Legality of cannabis by U.S. jurisdiction
The use, possession, sale, cultivation, and transportation of cannabis is illegal under federal law in the United States. However, the federal government has articulated that if a state passes a law to decriminalize cannabis for recreational or medical use, they can do so, under the condition that a regulation system for cannabis is in place. Cannabis is listed as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the highest classification under the legislation. Part of the reason marijuana remains illegal at the federal level is because it is classified as a Schedule I drug. A Schedule I drug, as defined by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is a substance that has a high potential of being abused by its users and has no acceptable medical uses.
Individual state laws do not always conform to the federal standard. State-level proposals for the rescheduling of cannabis have met with mixed success. Currently, the use of both recreational and medicinal marijuana has been entirely legalized in the states of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. The cities of Portland and South Portland in Maine; as well as Keego Harbor, Michigan, have fully legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use. The District of Columbia has fully legalized recreational and medical marijuana, but recreational commercial sale is currently blocked by Congress. Twelve states have both medical marijuana and decriminalization laws. Ten states, Guam, and Puerto Rico have only legalized medical marijuana. Three states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have only decriminalized possession laws. The remaining twenty-two states and two inhabited territories state that marijuana possession and sales are illegal and prohibited entirely.
(1st-offense, personal use possession is a misdemeanor)
|felony||not clearly stated||illegal||First-time possession for personal use may be punished as a misdemeanor, but further personal possession, or intent to sell, can result in felony charges.|
|a||legal||medical and recreational use||legal to carry up to 1 oz. (28 grams)||legal to grow up to 24 plants for an individual, or commercially with a license||Legalized in Measure 2 on November 4, 2014.|
|d||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||In November 2010 Arizona legalized medical marijuana when the voters passed Proposition 203 with 50.13% of the vote.|
|e||misdemeanor||illegal||not clearly stated||illegal||Possession of amounts under 3 ounces is a criminal misdemeanor; the cities of Fayetteville and Eureka Springs have labeled cannabis the "lowest law enforcement priority".
The 2012 Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act failed to pass, as it gained only 48% of the vote.
|b||decriminalized (civil infraction)||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||
Main article: Cannabis in California
In July 1975, Governor Jerry Brown enacted Senate Bill 95, which reduced the penalty for possession of one ounce (28.5 grams) of cannabis or less to a citable misdemeanor.
|a||legal||medical and recreational use||legal to carry up to 1 oz. (28 grams)||legal to grow up to six plants for an individual, or commercially with a license||Colorado Amendment 64 legalized the sale and possession of marijuana for non-medical uses on November 6, 2012, including private cultivation of up to six marijuana plants, with no more than three being mature.|
|b||decriminalized (Legal for medical use only)||felony (Legal for medical use only)||felony (Legal for medical use only)||felony||Possession of less than one half ounce by persons 21 and over results in graduating scale of fines, and seizure of contraband. Under 21 face addition sanctions, to include temporary loss of license to drive.|
|b||decriminalized (civil infraction)||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||On Friday, February 10, 2012, Gov. Markell announced that he was suspending the medical marijuana program because his office received a letter from the Obama Justice Department alleging that its implementation would subject those licensed under the law, as well as public servants, to federal criminal prosecution.
On Friday, June 19, 2015, Gov. Markell signed a bill that makes the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to 100 $. On 31 August, 2016, Gov. Markell signed House Bill 400 into law, to expand medical cannabis programs for people with a terminal illness.
