Where is Cannabis Legal? Our Guide to Cannabis Laws in the USA and Around the World

If you want to know, where is cannabis legal in the USA and elsewhere around the world, look no farther. This article shares the latest cannabis laws by state in the USA and the countries where cannabis is legal and decriminalized. We answer your frequently asked questions about marijuana legalization.If you want to know, where is cannabis legal in the USA and elsewhere around the world, look no farther. This article shares the latest cannabis laws by state in the USA and the countries where cannabis is legal and decriminalized. We answer your frequently asked questions about marijuana legalization.

The worldview on cannabis seems to shift on a daily basis. While some countries pursue regulations to legalize cannabis, at least for medicinal use, others remain firm that marijuana and any associated products should remain illegal.

There is a growing list of places where cannabis is legal. However, each location has its own rules. Some permit medical marijuana while others made recreational use legal. In some cases, possession of a small amount was decriminalized, meaning it isn’t fully legal, but those carrying amounts deemed within the “personal use” limits won’t face legal ramifications.

Adding to the complexity is the mish-mash of cannabis laws in the United States. Even though the federal government has a clear stance on the matter, states have been given some leeway, leading to a variety of laws that are only applicable if you don’t cross state lines.

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Where is Cannabis Legal in the USA?

There are numerous cannabis-legal states. However, there are some states where medical cannabis is legal and some states where recreational marijuana is legal along with its medicinal counterpart. Additionally, there are still quite a few states where all cannabis is illegal.

By and large, states that allow medicinal cannabis use require the users to have a valid prescription from a medical professional. Without that prescription, you cannot legally consume cannabis for medical purposes or benefit from laws specifically associated with medicinal marijuana.

Recreational marijuana laws are a bit more varied. States may have age requirements or limits on how much a person can buy or carry. Additionally, they may restrict the form of cannabis, such as the sale or possession of cannabis products, like oils and edibles. Whether cannabis can be given as a gift may also be legally controlled.

It’s also important to note the federal government still considers marijuana illegal, including for medicinal use. While states that choose to legalize have mostly been left alone, each presidential administration can approach the situation differently.

In most cases, the federal stance doesn’t impact individuals who only possess enough for personal use. Growers and businesses that sell cannabis are more at risk of legal action. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t get in trouble, even in cannabis-legal states, so keep that in mind.

Cannabis Laws By State

Map of cannabis laws in the US
By Lokal_Profil, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

Alabama

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Alaska

Cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational use. For recreational marijuana, a person must be at least 21. Additionally, each person can only transport up to an ounce at a time.

Arizona

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Arkansas

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

California

Cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational use. Adults age 21 and up can use and carry up one ounce of marijuana for recreational use. Additionally, they can purchase up to eight grams of cannabis concentrates, such as edibles or oils. A household can also grow up to six marijuana plants.

It’s important to note not all cities in California are recreational marijuana-friendly, as both Fresno and Bakersfield are working to ban the sale of recreational marijuana.

Colorado

Cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational use. Adults who are 21 years old and up can buy marijuana in quantities up to one ounce or eight grams of cannabis concentrates at a time. However, some cities and counties did opt for more restrictive laws, though still kept recreational cannabis legal.

Connecticut

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Delaware

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Florida

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Georgia

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Hawaii

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Idaho

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Illinois

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Indiana

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Iowa

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Kansas

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Kentucky

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Louisiana

Medicinal cannabis is legal, but only in forms that are not smoked.

Maine

Cannabis is legal for recreational use. In Maine, adults age 21 and up can possess up to 2.5 ounces, an amount that is more than double of what most other states allow.

Maryland

Medicinal cannabis is legal, but only when cannabis-infused products are used.

Massachusetts

Cannabis is legal for recreational use. Massachusetts allows residents who are at least 21 are allowed to carry and use up to one ounce of marijuana. Additionally, up to 12 plants can be in their home.

Michigan

Cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational use. Adults who are at least 21 years old can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants in their home.

Minnesota

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Mississippi

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Missouri

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Montana

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Nebraska

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Nevada

Cannabis is legal for recreational use. Individuals who are 21 or older can purchase marijuana in amounts up to one ounce or edibles or concentrates in quantities of up to one-eighth ounce. Some residents can also grow their own marijuana, but only if they live at least 25 miles away from the nearest dispensary and apply for a license.

New Hampshire

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

New Jersey

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

New Mexico

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

New York

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

North Carolina

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

North Dakota

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Ohio

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Oklahoma

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Oregon

Cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational use. Age 21 and up residents can carry up to one ounce of marijuana and possess up to four plants in their home. Edibles can even be given as gifts as long as they are consumed in private.

