Keeping you on the right side of the law

Marijuana State Laws

We smoke, not sell

Alabama

Alabama is a long way from legalization, so you might want to find a different locale if you’re trying to sit down for a nice smoke sesh. Many are skeptical that recreational activity will be accepted, considering the culture of Alabama and the deep south. As a part of the Bible Belt, Alabama is known for being conservative in social and other issues, which may delay their progress towards legalization. In the meantime, be informed and safe. An extra tip: the state will suspend your driver’s license for 6 months for any conviction regarding marijuana.

Alaska

It might be a long flight, but it will be worth it for this weed-legalized state. Alaska has been pot friendly since 1975, when personal privacy protection allowed for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. In February 2015, laws allowed for a system of exchange and production, effectively legalizing recreational marijuana. Don’t get too crazy, though. There are limitations to the state’s generosity. You can only hold less than an oz, and you can only grow up to 6 plants (only 3 can be mature). But within those limitations, and with reasonable constraint, go have fun.

Arizona

If you’re trying to smoke on the edge of the Grand Canyon, feet dangling with a cold bottle of water, I hope your wallet is heavy. Possessing any amount (or doing anything else for that matter) without a doctor’s note has a maximum fine of $150,000. The legalization of recreational weed was defeated 51.32% to 48.68%, a small margin that could change in the next generation. That said, we do not advise smoking in this state without visiting your doctor and getting a prescription.

Arkansas

Arkansas is evidence that the whole country is changing. Legalizing medical marijuana in a 53.2% to 46.8% vote, the state is the first in the Bible Belt to show movement towards legalization. But be careful. Without a medical card, anything under 4 oz can lead to a misdemeanor, a possible year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.

California

California is synonymous with legalized marijuana for good reason. It was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 (followed by Alaska, Oregon and Washington), and just legalized recreational weed in 2016. You may imagine sun soaked parties with wisps of smoke hanging over everybody’s heads, but don’t get too excited. There are limits. No loitering before you smoke, or it’s a misdemeanor. Do anything involving a minor, and you could have a felony with up to 3 – 7 years in prison. So stay inside and keep the kids out of it, and you’re free for a stressless smoke sesh.

Colorado

We might know Colorado to be the first (alongside Washington) state to legalize recreational marijuana, but Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper warns, “Federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly.” It might be too late for that, but the sentiment stays: don’t get too excited. But we do encourage finding a nice spot in the mountains to cross your legs and enjoy some recreation before the big, bad, Federal Government gets in our way.

Connecticut 

Connecticut has decriminalized the possession of less than a half ounce of weed (we probably shouldn’t be carrying that much around, anyways), and in 2012, medical marijuana was legalized in a 61% to 38% vote. That means this state is well on its way. But, recreational marijuana is not legal, so don’t start lighting up in the constitution state. For now.

Deleware 

Delaware is delightfully decriminalized. You can have up to an ounce without any threat of incarceration, with a maximum fine of $100. That sounds like a good deal to me. It doesn’t end there. A new house bill, the Delaware Marijuana Control Act, is putting legalization on the table. We’ll keep you updated on that.

District of Columbia 

Get excited about this one. Recreational weed is legal, voted in in 2014. But your fantasies of smoking in the Mall are misguided. Unfortunately, the law does not affect federal property, leaving large portions of D.C. in the shadow of restrictions. Off of federal land, you’re free to possess up to 2 ounces and grow up to six plants (only 3 can be mature) for your personal use. But don’t get too crazy. You can still get 180 days in prison for possessing hash or concentrates. Good old fashioned herb is best for this state.

Florida 

Marijuana laws in Florida are less than cut and dry, but that’s because it’s in flux, changing regulations for the prescription and obtaining of medical marijuana. As the first state to legalize in Southeast-America, Florida has stood as a beacon of hope for universal legalization. Be aware: this state has mandatory minimums, so be prepared to lose 3 – 15 years of your life for carrying 25 – 2000 lbs (you shouldn’t be carrying this much, anyways). But if you’re unfortunate enough to have cancer, epilepsy, PTSD or a number of other debilitating conditions, Florida’s beaches and medical dispensaries might be calling out to you.