|e||misdemeanor (if 20 grams or less)||felony||Misdemeanor or Felony depending on amount found if more than 20 grams it is a Felony||felony||Conviction causes a driver's license suspension for a period of 1 year (as of July 1, 2014). Law (§381.986(c), Fla Stat. Compassionate use of low-THC cannabis) passed on Charlotte's Web.|
|d||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||Any conviction of a marijuana possession, sale, or cultivation offense results in suspension of driver's license. First-time offenders may be eligible for a conditional discharge under Section 16-13-2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.), which operates as a dismissal if certain conditions are met, such as the payment of a fine and community service. A measure to allow medical cannabis oil passed the House in February 2015. On April 16, 2015, the non-psychoactive form of Marijuana oli (CBD Oil, also known as "Charlotte's Web") was legalized for medical use in the state.|
|d||medical use only||medical use only||Against program rules.||medical use only||On June 15, 2000, Governor Benjamin Cayetano signed a bill legalizing medical marijuana. On July 14, 2015 the Governor of Hawaii David Ige signed a bill into law allowing medical cannabis dispensaries. On July 14, 2016 David Ige also signed into law expanding medical cannabis programs.|
|e||misdemeanor (85 grams/3 oz. or less)||felony||not clearly stated||felony||Personal use possession of 3 ounces or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000 if for. If the quantity possessed is more than 3 ounces but less than 1 pound, it is a felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.|
|b||decriminalized (civil infraction)||Misdemeanor (legal for medical use)||Misdemeanor (legal for medical use)||Misdemeanor (legal for medical use)||Illinois passed the Cannabis Control Act in 1978, which technically allows for medical marijuana. However, in order for it to become an actuality, action is required from two state departments—Human Services and the State Police—neither of which has taken action.
On August 1, 2013, Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill legalizing medical marijuana; the legislation took effect on January 1, 2014.
On July 29, 2016, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 2228 which decriminalized the possession of 10 grams or less to a civil infraction leading to no jail time and punishable by a maximum $200 fine.
|e||misdemeanor (Up to 6 months, $1000 Fine)||misdemeanor/felony||not clearly stated||illegal||
Main article: Cannabis in Indiana
|e||medical use only||felony||not clearly stated||felony||
Main article: Cannabis in Iowa
|e||misdemeanor||illegal||not clearly stated||illegal||
Main article: Cannabis in Kansas
|e||misdemeanor (less than 8 oz (230 g))||misdemeanor (less than 8 oz (230 g); first offense||not clearly stated||misdemeanor (less than 5 plants)||Written a ticket with a court date and then released for misdemeanor possession.|
|d||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||illegal||
Main article: Cannabis in Louisiana
|b||decriminalized (civil infraction) (legal in the cities of Portland and South Portland)||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||On November 2, 1999, Maine legalized medical marijuana when 62% of the populace voted yes on Question 2.
On May 1, 2009, Maine further decriminalized cannabis when Governor John Baldacci signed legislation (LD 250) which made possession of 2.5 ounces or less a civil infraction.
|b||decriminalized (10g or less)||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||*By statute, defendants who can prove medical necessity at trial face a maximum penalty of $100. Defendants in possession of an ounce or less of marijuana are permitted to raise an affirmative defense to the possession charge if they can prove they suffer from a specific debilitating medical condition.
On April 14, 2014, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed two pieces of cannabis reform legislation. SB 364 decriminalizes possession of 10 grams or less to a civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine for the first offense, a $250 fine for a second offense, and a $500 fine plus possible drug treatment for a third offense. HB 881 legalizes the possession, sale, and production of medical cannabis, and it authorizes the creation of a commission to license dispensaries, doctors, and patients to manage distribution. These two laws do not go into effect until October 1, 2014, prior to the effective date, possession of any amount of marijuana could still be charged and prosecuted.
|b||decriminalized (civil infraction)||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||On November 4, 2008, Massachusetts decriminalized cannabis when 63% of the populace voted yes on Question 2. The legislation defines possession of 1 ounce or less to be a civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine.
|d||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||*Under zero tolerance, users cannot operate a motor vehicle in possession ((a) Enclosed in a case that is carried in the trunk of the vehicle.
(b) Enclosed in a case that is not readily accessible from the interior of the vehicle, if the vehicle in which the person is traveling does not have a trunk.)or under the influence of a Schedule 1 narcotic. Marijuana is listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic.
|b||decriminalized||medical use only||medical use only||illegal||Possession of 42.5 grams or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $200 for personal use. The distribution of 42.5 grams or less without remuneration is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $200. Smoking plant material is still illegal. Only legal to vapor, oil, and pill form for medical purposes. In 2013, the Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed the Minnesota Medical Marijuana Act into law. This law creates a patient registry under the Department of Health relating to the therapeutic use of medical cannabis. It authorizes the use of medical cannabis in limited forms for certain qualifying medical conditions and regulates the distribution and manufacture of medical cannabis. It also creates a task force to conduct an impact assessment on medical cannabis therapeutic research and provides for certain criminal and civil protections for parties involved in the registry program. This passed the House 89–40 and the Senate 46–16.|
|c||decriminalized (first offense; 30 grams or less)||illegal||not clearly stated||illegal||As a first offense, possession of 30 grams or less carries up to a $250 fine. If valid proof of identity and a signed written pledge to appear in court is provided by the offender, an arrest is not performed and civil summons is issued instead. The University of Mississippi reportedly also has a small-scale, federally-approved medicinal cannabis cultivation program, though cannabis is not legal for such purposes in the state itself.|
|e||misdemeanor||felony||not clearly stated||illegal||Possession of less than 35 grams is a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.
