50 States, So Where is Cannabis Legal in the United States?Many citizens started realizing the benefits of marijuana in the early 1990s instead of continuing to see it in the bad light often enforced by the federal government. The fact of “Cannabis Legal?”, a common reference, has started becoming a normal topic in conversation.

In 1996, use of medical marijuana in California was legalized. It brought hope to many other Americans who hoped to one day use this beneficial substance without fearing prosecution.

This created momentum for the cause. Thanks to a lot of citizen support and lobbying, in the decades since the marijuana laws in California changed, we’ve seen many changes of marijuana laws by state governors. Although it’s not legal in all states, many now allow for marijuana sales and use, for both medicinal and recreational purposes.

However, trying to comprehend marijuana laws by state can be confusing because they change regularly. Also, the details of laws differ, even between states that have legalized the substance. Our summary of marijuana laws by state clarifies where you can legally use cannabis and which actions exactly each state finds acceptable. Use it to act within your rights and prevent accidentally overstepping guidelines when traveling.

Take note, despite marijuana laws by state showing that usage and sales are legal in a certain state, federal laws still view it as an illegal substance. Therefore, rather don’t travel with it, especially when crossing state lines.

Cannabis Legal: Medicinal Use Only


Although legal for medicinal use, you can’t use marijuana recreationally.


You can use marijuana legally for medicinal purposes, if you’re older than 18 and purchase from registered retailers. Legalization of recreational use was rejected in 2022.


You can use marijuana for medicinal, but not recreational, purposes.


There are some allowances for medicinal use, but you can’t use marijuana recreationally.


You can legally use it for medicinal purposes. Having small amounts have been decriminalized, but general possession for recreational purposes is still illegal.


Certain medical cannabis products have been legalized but general use has not been decriminalized.


You can obtain medical marijuana, so yes, cannabis legal, in a way.


You can’t legally smoke marijuana for recreational purposes, though medical marijuana use is allowed, as well as some low THC hemp products.

North Dakota

You can use marijuana for medicinal purposes, but not recreationally.


Registered patients can use medicinal marijuana products but recreational use is illegal.


Medical marijuana use is acceptable, but recreational use is illegal. There may be a vote on the topic in 2023.


Only medical marijuana is legal.

South Dakota

Marijuana is only legal if used for medicinal purposes.


You can use cannabis for medical purposes in Texas but recreational marijuana use isn’t legal.


Only medical marijuana use is acceptable.

West Virginia

You can use marijuana for medical purposes, but not for recreation.


Marijuana use for recreational purposes has not been decriminalized.

Cannabis Legal: Medicinal and Recreational Use


The state doesn’t allow public consumption, but you can buy up to 1oz from licensed parties. Regarding cultivation:

–        6 plants/person

–        Only 3 plants may be mature


You’re not allowed to smoke marijuana in public but can possess and use it if you’re over 21.


If you’re older than 21 you can legally have 1 oz or less, but you can’t use it in public.


Public use is illegal but you can grow up to six plants and be in possession of 1 oz maximum. Selling marijuana is legal if you have a license.


Cannabis legal, yes, but note these guidelines:

–        Must be 21 or older

–        Can possess 1.5oz in public

–        May possess 5oz at home or in a vehicle


Public consumption is illegal and there are restrictions for non-residents. Locals can possess 1oz if you’re over 21.


There’s a regulated retail market. Individuals older than 21 can use or possess a maximum of 2.5oz, or cultivate 6 plants (12 if they’re immature).


Approval was given to legalize marijuana, with changes taking effect in 2023. Next year, Cannabis Legal, Yes!


You can legally purchase from licensed outlets and possess 1oz in public, or a maximum of 10 oz in private. Cultivating 12 plants or less per household is legal.


If you’re older than 21 you can grow plants (max 12 plants/household) and carry up to 2.5oz.


Personal marijuana use has been decriminalized but there are strict guidelines regarding possession and use. You can use it for medicinal purposes.


It’s legal for medical use but will become available for recreational use towards the end of 2022.


Adults over 21 can legally possess and use cannabis, although amounts are limited.


Adults older than 21 can possess a maximum of 1 oz and grow 6 plants, but no public use is allowed. 

New Hampshire

Having small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized but you can be fined for possession or use of more than ¾oz.

New Jersey

It’s legal to possess and use marijuana if you’re 21 or older. So, Cannabis Legal.

New Mexico

You can grow 12 plants per household or purchase from licensed outlets. In public you can possess up to 2 oz.

New York

Residents older than 21 can carry a maximum of 3 oz recreationally.


No use of marijuana in public but you can possess up to 8 oz if you’re 21 or older. You can legally grow 4 cannabis plants.

Rhode Island

Retail framework is in process, but you can grow up to 3 plants privately and carry up to 1oz if you’re 21 or older.


Growing and possessing is legal, but selling isn’t permitted, although these laws are being amended.


You can grow up to 4 plants and possess 1oz maximum for recreational use. There’s no retail licensing framework yet.


Individuals older than 21 may purchase marijuana, but only from licensed outlets. Restrictions:

–        Can’t consume in public

–        Cultivation at home is illegal

–        May only buy and possess 1 oz or less

 States Where Marijuana Use is Still Illegal


Possession of small amounts have been decriminalized, but usage is still illegal.


Marijuana use hasn’t been decriminalized and you can’t use it for either recreational or medicinal purposes.


You can’t legally use marijuana, but some products with low THC levels are approved.


Use of marijuana is illegal.


Certain products, such as CBD oil, are allowed, but general marijuana use is illegal.


It’s illegal to use marijuana recreationally and for medicinal purposes.

North Carolina

State laws prohibit the use of marijuana.

South Carolina

Both medicinal and recreational use of marijuana is prohibited.


It’s illegal to use marijuana, although low THC level products are acceptable.


Both medicinal and recreational use of marijuana as illegal.

Legal Cannabis – A Conclusion

Note that this list of cannabis legal laws by state is relevant as of end 2022. To confirm updates to laws in your area you can research state statutes or ask the community by leaving a question in the comments section.