Cannabis FAQ

Where Is Marijuana Legal For Recreational Use in the US?

If you want to know where marijuana is legal for recreational use, you need to check your state’s laws. Fortunately, there are some states that have made the decision to allow marijuana sales. Among the states that have passed laws legalizing cannabis is Vermont, which plans to open retail marijuana stores in the fall of 2022. While the District of Columbia is set to open its retail market for recreational sales in August of 2022, a proposed budget in Congress could keep the ban in place. Guam also recently contracted Metrc to develop its regulatory system.

West Virginia

In a country where many states have decriminalized marijuana use, the state of West Virginia is not doing that. The state has few people compared to many others, with just over two million residents. Despite this, the state has suffered from drug abuse and devastation for more than three decades. And yet, politicians in the state clench their fists when they talk about marijuana. It should come as no surprise that lawmakers oppose the drug, and many seem to be against it.

While marijuana remains illegal in West Virginia, it is legal for medical purposes for qualifying patients. Medical marijuana can be consumed in many forms, including vaporization, nebulization, tinctures, and liquids. Medical marijuana is not legal for recreational use, but the state plans to make it so by 2021, when it requires a license to operate a dispensary. However, despite the legalization of medical marijuana, the state still has a hard line on recreational marijuana.

The word “marijuana” has been associated with discrimination and racism, since the term gained popularity in the 1980s as a way to target Mexican immigrants. However, cannabis is still widely used in the medical field, and is often used to relieve pain. The state’s WellWVU representatives plan to host similar events in the future. If the initiative passes, West Virginia could be on its way to legalizing recreational marijuana use.

South Dakota

Voters in South Dakota overwhelmingly approved recreational marijuana use in the November 2018 election, overturning a previous court ruling. But a legal challenge funded by Noem’s administration struck down the measure. South Dakota voters generally approve Noem’s job performance, but many disapprove of her handling of the marijuana legalization issue. Noem is up for re-election this year, and she’s already received criticism for her opposition to the reform. Then, in November 2017, she released an ad that criticized the legalization initiative. This ad failed, and the measure passed 54-46 percent.

On Thursday, a Senate committee approved a bill to legalize marijuana. A separate panel advanced legislation to create a tax scheme for the adult-use cannabis market. While the legislature works to pass the bill, activists are trying to change the state’s antiquated legalization laws. The proposed measure would be South Dakota’s third cannabis-related ballot question in two years, following the passage of a medical marijuana law and a constitutional amendment.

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The measure passed the Senate, but the House did not. Ultimately, a circuit court judge ruled that the amendment was unconstitutional. According to the South Dakota constitution, it violates the single-subject rule. Also, the state constitution defines amendments and revisions as optional, but the legislature may alter them. After November 3, 2024, the state will decide whether to pass the bill or repeal it.

New Mexico

Now that New Mexico has become a full-fledged cannabis state, what’s next? A new law prohibits law enforcement from stopping people for the mere smell of marijuana. This law does not apply to drivers suspected of underage use, however. And while the use of cannabis is legal for adults 21 and over, possession of it by a minor will still result in a 4-hour educational program or community service.

The Cannabis Regulation Act signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham will make recreational marijuana use legal in the state on June 29, 2021. While state regulators are still working out the finer details, it’s expected to be legal by April 1, 2022. The first licensed sales will begin on April 1, 2022. In the meantime, New Mexico is legal for medical cannabis. Just as medical marijuana use is legal in Colorado and Washington, recreational marijuana will be legal in New Mexico.

The legalization of marijuana in New Mexico has been long overdue, thanks to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s efforts. In late March, she called a special session of the state legislature to pass a bill legalizing marijuana. New Mexico had already legalized medical marijuana in 2007, but the new law allows recreational use as well. However, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and it is still illegal to sell marijuana without a license.


The state of Connecticut is one of the first in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use. The legislation allows for up to a half percent of all marijuana sales in Connecticut to go to social equity applicants, who live in areas most harmed by the federal war on drugs and high unemployment. Additionally, the bill requires that communities with more than 50,000 residents designate a public smoking area. In addition, municipalities can regulate public use and prohibit retail sales by zoning laws.

