After years of lobbying, now there are some states and the District of Columbia that allow you to use marijuana for recreation. There are some states that may join the club soon. Here is the list of states that have allowed the use of marijuana and the relevant laws.
Ballot Measure No. 8 approved in November 3, 1998 and went to effect on March 4, 1999 removed state-level penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by persons with prescription in the hope the patients will benefit from its medical use. Measure 2 allows Alaskans aged 21 and above for creational use.
It is legal to use cannabis in California for medical purposes, but by January 2018, Californians, under Proposition 64, adults can possess up to an ounce for recreational use and may grow up to 6 plants individually or more for commercial purposes.
Just like California, it is legal in Colorado to use marijuana both for medical and recreational purposes. Colorado Amendment 64 legalized the sale and possession of marijuana for recreational purposes, with allowance for private cultivation up to six marijuana plants with no more three being mature. In the first year of the implementation of the law, the sales reached $700 million.
It is also legal in Maine to use marijuana both medically and for recreation. One can grow up to six marijuana plants but a license is needed to grow more. The Ballot Initiative 1 in 2016 was approved and legalized the use of marijuana with certain restrictions in Maine. Maine imposes a 10 percent tax on commercial marijuana sales. The state has the option to regulate businesses that are related to marijuana.
Question 4 was passed in 2016 paving the way for the use of marijuana for recreation. The measure means people in Massachusetts may use marijuana for recreational purposes by July 2018. There is a 3.75 percent tax on the marijuana, 6.25 percent state sales tax and a two percent local option tax for a total of 12 percent tax on marijuana sales.
On July 1, 2017 Nevada started to allow dispensaries to sell marijuana for recreational purposes. In 2016, Nevada allowed the use of marijuana for recreational purposes after Question 2 was approved by majority of the voters. Now, anyone above the age of 21 and able to show a photo ID may purchase marijuana for recreational purposes.
Voters in Oregon approved what was called Measure 91 providing the mechanism for the legal possession and setting limits to the sale of cannabis in the state for recreational use. The state governor signed into law the sets the cannabis sales tax at 25 percent. Recreational use of marijuana in Oregon took effect on October 1, 2015.
Legalized by the Washington Initiative 502 in 2012, it is legal for anyone over 21 years old to carry an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes as long as they obtain a permit. Licenses are needed for all sellers, distributors and producers of marijuana. Personal growing of the plant at home is illegal except for medical marijuana purposes.
District of Columbia
The Ballot Initiative 71 legalized the recreational use of cannabis. However, commercial production and sale is not allowed. A person in DC may cultivate and possess marijuana for personal recreational use. The law took effect in February 26, 2015 about 30 days of Congressional review. There you have it, these are the states in the US that allow recreational use of marijuana. There are other states that do allow medical marijuana.