US Cannabis Legalization | A Guide For Carefree Cannabis Use 

When it comes to Marijuana in the US, things get a little confusing, to say the least. With different laws regarding sale, possession, and recreational use in every one of the 50 states making up the US, it’s a little complex to get your head around. 

For now, let’s imagine each of the US states as completely separate, independent countries. 

The rules and regulations surrounding Cannabis use, for both recreational and medicinal purposes, differ massively from state to state. This is seriously confusing when all you want to find out is if you’ll get arrested for smoking pot… 

In this post, we are going to explore and discover many of the US state’s laws regarding recreational cannabis use. And while we don’t want to keep you reading for hours upon hours, we’re going to focus mostly on the most ‘weed-friendly’ states. (as well as some states where cannabis is still very illegal).  So if you’re an avid marijuana user, you’ll know exactly where you stand. 

After reading this article you will know: 

  • The most cannabis-friendly states in the US 
  • Exactly what you are allowed to do regarding recreational use in each of those states 
  • What is still illegal in these states 
  • The consequences of breaking laws in even the most relaxed states. 

We have a lot to get through, so without further ado, let’s dive right in and find out exactly where you can use cannabis recreationally in the US. 

Why Is Cannabis Legalization So Complicated in The US? 

At the federal level (across the whole country) Cannabis use, particularly for recreational purposes is illegal. Many states have now legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes and you will see many dispensaries springing up throughout the entire US. 

But despite this, when it comes to recreational use and state-level law, things are extremely different and laws almost completely oppose that of the federal level. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of the rules surrounding possession, sale, and consumption in each and every state. Let’s take a look at some of the most weed-friendly states out there. 

The Top States For US Cannabis Legalization 

Currently, there are 18 states where recreational cannabis use is legal and 36 states have fully legalized Marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, in some states, it still remains completely illegal. All states impose their own laws, regulations, and rules for what is and isn’t allowed Below are some of the very best states with rules allowing you to possess and use Cannabis almost as freely as possible! 


Currently in Alabama all possession sale and or transfer of marijuana is illegal. The state remains one of the strictest regarding recreational cannabis use in the entire US. Despite this, cannabis for medicinal purposes was legalized back in May 2011. 

If you are caught in possession of 2 or more ounces of cannabis, you can be fined $250 for tour first offense and $500 for the second offense. However, most laws broken regarding cannabis sue and sale won’t necessarily result in jail time. 


Under the measure 2 act, owning up to 1oz or 12 plants for personal use has been legal in the state since 2014. With a commercial license, you can gain further permission to own more, and as long as you don’t consume Cannabis on public land, you won’t be breaking any laws. 

One of the most naturally beautiful states is also one of the most relaxed when it comes to Cannabis legalization and was an early adopter of the policy. Regarding the sale, Alaska does take a tougher stance on the drug and currently, the sale of more than 1 ounce of marijuana will result in 1 year of jail time and up to a $10,000 fine. In addition to this, if you are caught selling cannabis to someone under the age of 19 or who is 3 years below your age. 


Owning up to 1oz or 6 plants per adult for personal use is legal in Arizona. Thanks to Proposition 203, Cannabis for medical use was legalized in 2010 and later for recreational use in 2020, by proposition 207. 

While yes, cannabis is legal in Arizona there are still strict rules regarding the use of the drug while driving and working. And while driving under the influence will result in a very similar consequence as alcohol, employers can also choose to ban or set their own rules on working under the influence. 

In addition to this, you still can’t use marijuana on public land, so any recreational use will need to be kept on your own private property. 


California is considered the leader in Cannabis legalization and is renowned the world over for having the most relaxed laws.  It is perfectly legal to own up to 1oz or 6 plants per person and sale and possession on January 1st, 2018. Medical Marijuana has been legal in the state since 1996 and California is regarded as a ‘haven’ among pot users.  


Possession of cannabis became legal in Colorado back in 2012 and the possession limits were increased in May 2021. It is legal to possess up to 2oz of Cannabis or six plants per adult in a household. (This can be higher if you obtain a commercial license). Currently, the only law that remains strict regarding Cannabis, is an illegal sale.  