When the law goes into effect next year, Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection plans to issue licenses to cannabis businesses. At least half of these licenses will go to low-income applicants. By 2023, people will be able to grow three mature marijuana plants for personal use. Prior convictions for marijuana use will be automatically cleared from public records starting in July 2023. In the meantime, there will be a 90-day application period for businesses to apply.

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While recreational marijuana use may have an economic impact on the state’s economy, the laws surrounding its consumption and distribution still have several negative consequences. For example, people who are not citizens of the United States may not be allowed to enter the country if they have been convicted of marijuana-related offenses. Even if their convictions have been dismissed, they can still lose employment or naturalization. If the state decides to legalize recreational marijuana use, it may affect their immigration status.

Rhode Island

A recent bill has made recreational marijuana use in Rhode Island legal, with a moratorium in effect until July 2023. The bill, sponsored by Republican and Democratic senators alike, has several controversial aspects. While it does allow for a medical cannabis program, the marijuana bill makes it illegal to sell and cultivate new plants or establish new dispensaries. While the marijuana bill is likely to pass, the Senate is still debating whether it will make it legal for recreational use.

The Senate is expected to hold a public hearing on the marijuana legislation on May 18, 2022, and the House Finance Committee will likely hold another on the same topic in the next few weeks. The lawmakers are also expected to reach a compromise on several issues, including criminal justice and social justice. If all goes well, legalization in Rhode Island is expected to become law sometime in 2022. A number of obstacles remain, but a productive Senate vote this month indicated that legalization is nearing passage.

The bill also allows adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use. It would create a state cannabis control commission and advisory board to oversee the cultivation, manufacture, and sale of cannabis. It also offers an expungement of previous convictions related to marijuana possession, resulting in a small fine and no criminal record. The passage of the legislation is likely to make Rhode Island the next state to legalize recreational marijuana use.

North Dakota

A statutory measure to legalize recreational marijuana use in North Dakota has failed in the Senate. The measure, known as Senate Bill 3, would decriminalize and regulate the sale of marijuana in the state to adults 21 and older. Despite passing the Senate earlier this month, the measure was killed by the House State Affairs Committee. The rejection of the measure was based on concerns over cannabis’ continued illegality at the federal level and the potential for voter confusion over Amendment A.

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Supporters of the initiative say it will create jobs and remove barriers to access cannabis products. The measure has been sponsored by a diverse group of North Dakotans, including Republican Rep. Matthew Ruby of Minot. Its sponsors include Fargo City Commissioner John Strand and Bismarck political consultant Dustin Gawrylow. Gawrylow is a member of the North Dakota Watchdog Network and is running for Burleigh County Commission.

The marijuana laws in North Dakota are relatively simple. Under the new law, it is legal for registered patients or caregivers to possess up to 2.5 ounces of flower or 4 grams of THC in other products. Patients with cancer can obtain special “enhanced” medical marijuana cards that allow them to buy up to 6 ounces of flower. Home cultivation of marijuana in North Dakota is not allowed. However, caregivers and patients should keep their medical marijuana products in original packaging.


A recent poll indicates a slight majority of Ohio voters favor legalizing recreational marijuana use. A measure based on a petition circulated by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce calls for the expansion of Ohio’s medical marijuana program, but the proposal will require 60 votes in the Senate to pass. The measure would also tax marijuana sales in the state and distribute tax revenues to communities disproportionately affected by drug laws. A preliminary 2016 ballot campaign prompted legislators to take action. A 2015 ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use failed overwhelmingly.

While recreational marijuana use isn’t currently legal in Ohio, a new state law will soon make it so. In November, Ohio voters will decide whether or not recreational marijuana use is legal. The Republican-controlled legislature passed a medical marijuana law in 2016, but the measure to legalize it would be opposed by Republicans. In addition, a citizen-led petition drive led by the Center for Christian Virtue and substance abuse prevention organizations is raising concerns about increased drug use and car accidents. On 3News, we’ll explore both legal and social concerns related to recreational marijuana use.

The initiative’s advocates filed a lawsuit against Republicans in the Ohio House after lawmakers refused to consider it. The House GOP claimed that the coalition filed the petition too late. Despite this, they gathered more signatures in the weeks and months that followed. On Jan. 28, the General Assembly approved the initiative. But the House GOP is still refusing to consider the legalization initiative. So, a supplemental petition will be filed to place the initiative on the November 2022 ballot.