Georgia 

This is by no means a weed-friendly state. Recent laws have allowed for small amounts of cannabis oil to be used for eligible patients, but all things recreational are strictly forbidden. Possessing any more than an ounce is a felony with a mandatory minimum of 1 – 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Add to that, every violation besides possessing less than one ounce has a mandatory minimum. Avoid jail time, and smoke elsewhere.

Hawaii 

A bowl on the beach? That would be nice, right? Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Hawaii, while decriminalized, does not allow for recreational marijuana. However, as of 2000, if you qualify under a list of conditions, you can grow up to seven plants without trouble. Only recently has a system been in place for licenses and dispensaries, despite the marijuana-friendly culture found in Hawaii. Some are surprised it’s taken so long to legalize in this state, home of the famous strain Maui Wowie. Hopefully, change is soon to come.

Idaho

Yet to legalize even medicinal marijuana, Idaho’s mandatory minimum sentences makes it a particularly unfriendly state. Apparently, its neighbor, Washington, hasn’t been a strong influence on it. Canna Law Group ranks Idaho as the third least marijuana friendly state (behind and South Dakota and Oklahoma). Maybe skip this stop on your next road trip; Washington is just to the West.

Illinois

Illinois is far on its way to embracing marijuana. Medical usage was legalized in 2013, and as it stands, possessing 10 g or less will not lead to jail time. They’re the 21st state to decriminalize marijuana, but they fall behind their own flagship city. Chicago decriminalized cannabis four years earlier. But the momentum is there. Hopefully in the next few years, we’ll see change building, and then we’ll all try deep dish as a munchie.

Indiana

This shouldn’t be your first stop if you’re planning some weed-driven travel (don’t drive high), but in the future, it could be. As of now, neither medical nor recreational marijuana is legal in the state, but state lawmakers have hinted at the legalization of medical marijuana or the decriminalization of the drug. Be especially careful if you are trying to travel. Possession, sale or distribution convictions could result in your driver’s license being suspended.

Iowa

Unless you are a very particular kind of person, smoking in this state is a no-go. While it is one of the few states who have legalized the use of cannabidiol (a non-psychoactive extract from marijuana), it is only available to patients with intractable epilepsy. For everyone else, marijuana is illegal with 6 months incarceration for your first offense, no matter how much or little you’re carrying. Stay on guard in this state, and wait to light up until you get to the coast.

Kansas

You would not call Kansas friendly, but at least the most prison time you’ll receive for possessing any amount is 6 months. Medically, they don’t acknowledge any health benefits the plant can give, making them one of few states still denying the evidence. There have been a number of bills proposing the legalization of low-THC cannabis products for patients, including one that could pass in 2017. We’ll hope for you, Kansas.

Kentucky

You would think that Kentucky would be friendlier, considering it’s one of five US states with a cannabis crop estimated to be worth over $1 billion annually. However, all forms of marijuana are illegal in this state. Possessing more than 8 oz, for example, is assumed to be intent to distribute, and starts at 1 – 5 years in prison and a $10,000 maximum fine. That’s harsh. So to be safe, it’s generally a good rule to avoid the Bible Belt – and if you really want to be safe, stay on the west coast.

Louisiana

While there is a system in place for medical marijuana in this state, it is still in its developing stages. It has a number of flaws in their system, like neglecting patients with severe, chronic pain and putting prescribing doctors at risk under federal law. You should also be aware of mandatory minimums for any degree of distribution or cultivation, or in possessing more than 2.5 lbs (you shouldn’t be possessing more than 2.5 lbs). So while you can’t take a hit, you can hop down to New Orleans, and that’s all the high you should need.

Maine

Do you live in the Northeast and can’t swing a road trip to Colorado? Good news. Maine has joined the exclusive list of states with legalized recreational marijuana. It’s one of two states (plus, the District of Columbia) in the Eastern half of the country to legalize recreational use. So if you ever fantasized about finding the easternmost point of the country and getting high, happy days. All you need is a ride, a bowl and some bud (or however you like to ingest your weed).

Maryland

Maryland, while prohibiting recreational marijuana, legalized medical cannabis in 2014. However, the state has some serious restrictions. There is a maximum of 15 licensed cultivators in the state, and it’s illegal for patients to grow their own weed. However, 54% of residents approve of legalizing and regulating marijuana, which means a push is expected to move the state towards legalization, or at least to amend the disfunction of their medical system.

