It’s important to understand how many states is weed legal in because the reality is still far from where we want it to be.
You may be walking downtown surrounded by the sweet smell of bud, but that doesn’t mean it’s accepted, let alone legal.
In this post we are going to update the different statuses of whether or not weed is legal in your state.
In this post you’ll learn:
- What states is weed recreational in?
- What states is weed medicinal in?
- What states is weed illegal in?
- And conclusively, how many states is weed legal in
Yes, that’s right.
There are actually states right now, in our country, in 2023, where marijuana is illegal.
There are people being put in jail right now for carrying or using what may be 100% legal and acceptable, mere miles outside its borders.
There’s actually great nonprofits dedicated to working with people in jail who are in on petty marijuana crimes that would not land them behind bars in the present day.
It’s called the Last Prisoner Project if you want to check it out here.
And without further adieu, let’s dive into why weed was made illegal in the first place.
But before we ask how many states is weed legal in, let’s look at why weed is illegal.
Why states made weed illegal
The trillion dollar question, why did states make weed illegal?
Why do most laws get put into place?
It’s not because of any moral obligation, most of the time.
The reality is that people want to enforce power and control over others.
Marginalizing many groups of citizens and fueled by various lobbyists, marijuana was made illegal because states weren’t keen on the influence of this plant coming over from out southern neighbors from Mexico.
Thus, where the term marijuana became demonstricized and popularized, where the stigma around cannabis began, and when states started banning bud.
This all happened around the early 1900’s.
And of course, the stigma only worsened and worsened over time with media and political slander.
You may recall the joke of a PSA called Reefer Madness.
What is to us a hilarious piece of anti drug lore, to the public during its time of release, it was a serious warning to not use cannabis.
This movie and fear of control over the public is a major reason why states made weed illegal.
Now that we know why, it’s time to explore how many states is weed legal in.
How many states is weed legal in?
The good thing is, it only takes a matter of time to progress.
Couple senators and presidents spend some time in a fraternity, you start thinking your parents don’t know what they’re talking about, and poof…
Just like that state legislation starts getting rolled out and states begin legalizing marijuana.
Well, sort of.
What was once illegal, became allowable for medicinal purposes, and then eventually allowable for recreational purposes.
However, not all states are the same, nor did they all get woke at the same time.
That is why some states are completely legal for recreational use, some states are only legal for medicinal use, and some states have their pants pulled up too high not allowing any use of cannabis at all.
Let’s take a look at which is which shall we?
How many states is weed legal in:
Which states is weed recreationally legal in?
Here are the states that weed is recreationally legal in: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC.
Of course it’s almost assumed that states where weed is legal includes California, Oregon, and Colorado.
But, it may be surprising to hear that states like Arizona, Virgina, and Michigan have made cannabis recreationally allowable.
And you may be thinking, “wait that doesn’t make sense,” when you see that cannabis is recreationally legal in Washington D.C.
Yes, that’s right, our government’s backyard has legalized recreationally use of weed.
However, weed is still illegal on the federal level.
Someone help me, because this math just doesn’t add up.
Which states is weed medically legal in?
These are the states that weed is medically legal in: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia.
Well on their way to making cannabis fully legal, these states have made weed fully legal for medicinal use.
It’s always nice to see states with predominantly assumed ‘older ways of thinking’ adopting an openness to things like cannabis for medicinal use.
You might not associate South Dakota and Oklahoma with an openness to eastern medicinal healing; however, their public has another thing to say about that.
It’s exciting to see so many states in the queue for full legalization.
And, we are ready to light up and celebrate in solidarity when the news comes down that they have finally made weed recreationally legal.
Which states is weed fully illegal in?
Here is a list of the states that weed is completely illegal in: Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Ahh, now it’s time to acknowledge the stubborn, tone deaf uncles at the table of our great 50 states.
We’re talking about the states who have completely made cannabis illegal.
That means for recreational use and for medicinal use, both, these states have decided that weed is punishable by law.
This thought process is crazy and reminiscent of the hysteria that got our country into this pre developed stage during the early 1900’s.
With some of these states starting to turn blue, and other states showing there’s monetary opportunity (i.e. seeing green) there is no doubt in my mind that they will eventually join the other 39 states who’ve either begun to or have fully legalized weed.
Outlook of federal legality on marijuana
If at first you don’t succeed then try, try again.
That is the motto with the public and pro-marijuana legislators pushing for cannabis reform in our federal government.
It won’t be until we destigmatize and decriminalize weed at the federal level, that we will have full freedom to use weed the way we want.
Even in states where it’s fully legal, there are still tons of hurdles that businesses need to jump through in order to operate, because the Fed identifies it as illegal.
Right now, there’s a lot of hope and attention built around the MORE Act making its way up to Congress.
This Marijuana Opportunity and Reinvestment Expungement Act would end all crimes for people growing or distributing weed and erase all convictions of nonviolent cannabis “criminals.”
This is all accomplished by, finally, removing cannabis from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act.
This bill was passed in the House during the spring of 2023, and all we can do now is cross our fingers and hope we get it through the senate.
Conclusion on states legalizing weed
Generally, everything seems to happen with time. It might not be on our time, but it’ll happen.
So, right now how many states is weed legal in? Technically 39. Will it be the same in a year?
Even if it means we have to take one step back to take two steps forward, legalization of weed in states will be 100% within our lifetime.
I can guarantee that.
Not only will this be amazing for the cannabis community, by finally recognizing its harmlessness and destigmatizing such a healing and helpful plant.
But, this will be amazing for the good it does in freeing the wrongfully convicted who have been tried and arrested for something they never should have been in the first place.
Until then, we wait.
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