Possession of 35 grams- 30 kilograms is a Class C felony which is punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. Possession of 30-100 kilograms is considered trafficking and is a Class B felony punishable by a sentence of 5–15 years and a fine of $5,000-$20,000. Possession of more than 100 kilograms is considered trafficking and is a Class A felony punishable by 10 years-life imprisonment and fine of $5,000-$20,000.
|d||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||Personal use possession of 60 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and a fine of $100 – $500. A second offense is punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000. Possession of more than 60 grams is a felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $50,000. Possession of any amount of marijuana with intent to distribute is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $50,000.|
|c||decriminalized (first offense only)||illegal||not clearly stated||illegal||Possession of up to one ounce of cannabis is treated as a civil infraction for the first offense, and as a misdemeanor for the second and third offenses. A fine of up to $300 may be issued for the first offense, along with potential court-mandated drug education courses. A second offense is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to five days' jail time, and a third offense carries up to a $500 fine and a maximum of one week in jail.|
|b||decriminalized for adults 21 years and over; misdemeanor for persons under age 21||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||On November 7, 2000, Nevada legalized medical marijuana when 65% of the populace voted yes on Question 9.|
|d||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||On July 23, 2013, New Hampshire legalized medical marijuana when Governor Maggie Hassan signed HB 573. On July 11, 2015 Governor Maggie Hassan signs a law that expands the medical marijuana law.|
|d||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||illegal||On January 18, 2010, New Jersey legalized medical marijuana when Governor Jon Corzine signed the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. Maximum sentencing of 1 year in prison as a misdemeanor and a 1,000 dollar fine for possession of up to 50 grams. On September 19, 2016 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a measure expanding the state’s medical marijuana law, further nullifying federal prohibition in practice. A coalition of representatives introduced Assembly Bill 457 (A457) in January. The new law adds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify a patient to receive medical marijuana under the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. The Assembly passed A457 on June 16 by a 56-7 vote. After substituting the assembly bill for a Senate version, the Senate passed the measure 28-9 on Aug. 1. Gov. Christie’s signature, the provision went into immediate effect.|
|d||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||In April 2007, New Mexico legalized medical marijuana when Governor Bill Richardson signed Senate Bill 523.|
|b||decriminalized (unless open to public view)||misdemeanor (25 g or less)||not clearly stated||misdemeanor||On July 14, 2014, New York legalized medical marijuana when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act into law. The legislation only allows patients to ingest cannabis using edibles, oils, pills, or vaporization, and does not allow smoking of the plant material.|
|c||decriminalized (.5 oz or less)||Felony, except for non-psychoactive hemp and non-psychoactive cannabinoids, which are now legal.||Illegal and subject to Possession/Sale punishments, except for non-psychoactive hemp and non-psychoactive cannabinoids, which are now legal.||Hemp has been legalized, however, one must procure seeds from the state along with proper licensing, and only very low THC (less than 1%) is allowed to be legally grown. Cannabidiol and non-psychoactive cannabinoids are essentially legal. Hemp edibles are now a common sight in health food stores, such as hemp burgers, hemp oil and hemp seed extract. CBD oil is legal to purchase and use, and is being investigated by researchers across the state for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.||Bills introduced to decriminalize and allow expungement of 0.5 oz (14 g) and below, currently remains a Misdemeanor with no jail time and a max of a $200 fine. 0.5 oz (14 g) to 1.5 oz (43 g) is a misdemeanor with 1–45 days of jail and a max of $1000 fine. 1.5 oz (43 g) to 10 lb (4.5 kg) is a felony with 3–8 months of jail and a max of $1000 fine. 10 lb (4.5 kg) and up is generally considered intent to sell which holds greater jail time and fines maxing at 14.5–18 years jail time and $100,000 in fines. Intent to sell also holds stricter consequences than possession and is a felony no matter the weight (weight determines punishment severity). A Medical Marijuana bill was introduced in May, 2014, but was killed by the House Committee in March, 2015. Additionally, the House Committee issued an "unfavorable report", which blocks the House from considering bills with Medical Marijuana components for the next 2 years. Non-psychoactive cannabis has essentially become legalized, but special seeds of very specific low THC strains (industrial hemp) and licensing must be purchased from the state. In July 2015, the Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory signed a bill into law that allows the use of a marijuana extract for treating children with severe epilepsy.|