Massachusetts 

This is always cause to celebrate: weed is legal here. Recreationally and medically, cannabis is embraced by this state (one of three, including the District of Columbia, in the Eastern United States). You can possess up to an ounce for personal use, while more than that can result in a misdemeanor, 6 months – 2 years in prison and a maximum fine of $500 – $2,000. Cultivation of up to 6 plants is also legalized, so if you’re looking for a nice place to move, Beantown offers history, beauty and bud – the key three.

Michigan

Michigan has medical marijuana laws in place, allowing patients with debilitating disabilities to receive needed care. However, laws regarding recreational consumption are not as forgiving. Possessing any amount could get you a year in prison and $2,000 fine, and if you’re the type to enjoy a nice spliff in the grass, possession in a park can lead to a Felony and 2 years in prison. So as much as we love it (and this is the case in most places), smoking in public spaces will have to wait for another day.

Minnesota 

Minnesota provides medical marijuana for certain eligible parties as of 2014. The state has also decriminalized possession and/or sale of 42.6 grams or less, but your bud could still garner a misdemeanor charge and a max fine of $200 — perhaps even a mandatory drug education course. If you’re driving, be sure to lock up your flower in the trunk of your car. If you’re caught driving with more than 1.4 grams of bud in the cabin, you could face up to 90 days in jail and a larger fine of up to $1,000. Go above that ounce and a half and you could face a felony charge which carries a possible five year prison sentence and $5,000 fine.

Mississippi

The Magnolia State isn’t exactly weed “friendly,” but they’ve taken strides in decriminalization. 30 grams or less carries a max fine of $250 for your first offense, but a second offense carries a minimum sentence of 5 days imprisonment and another $250. Sale in any amount is a serious felony in Mississippi: anything up to 30 grams carries a maximum sentence of 3 years and a $3,000 fine, but go over that, and you could face from 5 to 30 years in prison. Distribute to a minor or within 1,500 feet of a school or church and watch the sentence and fine double. Despite this, in 2014, House Bill 1231 legalized “processed cannabis, plant extract, oil or resin” for those with debilitating conditions or illnesses. The state is even home to one of the United State’s legal marijuana farms and research centers. Strict laws, but the future is certainly looking up.

Missouri 

This year, Kansas City voted to reduce penalties for small amounts of marijuana – 75% in favor. But you’re not completely in the clear. This state has deregulated possessing less than 10 grams, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get stuck with a $500 fine. But don’t be holding your breath for medical marijuana or legalization. No bills have been proposed this season. Maybe next time.

Montana 

Montana has had a long history with medical marijuana – a complicated one. But recently, there have been some updates, establishing regulations for medical businesses and including protection for workers. However, recreational laws are still strict. 60 g or less (a little over 2 ounces) can lead to 6 months in prison and a $500 fine. So there’s reason to celebrate, but we shouldn’t get carried away. There’s much more progress to come.

Nebraska 

Nebraska is friendly in that it has flirted with the idea of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, and that it has decriminalized possessing one ounce or less. While we never recommend selling, you should know that any amount has a mandatory minimum of 1 year; 3 years for a subsequent offense. So feel safe with your eighth at home, but keep your paraphernalia hidden. It can lead you to a $100 fine.

Nevada

In 2016, recreational marijuana was legalized for adults 21 years and older, establishing taxes and regulations that will oversee the distribution and consumption of weed. For now, an early start system is in place, allowing licenses to be issued in July 2017. A full sales system will be in place in January 2018. The early start system isn’t for the sake of smoking enthusiasts. It’s to fulfill the Governor’s budget proposal, assuming the state will make $70 million from marijuana sales in the next two years. Whatever the reason, we’ll happily benefit from your goals, Gov. Sandoval.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire has made the first step towards recreational legalization and regulation. This year (2017), laws were changed to reduce penalties for the possession of 300 mg of THC (roughly the equivalent of 3/4ths of an ounce), so long as it’s sold legally (in a legal state) in properly labeled, child-proof containers. So if you’re up to a regular road trip, New Hampshire might be the place for you.

