Marijuana Legal States: What’s the Current Standing in the United States?

Marijuana legalization is a very popular topic as of recent, which is a good thing; this world needs change, and introducing legalized marijuana is the perfect start to all of that. Initially, weed was illegal all over the world, essentially. Places like Amsterdam and Portugal began to allow weed for recreational use, but selling and distribution has always been a problem – that is, until now. These days, there are legal dispensaries that are selling marijuana on a daily basis, and it’s completely legal. Today, we’re going to talk about why these dispensaries are so important, as well as why they’re allowed to be around these days.

When it comes to the United States, it’s a known fact that they’re always going to be looked at for social issues. If people feel like legalized marijuana is going to make the country a better place, who’s to say they shouldn’t be allowed to express their opinion? It’s obvious that the entire aura surrounding marijuana legalization is being to change, because there are a few different states that have the plant in good standing. When you want to identify the marijuana legal states, it’s as easy as snapping your fingers (in 2016, at least!).

marijuana legal states


In the 1900’s, “Indian Hemp” required a prescription for sales in order to be sold to consumers. There was a lot of commotion in the beginning years, and beginning in 1913, various states began to ban marijuana. It started with Maine, Wyoming and Indiana in 2013, and continued with Utah and Vermont in 1915. Some of the other older bans would be:

  • Iowa, Oregon, Washington and Vermont – 1923
  • New York, Idaho, Kansas, Montana and Nebraska – 1927
  • Illinois – 1933
  • North Dakota and Oklahoma – 1933

This is the time where a lot of folks didn’t endorse marijuana at all, and thought that it was a drug which made you stupid and uneducated. Back in those days, people wouldn’t associated with you if they knew you were a marijuana smoker – people started to actual believe that this plant would melt your brain and kill your intelligence.

As a result, those that used marijuana in the early 1900’s were looked at as we do heroin addicts now. Even now, heroin addicts can be looked at as people who just need some help; but that wasn’t the case a few hundred years ago. Obviously, things are much different in modern times – the use of marijuana is not only looked at as being acceptable, but it’s beneficial in a plethora of ways.


This is where the plant began to get decriminalized, which is from the early 1970’s all the way up to 1990 – which is where medical marijuana began to take shape. In 1978, New Mexico passed their “Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act”, which allowed them to recognize the value that medical marijuana had to offer up to the world. Throughout 1973 and 1978, many different places took it upon themselves to decriminalize marijuana. Some of these places would include:

  • California
  • Mississippi
  • New York
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio

The marijuana legal states are essentially the ones listed above, except for a few changes in the list. It’s good to know that they’ve been working on the legalization of marijuana for well over 100 years, though!

Which States are Legal Now?

When it comes to medical marijuana legalization, there are plenty of different states to consider, which is awesome. The vast selection means that essentially anyone in the United States is capable of getting their required medicine, which could have been a problem in the past. Marijuana isn’t just a recreational drug anymore, as it’s used every single day to combat things like nerve pain and nausea. These are real ailments, and until you’ve truly felt the beneficial factors of medical marijuana for yourself, you’ll never understand what it’s like!

The more states that we can keep legal, the better. There are tons to consider in the modern era, and all of them are going to offer up high-quality medication to those who desperately need it. The timeline of medical marijuana legalization in the United States of America looks a little something like this:

  • 1996 – California
  • 1998 – Alaska, Oregon and Washington
  • 1999 – Maine
  • 2000 – Colorado, Hawaii and Nevada
  • 2004 – Montana and Vermont
  • 2006 – Rhode Island
  • 2007 – New Mexico
  • 2008 – Michigan
  • 2010 – Arizona, D.C. and New Jersey
  • 2011 – Delaware
  • 2012 – Connecticut and Massachusetts
  • 2013 – Maryland, Minnesota and New York
  • 2015 – Louisiana
  • 2016 – Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas

That’s a total of 29 (out of a potential 50) states legalized in terms of medical marijuana, with D.C. included as well. It’s obvious that they’re going a specific route with the legalization of medical marijuana, and at this rate, it’s only a matter of time before the entirety of the United States is legalized.

A Step in the Right Direction

Regardless of your opinion on the matter, you can’t deny that fact that medical marijuana offers up healing properties. If it didn’t, why else would medical professionals all over the world worry about trying to put medical marijuana in the hands of those who desperately need it? More and more doctors are willing to prescribe this type of medicine, which is obviously a testament to the usefulness of marijuana as a whole.

This is clearly a step in the right direction, and I hope that one day, every single state within the US will be completely legalized/decriminalized. The next step is recreational use! When that gets worked on, there’s no telling just how much momentum this marijuana legalization thing could take off with.