Learn About Marijuana
Science-based information for the public

Legalization in the U.S.

US map As of July 2017, eight U.S. states and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana use for non-medical purposes. Each state regulates marijuana differently. Find out more about specific state policies by visiting each state's primary regulation body:

Legalization for non-medical purposes: What state laws have in common

U.S. marijuana legalization, while state-specific, has developed with numerous common denominators, such as:

Many of these regulations are unprecedented. For instance, this is the first time commercial marijuana production for non-medical purposes has been legalized anywhere in the world. It is illegal even in the Netherlands, famous for its “cannabis cafés.” The same can also be said about marketing and advertisement, neither of which are allowed in any other part of the world. See Marijuana Legalization around the World to learn more about policies in other countries.

readmoreRead More: Two freely available policy documents describe in more detail how regulations differ by state (note: these were produced in the end of 2016; regulations are changing fast in this area so this information may have changed):

State Legalization Timelines

Timelines for 23 states and the District of Columbia showing their major laws and policy decisions around medical and non-medical marijuana were prepared by the University of Washington Social Development Research Group and Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors. Select a state in the box below (information accurate as of May 2016).

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