Which States Are Legal For Recreational Marijuana Use?
So which states are legal for recreational marijuana use? Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Washington State are the most recent to pass laws legalizing the drug for adult use. In California, medical marijuana has been legal since 1996, and voters passed Proposition 215 largely on the back of LGBTQ activists seeking medical cannabis for AIDS patients. Florida and Arizona are expected to follow in 2020, and Arkansas is currently collecting signatures to introduce a recreational marijuana ballot initiative. medical marijuana card requirements ny
While Colorado kicked off the recreational marijuana revolution in 2012, four more states followed suit after the 2016 presidential election. And with four more set to join the fray on Election Day 2020, the movement is booming. Meanwhile, New York, Connecticut, and New Mexico are on the way to legalizing marijuana for adults. And these are just a few of the states on the way! And if you’re a weed-head, the next step is to make the switch.
Despite its controversy, a few states are poised to legalize recreational marijuana. In 2019, New Jersey and New York advanced marijuana legislation. However, these discussions ended in July, and the marijuana bill in both states was put on hold. In addition, a legalization measure in New Hampshire has already passed the House and now awaits Senate action. However, the state’s government doesn’t seem to be on board with legalization.
After Virginia passed its law, it became the first southern state to legalize recreational marijuana. When the law takes effect, it will allow home-cultivation and adult sharing of the drug, provided that the plants are not visible to the public and are properly tagged. Commercial production and retail sales won’t be legal in Virginia until 2024. However, there’s still a long way to go before it becomes a reality in the south.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, nineteen states are now legalizing recreational marijuana. Additionally, Washington DC, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands have legalized the drug for recreational use. South Dakota, meanwhile, blocked an amendment to legalize recreational marijuana. Despite the legalization of recreational marijuana, many states still have strict possession laws. For example, in New York, marijuana is illegal in some counties, but legalization in Rhode Island could be possible by 2022.
In addition to the state legalization laws, the federal government has largely taken a hands-off approach when it comes to marijuana prohibition enforcement. Under the Obama administration, for example, the Department of Justice told federal prosecutors not to prosecute people who distribute cannabis in compliance with state medical marijuana laws. The memo, called the Cole Memo, emphasized that federal agencies should leave state legalization to the states, and expected states to carry out vigorous enforcement efforts. However, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reversed this decision, telling prosecutors to use their own judgment and established prosecutorial principles when pursuing cases in marijuana-related cases.