|e||misdemeanor||illegal||not clearly stated||illegal||
Main article: Cannabis in North Dakota
|b||decriminalized (civil infraction)||medical use only||not clearly stated||illegal||On June 8, 2016, Governor John Kasich signed legislation legalizing marijuana for medical use.|
|e||medical use only||illegal||not clearly stated||illegal||DUI penalties pursuant to H.B. 1441, effective October 1, 2013, a person will be jailed for no less than 10 days or more than 1 year if: A person "has any amount of a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance, as defined in Section 2-204 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or one of its metabolites or analogs in the person’s blood, saliva, urine or any other bodily fluid at the time of a test of such person's blood, saliva, urine or any other bodily fluid administered within two (2) hours after the arrest of such person." A second offense will have longer sentencing as well as require an ignition interlock device that can only detect alcohol even if person is not a user of alcohol.
New penalties for possession or making of hashish, a grinder, or brownies may include life imprisonment were enacted in 2011.  On April 30, 2015 governor Mary Fallin signed a bill legalizing cannabis oils for children with epilepsy.
|a||legal||medical and recreational use||medical use only; by July 1, 2015: legal transport of up to 1 oz.; by January 1, 2016: legal transport of larger amounts by marijuana cultivators||medical use only; by July 1, 2015: legal cultivation by adults 21+ of up to 4 plants per household||Oregon voters approved Measure 91 on November 4, 2014, providing for regulated legal possession and sale of set amounts of cannabis. Further cannabis reforms were signed into law on July 1, 2015 by Oregon Democratic Governor Kate Brown. More medical cannabis reforms were signed into law on July 28, 2015 by Governor Brown. To become effective from October 1, 2015. On top of all the cannabis law reforms in Oregon, Governor Brown also signed a bill that sets a cannabis sales tax at 25 percent.|
|e||medical use only||illegal||illegal||illegal||
For medical use only. Signed by Governor Wolf on April 17, 2016. Possession of 30g or less is a misdemeanor resulting in up to 30 days incarceration and a fine of up to $500. Possession of more than 30g is a misdemeanor netting up to a year in jail and a $5000 fine.
|b||decriminalized (civil violation)||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||Possession of an ounce or less is a civil violation with a $150 fine, three violations within 18 months is a misdemeanor with larger fines and/or prison.|
|e||misdemeanor||illegal||not clearly stated||illegal||First-time possession offenders can complete one year of probation instead of following conventional criminal procedure.|
|e||misdemeanor||illegal||not clearly stated||illegal||Personal use possession of 2 oz or less is a Class 1 misdemeanor which is punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,000.|
|e||medical use only; misdemeanor* (less than 1/2 ounce; first or second offense only); except for cannabis oil for the purposes of treating seizures or epilepsy authorized by the physician||felony||not clearly stated||misdemeanor: 9 plants or less; felony: 10+ plants||First-time possession offenders can complete one year of supervised probation instead of criminal penalty of one year incarceration; *Possession of 1/2 ounce or more is automatic felony charge: possession for resale. Cannabis oil possession, as of Monday, May 4, 2015, is allowed, due to newly signed legislation, if a person is suffering seizures or epilepsy and has the recommendation of their doctor.|
|e||medical use only; decriminalized in Houston and Dallas||felony||not clearly stated||illegal||"Both the current leadership and candidates for prominent political offices are increasingly calling for marijuana policy reform in the Lone Star State--In Texas, a conviction for possession of up to two ounces of marijuana can result in a jail sentence of up to six months and a fine of up to $2,000.".|
|e||misdemeanor||felony||not clearly stated||illegal||House bill 105 was introduced by Representative Gage Froerer (R) and has been passed and signed by the governor. This bill would excuse anyone who was in possession of hemp extract. Hemp extract means an extract from a cannabis plant, or a mixture or preparation containing cannabis plant material, that is composed of less than .3% of THC by weight.