Recreational use of cannabis in Florida is currently illegal. The possession or sale of more than 20g of marijuana can result in up to 30 years of jail time and a $50,000 fine. Harsh, we know! Medical marijuana is now legalized in the state thanks to the constitutional amendment back in 2016.  


The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act made the recreational use of Cannabis legal as of January 1, 2021. It is perfectly legal to own up to 1.10z (30g) or 5 plants at home with more for persons holding a commercial license. 


Massachusetts allows anyone over the age of 21, whether a resident of the state or not, to purchase cannabis products for both medicinal and recreational purposes. The state allows you to possess up to 1 oz of marijuana. 


Michigan is one of the states allowing the highest amount of cannabis possession and it is currently legal for persons to possess 2.5oz (70g) at any given time. At home, you can own up to 10oz of Cannabis or 12 plants. Medical Marijuana was legalized back in 2008, with recreational use being approved exactly 10 years later in 2018. 


Cannabis for medical purposes was legalized in 2000 and recreational use was also approved in 2016. In Nevada, adults 21+ can grow Cannabis at home. Weirdly, home cultivation is only allowed if more than 25 miles away from a commercial store. 

New Mexico 

Both medicinal and recreational marijuana is now legal in New Mexico. In the state, you can safely own up to 2 ounces of cannabis thanks to the regulation act on June 29, 2021. 

New Jersey 

New Jersey is the latest state in the US to legalize recreational cannabis use. As of April 21st, 2022, dispensaries are now allowed to sell cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Currently, there are only 12 companies with the license to sell recreational marijuana but that is set to increase dramatically as we move through the year. 

New York 

New York holds the title for allowing the highest amount of Cannabis possession for recreational purposes on our list. It is legal to have 3oz (85g) and up to 24g in other forms of Cannabis products (usually oils). You can also own 3 mature plants as well as 3 immature ones in your home at one time. 

2014 signified the legalization of medical marijuana and in 2019 the decriminalization bill passed.  


In Phili, recreational cannabis use is illegal. However, the stance on the drug is perhaps a little less strict than in other illegal states. If you are caught with 30 grams or less, you may be issued just a citation fine. However, this can be up to a police officer with regards to how much they fine you. While getting caught with a small amount of the drug is not a major issue and is a noncriminal offense, as the amount of cannabis goes up, so do the consequences. 


Thanks to the Oklahoma Marijuana Regulation Act it is now legal to possess up to 8 ounces of Marijuana. As long as you’re over 21 years old. You can buy cannabis from licensed stores or cultivate up to 12 plants in your own private home. 


Oregon was the first US state to legalize Cannabis and in 2014, sale and possession were made legal. Right now, you can own up to 1oz (28g) and 4 plants or more with a commercial license. 


In the state of Texas, recreational cannabis use remains illegal and possession of up to 2 ounces can result in 180 days of jail time as well as a $2000 fine. (This is a class B misdemeanor). Many cities within the state though have applied for lesser penalties regarding the recreational use of cannabis. Perhaps an interesting step towards legalization in the future? We can only hope, right? 

DC, Guam & Puerto Rico 

While not technically states, these districts and overseas territories have some very interesting laws for both cannabis users and investors alike. D.C has the highest cannabis usage rate in the entire nation and it is currently legal to use cannabis recreationally. Overseas territories such as Guam and Puerto Rico also legalize the use of marijuana for recreation.


Another state where recreational cannabis use remains completely illegal. Possession of even a small amount of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor in Utah. However medicinal use was legalized back in November 2018. 

US Cannabis Laws – Summary

With regards to the nation as a whole, US Cannabis legalization remains a tricky subject. 

However breaking it down to a state level, makes things more simple. There are a few other states where Cannabis is legal, but to keep this list short and interesting, this is only scratching the surface. To summarize, here are the most weed-friendly US states for recreational use: 

  • California 
  • Alaska
  • New Jersey 
  • Oregon 
  • Colorado 
  • Nevada 

Be sure to read up further on the specific Cannabis laws in your state before using! 

If you need any help finding the best Cannabis businesses in your state, it’s what we do best and we’d love to help you. Please get in touch today. 

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