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Where marijuana is legal in the US in 2023

Where marijuana is legal in the US in 2023

Weed is legal for recreational use in Washington DC and 21 US states

By Clarisa Diaz, Quartz


The legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational uses is trending in Europe and in the US. Since 2020, 11 US states have legalized recreational marijuana, including Montana, Vermont, New Mexico, Arizona, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, and New York. Many of those states, like New York and New Jersey, saw the push for legalizing cannabis following years of decriminalization.

In 2022, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Missouri joined the list of states where recreational and medical marijuana is legal. California was the first state in the US to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, in 1996.

Today, medical use of cannabis is legal in 40 states and in Washington DC. Additional legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes has occurred in 21 of those states. Around half of the states that legalized recreational marijuana did so in the past three years.

US states where weed is still illegal

Marijuana is still illegal in 10 states: Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. The year 2023 may be a year of change though, with buzz around legalization thanks to new legislation in North Carolina, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Nebraska.

In March, Texas lawmakers passed a bill that decriminalizes the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. But possession of weed is still classified as a misdemeanor in the state, with a fine of $500.

Legislation for permission to use medical marijuana is on the table this year in Kansas for treating 21 illnesses or conditions including cancer, epilepsy, spinal cord injuries, or chronic pain. Idaho introduced a late-session medical cannabis bill last month. And in February, the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee voted to establish a medical cannabis program in the state that would include legalizing medical marijuana starting in July 2024.

Efforts to legalize or decriminalize marijuana have failed in Wyoming, at least for this year.

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