Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana. California was the first state to legalize medicinal use of marijuana, in 1996. They made it legal for recreational use in 2016, twenty years later.
Marijuana Usage in the Rest of the US
Following the example of Washington, many other states joined to legalize marijuana. The entire west coast of the United States has legalized the recreational use of marijuana, meaning Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada. Alaska, being on the west, has also had marijuana legalized for recreational use, completing the circle. Even the in-between from Alaska to Washington has legalized marijuana, meaning Canada, of course.
On the east coast, Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont have also legalized marijuana. That only leaves Michigan as the state with legalized marijuana usage, recreational, of course.
States with Medicinal Marijuana Usage
There are plenty of states which allow medicinal use of marijuana, and they are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Hawai, Louisiana, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Utah.
States in Which Marijuana is Illegal
That leaves us with the states which treat marijuana as illegal, some even as a felony, misdemeanor, to be precise. These states are Nebraska, Idaho and South Dakota. The rest allow medical use of marijuana, but with lots of caveats, those states being Mississippi, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
10 states have cannabis legalized for recreational use while 33 have it legalized for medicinal use. Many more states are looking to changing their official views of cannabis, from decriminalizing it to making it legal for everyday, recreational use. Many Indian reservations have made cannabis legal for recreational use and even sale. With more leniency towards cannabis, more states will be joining the already mention 10 in the years to come.