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Did you know that 1 in 3 Americans live in a state where recreational marijuana use is legal? There are now about 109 million Americans living in areas where adults can use cannabis legally. The popularity of marijuana among American adults is gaining traction. According to recent surveys, more than 45% of adults in the United States have used weed once. A different survey discovered that 1 in 8 adults are avid marijuana users. These numbers prove the prevalence of cannabis use has doubled over the past few years. Just 10 years ago, marijuana was illegal across the United States. Today the plant is legal for medicinal purposes in 36 states and completely legal in 15.
During the 2020 election New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, and Montana became the newest states to legalize marijuana. This addition raised the total number of states with recreational cannabis use from 11 to 15. Though they are the most recent states to join the cannabis industry, there are other notable states and territories on the ever growing list.
Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana in 2012. Since its legalization 8 years ago, the government has made over $7.79 billion in cannabis sales.
Medical and recreational use of marijuana is legal in Massachusetts. The Pilgrim State approved the adult use of the plant for “fun” in November 2012.
Alaska was the second state to decriminalize cannabis in 1971. In 1998 the state legalized medical cannabis use for qualifying individuals, although there was no legal way of purchasing the plant. It wasn’t until 2014 that the government approved the regulation, production, and sale of cannabis, as well as recreational cannabis use. A year later, the Marijuana Control Board (MCB) was created to regulate and govern recreational cannabis use.
The use of weed for medical and adult-use purposes is legal in Washington, D.C. To purchase medical marijuana a patient must be registered and referred by a healthcare professional.
In Oregon, medical marijuana has been legal since 1998. Six years ago in 2014, the state made recreational adult-use (21 and older) cannabis legal.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Washington for over 20 years since 1998. It wasn’t until 2015 that its citizens legalized recreational cannabis.
California was the first state to pass the medical use of marijuana in 1996. On November 8, 2016, adults 21 and older were legally allowed to consume weed for recreational purposes.
Four years ago, in 2016, citizens in Maine voted to approve the possession, consumption, and cultivation of marijuana for personal use. However, the state was already allowing adults to consume weed for medical purposes since 1999.
Recreational and medical use of marijuana is legal in Nevada since 2016.
The medical and adult use of marijuana is legal in the U.S. territory. Guam passed a law in 2019 which legalized the plant.
Since 2018, the use of cannabis for adult or medical purposes has been approved by the state. Michigan was the first midwestern state to do so.
A week ago, New Jersey became the first state in the mid-Atlantic region to legalize marijuana. The New Jersey legislature is now tasked with setting up rules and regulations for the consumer marketplace.
Vermont is one of the many states that approved the recreational use of marijuana in 2020. Although cannabis sales are not operational, the use of both medical and recreational weed is legal.
In 2020 Arizona finally legalized recreational marijuana after failing to in 2016. Regulations are being created, so it is too soon to know when it will be legal to possess weed or sell it.
Montana legalized weed in the 2020 election and set the adult-use age to 21. Recreational sales will begin in 2022, but possession and legal use can start in 2021.
South Dakota is the first state ever to legalize medical and recreational cannabis at the same time. In the 2020 presidential ballot, marijuana was legalized for medical and recreational use starting on July 1, 2021. However, the development of rules and regulations will continue until April 1, 2022.
The ever-growing popularity of marijuana is helping change the United States’ perception of the plant and is set to continue. The growing trend is helping decriminalize cannabis changing its view from dangerous risk to a natural remedy. As the legalization of marijuana continues to gain traction, it is no doubt that a shift in attitude towards the drug’s use will occur.
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