New Jersey

Good news. Gov. Chris Christie is moving out, and his promise of a veto on marijuana legalization efforts seems to be all that stood in the state’s way. Gov. Christie recently said, “You’re d*%n right I’m the only impediment [to legalizing marijuana]. And I am going to remain the only impediment until January of 2018.” However, the New Jersey Assembly showed support for regulation on both sides of the aisle, with a 58% approval rating for new legislation. The goal is to change the legislation as soon as Gov. Christie is out.

New Mexico

No laws to legalize recreational marijuana have been passed, but that’s not a reason to be disheartened. Attempts have been made, and a poll found that 2/3rds of the state support taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol. For now, medical marijuana is legal, but possessing less than an ounce can lead to 15 days – 1 year in prison and $100 – $1,000 fines. All we’re saying is be careful, and get yourself a medical card.

New York

There are two good things about this state (if we’re not including pizza). The possession of small amounts of weed for the first and second offense is decriminalized, and medical marijuana is legal. That’s not to say it’s easy to get weed. Medical restrictions are very limiting, and the laws themselves require some kind of translation. It’s suggested that you find an expert attorney if you’re faced with any violations. That said, we don’t encourage violations. Boston’s just a bus ride away.

North Carolina

In February of 2017, a bill was introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly in the hopes of legalizing medicinal marijuana. It’s unfortunate that weed is still considered a Schedule VI substance, and that less than half an ounce can land you with a misdemeanor. Additionally, possession with the intent to distribute might garner a felony charge. So be careful if you find yourself with some genuine Tar Heel bud grown in the Blue Ridge Mountains, because this Red State has a ways to go before decriminalization or legalization.

North Dakota

64% of the state voted for a bill that was signed in 2017 to establish a medical marijuana practice in this state, but don’t start moving yet. It could be another year until the system is up and running. In the meantime, even possessing less than an ounce could get you 30 days in prison and a $1,500 fine. Selling any amount is a felony with a mandatory minimum of 3 – 10 years in jail and a maximum fine of $20,000, so don’t mess around. Also, don’t sell. It’s a bad call anywhere.

Ohio

Aside from some mandatory minimums for more severe cases, Ohio is a fairly weed-friendly state. Medical marijuana was established in 2016, and the possession of anything under 100 g of weed is decriminalized, with a maximum fine of $150. However, if you’re ridiculous enough to have more than 20,000 grams, there’s a mandatory minimum of 5 years, and a minimum of 8 years for more than 40,000 g. We here at WeedLush don’t know why you would have that much anyway.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma law is cut and dry, but not very friendly. Any possession, first or subsequent offense, results in a misdemeanor with 1 year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. The same goes for possession of paraphernalia and hash. All forms of distribution could land you with life in prison, even less than 25 lbs. The state hasn’t been receptive to any marijuana-related bills, so we shouldn’t be holding our breath for progress. The good news is, it’s a short drive to Colorado.

Oregon 

This state has been an ally to marijuana lovers since 1973, when it was the first state to decriminalize weed. Today, recreational marijuana is legal to residents over the age of 21. Their medical marijuana system even allows out of state residents to get a Medical Card, even without an Oregon ID. This card works in dispensaries in Michigan, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island and Arizona. This is a great advantage to those with serious medical problems like epilepsy and cancer, living in states where getting a medical card is difficult to impossible.

Pennsylvania  

Medical marijuana practices are coming this year (2017), with announcements coming to give permits to select growers and dispensaries. Decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana is in consideration, proposed by Rep. Ed Gainey in 2016. Currently, small amounts can lead to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine, where Rep. Gainey’s proposition would call for no more than a $100 fine and no jail time. We’re rooting for you, Rep. Gainey.

Rhode Island 

Medical marijuana has been legalized in this state, and the use of less than 1 ounce of weed has been decriminalized, but beware of mandatory minimums. You should not be distributing, but even possessing with intent to distribute between 1 – 5 kg has a mandatory minimum of 10 – 50 years in jail. More than 5 kg could get you life in prison (minimum being 25 years). So enjoy your small amounts of weed with discretion, and as always, don’t sell.