Possession of less than an ounce can result in a 6-month incarceration and a maximum fine of $1,000. Any amount over 10 ounces can result in a $10,000 fine. Selling of any amount is a felony and will result with 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
|b||decriminalized (civil infraction)||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||On May 19, 2004, Vermont legalized medical marijuana when Governor James Douglas announced he would allow Senate Bill 76 to pass without his signature. The law was further expanded in June 2007 when Senate Bill 7 passed without Governor Douglas' signature once again.
On June 6, 2013, Governor Peter Shumlin signed legislation (HB200) which decriminalized the possession of 1 ounce or less to a civil infraction. In early 2016, a bill is currently being proposed to end prohibition of cannabis and legalize recreational cannabis in the state.
|e||misdemeanor||illegal||not clearly stated||illegal||A first offense is an "Unclassified Misdemeanor", meaning the maximum penalty is 30 days in jail and a $500 fine (or both), and loss of driving privileges. A subsequent offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of 12 months in confinement and a $2,500 fine (or both), plus loss of driving privileges. A first-offense will qualify for a deferred disposition resulting in dismissal. This option requires a drug assessment, classes, community service, and loss of driving privileges for six months. The first-offender program is controversial according to some Virginia criminal defense attorneys and advocates for young men and women in the Commonwealth, primarily because it does not allow the defendant to qualify for expungement, and as a result, remains on the individual's record for life.|
|a||legal||medical and recreational use||legal||legal with restrictions and licensing||Marijuana was legalized by Washington Initiative 502 in 2012. The law requires state licenses from all sellers, distributors and producers of Marijuana, and permits anyone over 21 to carry one ounce. The state allows licensed growers to cultivate marijuana, but does not permit personal growing in one's home except for medical use.|
|e||misdemeanor||felony||not clearly stated||illegal||"Creates the "Compassionate Use Act for Medical Cannabis; providing for protections for the medical use of cannabis..."" |
|e||medical use only; misdemeanor on first offense, felony on subsequent offenses||felony||"An Assembly bill allows qualifying patients to possess 12 marijuana plants and three ounces of marijuana leaves or flowers." ||felony||A first offense for possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months. A second offense is a Class I felony and is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 3.5 years.|
|e||misdemeanor||illegal||not clearly stated||illegal||"Being under the influence of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 90 days imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100.
Possession of three ounces or less is a misdemeanor that is punishable by a maximum of 1 year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1000." 
By Federal district
|b||legal||medical use only; no provision for commercial sale||legal to carry up to 2 oz. (57 grams)||legal to grow up to six plants (only three mature at a time) for recreational purposes; no provision for commercial recreational cultivation||In 1998, Initiative 59 was voted in to allow medical marijuana, but its effecting was blocked by Congress until 2009.
In 2014, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signed a bill that decriminalized possession of up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana in the U.S. capital for persons 18 years of age or older. The law made possession a civil violation with a penalty of $25, lower than most city parking tickets.
On 4 November 2014, D.C. voted by ballot Initiative 71 to legalize marijuana possession and cultivation for personal recreational use (commercial production and sale not permitted); the law went into effect 26 February 2015 following 30 days of Congressional review.
|e||illegal||illegal||illegal||illegal||In 1999, the Territory established a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence for possession of any amount of any illegal drug, to explicitly include marijuana, even when medically prescribed in another jurisdiction.|
|d||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||Residents passed a ballot measure on 4 November 2014 that allows cannabis for medical use only.|
|e||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||medical use only||On May 4, 2015, the governor of Puerto Rico signed an executive order legalizing medicinal marijuana in the U.S territory.|
By Indian reservations
|Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe||b||legal||Legal sales to commence 1 January 2016||One single licensed grow site for the nation||In summer 2015, the tribal authorities voted 5–1 to legalize recreational cannabis, making them the first reservation to do so following the 2013 Cole Memorandum.|
- Legal history of cannabis in the United States
- Timeline of cannabis legalization in the United States
- Illegal drug trade
- Legal and medical status of cannabis
- Legality of cannabis
- Legality of cannabis by country
- Legal status of psilocybin mushrooms
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