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Cannabis Legalization: December 2020 Update

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The November voting season was pretty hectic this year. Lots of states have made the full push for legalization while others have decriminalized cannabis or started their own medical marijuana program. As of right now, 44 of the 50 United States have legalized cannabis in some form. The issue is that every state has different laws and levels of legalization. For example, Georgia technically has legal medical marijuana, though getting caught with cannabis can still lead to a felony. On the other hand, California is fully legal and offers hundreds of different dispensaries and cannabis products for legal sale and purchase. Here is a Cannabis legalization update as of December 2020.

Greenhouse growing of weed

Here’s a quick update on the states that made changes this year as well as full list of levels of legalization in each stat. Just be sure to brush up on your local and state laws to avoid any possible legal trouble.

Who just legalized cannabis?

Here’s an update on states that made a push for legalization this year.

  • New Jersey: had medical marijuana, passed to decriminalize and legalize for recreational use
  • South Dakota: had no medical program or decriminalization, passed to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis.
  • Arizona: had medical marijuana, passed to decriminalize and legalize for recreational use
  • Montana: had medical marijuana, passed to decriminalize and legalize for recreational use
  • Mississippi: had low-thc medical marijuana, passed to decriminalize and revamp medical program. Not fully legalized.
  • Ohio: had medical marijuana, passed to decriminalize and revamp medical program

Current List of States with Medical Marijuana

The majority of US states agree with medical marijuana. However, it’s important to keep in mind that every state’s laws are different when it comes to cannabis. Some states only allow compassionate care cannabis, which is limited to low-THC cannabis products and only for people with debilitating conditions or people with terminal illnesses.

Low-THC Medical Marijuana:

  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

All states with medical marijuana:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Washington, D.C.

Current List of States with Recreational Marijuana

As of November 2020, there are 15 states that allow for fully recreational cannabis sales. Wahington DC has also legalized cannabis. The 15 states that allow for recreational marijuana include:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.

Current List of States with Decriminalized Cannabis

NORML states that decriminalization means that you won’t get arrested or serve prison time for a small amount of cannabis anymore. It may also mean that you won’t have a criminal record for the first-time you’re caught with cannabis for personal consumption. 30 states have decriminalized cannabis, along with Washington DC, in some way. More than half of the United States have decriminalized cannabis. Just keep in mind that laws vary from state to state, so be sure to check NORML for the most up to date information in your area.

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Current List of States Where Cannabis is Totally Illegal

There are still six states out there that don’t have any sort of legal cannabis program or decriminalization. Cannabis in these states is strictly prohibited, so if you get caught with weed here, hefty fines and jail time can incur.

  • Alabama
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Wyoming

Final Thoughts:

Cannabis is becoming more and more accessible in the United States. However, each state with a fresh outlook on legalization tends to try and redesign the wheel for their program. Since each state has vastly different laws regarding cannabis, it’s important to know the laws in your state. You should know how much you can legally possess, whether or not you can transport it, who’s allowed to use it, and whether or not you’ll be allowed to grow it yourself. If you’re not sure, check out NORML to find everything you need to know about your state’s cannabis laws to protect yourself from prosecution while enjoying your weed legally.

 



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