Local voters in every state of the United States have cast their votes favorably in favor for the legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana. Yet, Congress still has to say yes, leaving federal restrictions in place for marijuana.
Currently, there are eight states in the U.S., including the nation’s capital that legalizes both recreational and medical marijuana. Knowing where you stand takes off the fear of jail time as you light up a smoke. That’s why it is good not to miss this chance to find out more about the legalization of cannabis in the USA.
Medical marijuana got the go signal from lawmakers and voters alike. Things went a bit crazy when voters also included the legalization of recreational marijuana. It was a messy setup because various medical marijuana dispensaries remained hidden because a court has ruled them to be illegal.
Smoking in your car or in a park is fine but you can’t raise your own weed garden. You need a medical card to do that. It is legal to brew your own beer concoction but not to grow weed.
California is the first state in the US to legalize medical marijuana which allows you to legally possess it. However, smoking should be done in secret. Selling marijuana is illegal. Getting caught selling costs a hefty fine of $500. You can receive or give away as much as 28.5 grams without breaking the law.
The different towns and counties were given a free hand to decide if they allow or don’t allow marijuana to be sold openly. Counties found along the coastline are more forgiving though the rest are more conservative. Public places are not for smoking marijuana although you are allowed to plant some in your land. Smoking in federal parks is illegal.
It is legal to possess and smoke marijuana in Massachusetts. But it is illegal to buy or sell marijuana. Legalizing selling and purchasing of marijuana has been moved to July 1, 2018. Yet, it can be set back. Some parts of the state though have medical marijuana dispensaries. There’s none for recreational marijuana.
Medical marijuana can be sold and bought openly in the capital. Recreational marijuana is still a murky point which you can score on the black market. Growing 6 plants in your home are allowed. Smoking recreational marijuana in the home is also allowed. However, getting caught with more than 2 ounces of weed is jail time for 6 months along with a fine of $1,000.
Smoking in public is not allowed even if you do it on the Vegas strip. An ounce of recreational marijuana is allowed but more than that will cost you a fine of $600. But change is in the air sooner than later.
You can possess medical marijuana as long as you have a prescription from your doctor. However, there’s a catch. Federal law does not allow doctors to prescribe marijuana. They can only issue a recommendation which is not the same as a prescription.
Mississippi and Alabama
Medical marijuana is allowed as long as they are used only to alleviate serious epileptic seizures.
Tennessee, Indiana, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Iowa, Idaho, Missouri, Utah, Kentucky, and South Dakota
These states do not have laws legalizing the use and sale of medical and recreational marijuana.
Both medical and recreational marijuana can be legally used and sold in the state. The legalization of recreational marijuana has just been passed. However, you have to be 21 years old if you want to smoke recreational marijuana.
Montana, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, North Dakota, Illinois, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Colorado, and Arkansas
All these states allow the use and sale of medical marijuana only.
Alaska has legalized the sale and use of both medical and recreational marijuana.
Even when recreational and medical marijuana has become available in most states, they are governed by rules to include:
- Getting high legally in eight states and Washington DC
You need to be at least 21 years old before you can legally smoke recreational marijuana. Growing your own marijuana variety depends on your location. It would be best to find out first before planting marijuana in your property.
- Flunking a drug test can get you fired from work.
Most states can flunk and get you fired from work if you fail a drug test. Even patients on medical marijuana are not exempted.
- Black market for marijuana sale exist even in states where they are legalized
Marijuana sold in the black market is still cheaper because it is tax-free. Medical marijuana is cheaper to buy even on legal dispensaries because of their low tax. Recreational marijuana, on the other hand, is more expensive because of the higher tax rate imposed on growers and processors.
- Banks do not like marijuana
The federal government regulates all banks and feds consider marijuana as illegal. This is the reason why medical marijuana dispensaries cannot get financial help from banks. The Justice Department has tried to amend the situation by issuing guidelines in 2014. These guidelines are supposed to inform banks on ways to provide banking services to medical marijuana dispensaries. Yet, banks are still unsympathetic towards state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
- It is illegal to smoke marijuana while driving
Just as it is illegal to drink and drive, smoking marijuana while driving is also illegal. Breathalyzer for cannabis use is still in the works to help cops determine the maximum limit.
- Marijuana smoking is not allowed in any public place in any state
States that have legalized the use of recreational and medical marijuana still ban smoking them in public places.
The business of growing, processing, and selling of medical and recreational marijuana has become a billion-dollar business. In 2016, medical marijuana reaped a total of $4.7 billion income with recreational marijuana coming a close second at $1.9 billion.
This humongous business is not something that can be ignored or set aside by any state in the United States especially when it means more jobs and income.
The long and dark stigma that has hounded marijuana through 59 years has finally come to an end. The future looks positive and bright for people that can gain health benefits from marijuana.