South Carolina 

In keeping with Carolina fashion, both medical and recreational marijuana are illegal in S.C., though some exceptions have been made to allow high-CBD hemp oil for certain patients. Selling marijuana is an automatic felony, but even “first time offenders” can face up to 30 days of jail time and a max fine of $100 for possessing an ounce or less. So mosey on down to Myrtle Beach or Charleston, but don’t forget you’re in a state that, you will be prosecuted for the slightest amount of flower.

South Dakota 

Canna Law Group calls South Dakota the least friendly state to marijuana. Both medical and recreational weed are illegal, and the state does have a few mandatory minimums. For example, selling within 1,000 ft of a school or 500 ft of other designated areas is a mandatory 5 years in prison – though no one should be selling around schools anyways. Even possessing paraphernalia could lead to a misdemeanor with 30 days in prison and a $500 fine. Just remember. Immediately North of you is a state with medical marijuana.

Tennessee 

Marijuana remains illegal in Tennessee. Even medicinal marijuana is prohibited. Possessing any amount could lead to a year in prison and a $250 – 500 fine. However, they have made an exception for cannabidiol, a cannabis extract high in CBD and low in THC, used for medical purposes to treat debilitating epileptic conditions. For now, this might not be the state to light up in, but anything can happen in the future.

Texas 

Texas is not a weed friendly state. Neither medical nor recreational marijuana is legal, and mandatory minimums hold strict jail sentences. Possessing under 2 oz is a misdemeanor with a possible 180 days in prison and a maximum $2,000 fine. Even possessing paraphernalia can land you with a $500 fine. The lesson here is: don’t smoke in Texas. That’s as simple as I can make it for you.

Utah 

Utah has legalized the use of cannabidiol (CBD) in controlled concentrations for specific medical treatment, typically patients suffering from epileptic disorders. Outside of this, however, marijuana is completely illegal. Possession of less than an ounce can lead to 6 months in prison and a maximum $1,000 fine. The same penalties apply just for possessing paraphernalia. That seems drastic to me.

Vermont 

In 2017, the Vermont House of Representatives voted and approved the legalization of recreational marijuana. Two weeks later, Gov. Phil Scott vetoed the bill, the first instance this has happened. In the meantime, Gov. Scott says he’ll work on legislation to pass this summer, so don’t lose hope yet. Vermont is well on its way towards recreational legalization, having decriminalized possession of less than an ounce and having established a medical marijuana system. We’re just counting the days.

Virginia

Despite 62% of residents supporting recreational marijuana legalization and 86% supporting medical marijuana legalization, Virginia is dragging its feet. Aside from limited amounts of CBD for patients suffering from debilitating epilepsy, medical and recreational weed is illegal in Virginia. Less than half an ounce could land you with 30 days in jail and a $500 fine, while even sales of paraphernalia could put you in prison for a year with a $2,500 fine. To sum it up: avoid this place for now. Laws may change.

Washington

Washington was one of the first two states, along with Colorado, to legalize recreational marijuana. That doesn’t make this the most liberal of states. It is still illegal to cultivate your own plants, and while private consumption is perfectly fine, consumption in public places is prohibited and can leave you to a maximum $100 fine. So while you’re free to own and enjoy, don’t get overly confident about it. There are still laws to uphold.

West Virginia

West Virginia officially became the 29th state to legalize medical marijuana in April, 2017. The bill is in flux with the potential for change. It became more restrictive before it passed, prohibiting the natural marijuana flower for example, but lawmakers expect improvements to be made in the coming year. So if you’re not happy with the way things are, sit tight. The ball is rolling.

Wisconsin 

While widespread medical marijuana laws haven’t moved forward, despite attempts, the state does offer CBD-focused cannabis laws for medical purposes, trained towards the treatment of a seizure disorder. While things are changing, keep in mind that possessing any amount could lead to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. I’m not telling you to do anything illegal, but smoke responsibly.

Wyoming  

While laws allow for non-psychoactive CBD oil for specific medical needs, laws regarding marijuana in the state are strict. Even being under the influence can result in 6 months incarceration and a $750 fine. At least their laws are straightforward and easy to remember. Less than 3 ounces is 12 months in prison and a $1,000 fine. More than 3 ounces is 5 years and a $10,000 fine. Ultimately, we can say, never carry more than 3 ounces.

Last updated June 2017