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Your Complete Guide to Current Marijuana Laws in the US

There’s been a huge overhaul in marijuana laws across the country in the last few years. What used to be completely illegal almost everywhere has now been de-criminalized and made allowable in lots of different places.

However, knowing exactly what’s allowed in what location can be a bit of a minefield, so this guide is here to help.

If you’re trying to plan accordingly and would like to know where to go and where to avoid, then check out this list:


In 2015 it became legal for Alaska residents to own and import up to one ounce of marijuana for personal consumption (but not resale). You have to be 21 or over to smoke marijuana in Alaska.

The first marijuana shop opened a couple of years ago in this state – and it’s the industry has been a huge hit and boost to the economy. Some now see Alaska as a tourist destination for marijuana smokers and this has added an annual spend of over $2billion.


California has had a long history with marijuana use, is the first state to legalize the substance for medicinal use all the way back in the mid-90s. This stance has been liberalized once more as it became legal to use and own up to an ounce for personal use in 2016. In California, those over the age of 21 are also allowed to purchase products that contain up to 8 grams of marijuana in them, like food products – but these can only be purchased in specific stores.

This legalization has not occurred throughout the whole state – and laws can vary on a local level. Some cities have banned recreational sales while others are more lenient.

You’re also allowed to grow your own marijuana plants in California. but no more than 6 plants per household.


Colorado has seen perhaps the biggest growth in personal marijuana use thanks to the loosening of local laws. In 2012, the state became one of the first two to legalize personal marijuana use There are now a huge number of marijuana dispensaries in the state, and they’re open to all over the age of 21.

While you’re generally free to purchase and use marijuana in Colorado, some specific local counties and cities have decided to act more restrictively – so you might want to check the exact location first.


In Maine, they held a public vote on marijuana use and this lead to up to 2,5 ounces being allowed to be owned for personal use, but purchasing the substance is still limited. There had been some arguments over the future of marijuana in the state, but things are expected to loosen up even more.


You’ve been allowed to carry up to an ounce of marijuana and have up to 12 plants in your house in Massachusetts since the state loosened its drug laws in 2016.


Marijuana laws again relied on a public vote, which made Michigan the first Midwest state to legalize the substance for personal use. Again, you’ll need to be over 21 to use marijuana in Michigan, but you will be allowed to carry up to 2.5 ounces for consumption, which is much higher than most states. You can also grow up to 12 plants in your own home. While you might think that the coastal states are more liberal, these are some of the most generous marijuana use laws in the country.


In Nevada, residents are allowed to buy up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use – only once over the age of 21 years. You can also consume edibles in Nevada with small amounts of the substance in them. Legalization of cannabis use has been popular in Nevada, and the state has earned a lot of additional tax revenue since the laws were softened.

While you can buy and use marijuana in Nevada, the growing laws are slightly more prohibitive than other states. You must live a certain distance (normally 25 miles) from the nearest marijuana dispensary before you’re allowed to grow your own plants, and must obtain a growers license. That means growing your own is normally limited to those in remote locations.


The state of Oregon legalized marijuana in 2015 and residents have been allowed an ounce of marijuana for personal consumption since then. You can also grow up to four plants in your own home and give edibles as a gift – but not sell them for money.


Legal marijuana use has been hugely popular in Oregon and tax revenues have increased dramatically – many of this tax take has been poured back into public health initiatives and local government. If you want to learn more about the marijuana use in Oregon, you can do some research online.


Vermont was the first ever state to allow its residents to use marijuana via legislation rather than a public vote. Like many other states, those of full adult age can have up to an ounce of the substance to use for themselves, and are also permitted to grow two plants in their home – but only for recreational use. While the bill makes it much easier to grow and consume your own cannabis, production of marijuana for resale is still prohibited.


Washington state has seen a huge economic impact from allowing users to consume the drug for personal, non-medicinal use, since its legalization in 2012. Over $1billion in sales have been made in dispensaries across the state. You can have an ounce of marijuana in Washington state – but you need documents stating that you require the drug for medicinal purposes before you’ll be allowed to grow your own.

Washington, DC

While not technically a state, Washington, DC has its own marijuana use laws. This was due to a public vote which had a massive majority in 2014, which allows people in the capital to have up to 2 ounces for personal use. This is quite a generous allowance compared to many states. You can also gift up to an ounce for people, as long as it’s not for financial or any other personal gain.

Hopefully, this brief snapshot has given you enough information. Remember, marijuana is still illegal in many places, so be careful.

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