Pennsylvania

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Rhode Island

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

South Carolina

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

South Dakota

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Tennessee

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Texas

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Utah

Medicinal cannabis is legal.

Vermont

Cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational use. Adults who are a minimum of 21 years of age can carry an ounce of marijuana or less and may grow up to two plants for recreational use.

Virginia

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Washington

Cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational use. Anyone 21 and up can carry up to an ounce of marijuana. Growing is permitted in homes, but you have to have a medical need for cannabis to qualify for the grower’s license.

Washington D.C.

In the District of Columbia, adults who are at least 21 can possess up to two ounces of marijuana and can even give gifts of up to one ounce, as long as the gift isn’t in exchange for money, goods, or services.

West Virginia

Medicinal cannabis is legal, but only when cannabis-infused products are used.

Wisconsin

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Wyoming

Cannabis is not legal for recreational or medicinal use.

Countries Where Cannabis is Legal

Map of world cannabis laws
By Jamesy0627144 – Created from BlankMap-World6-Subdivisions.svg and BlankMap-World6.svg, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Cannabis is being legalized or decriminalized more often than ever before. While there is a distinction between those two approaches, most users won’t see legal penalties for having small amounts for personal use even if cannabis isn’t entirely legal.

Typically, in countries were possession is decriminalized, other actions, like growing marijuana or selling cannabis (and any products containing it), is still illegal, at least to a degree. This means, if you intend to use it while traveling, you’ll need to explore the nuances of the local laws to make sure you won’t face any legal repercussions.

With that in mind, here are some counties where cannabis is legal or has been decriminalized to some extent.

Argentina

Recreational possession in Argentina has been decriminalized for almost a decade. On top of that, the country became the first to make medical marijuana free to those that need it.

Australia

Medicinal cannabis has been legal for two years in Australia. While recreational marijuana is still technically illegal, most regions have decriminalized possession in small amounts.

Belize

As of late 2017, possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana was decriminalized. You can use cannabis in your own home or other private residences, as long as you have permission from the property owner.

Canada

As of October 17, 2018, cannabis is legal in Canada for both medicinal and recreational use. Those with a license can grow marijuana, making cannabis seeds legal for those with the proper authorization.

Columbia

In Columbia, possessing up to 20 grams for personal use isn’t a criminal offense. Selling marijuana or cannabis products is still very much illegal.

The Czech Republic

Medical marijuana has been legal in the Czech Republic for five years, and possessing less than 15 grams, even without a prescription, carries no legal penalty.

Ecuador

As long as you have 10 grams or less, you won’t face legal repercussions for possessing cannabis or products containing it. Growing and selling are still illegal.

Jamaica

As of 2015, marijuana has been decriminalized in Jamaica. Additionally, Rastafarians can consume as much as they want without legal repercussions, even if it exceeds an amount associated with personal use for the majority of the population.

Mexico

While the answer to the question, is cannabis legal in Mexico, is technically mostly a no, there are some situations where it has been decriminalized. If you have marijuana for private, personal use, and in an amount of five grams or less, possession won’t land you in jail.

However, growing and selling marijuana are both still illegal.

The Netherlands

Marijuana has been legal to buy, sell, and consume for decades. It wasn’t until 2017 that growing marijuana became legal, but only under specific circumstances, so cannabis isn’t technically fully legalized in the country.

Portugal

Portugal didn’t just decriminalize cannabis in 2001; they applied the policy to all drugs. As long as you have less than 25 grams of marijuana on you at one time, you won’t face any legal repercussions.

Spain

In Catalonia, smoking clubs became fully legal in 2017. While the rest of the country hasn’t gone that far, possession has largely been decriminalized.

United Kingdom

Medicinal marijuana just became available with an NHS prescription on November 1, 2018. Certain medical professionals can prescribe cannabis to patients if they believe it will provide a benefit. This means legal cannabis oil, resin, and other products containing marijuana are allowed for those with a prescription.

Recreational cannabis remains illegal in all of its forms. As for the question, when will cannabis be legal in the UK outside of medicinal use, it’s hard to say. There is no current legislation in the works, and marijuana and cannabis products are still Class B drugs under UK law.

Uruguay

In Uruguay, recreational and medicinal marijuana is legal for those who are 18 years of age or older. However, you have to register with the government before growing, selling, or buying cannabis products.

Frequently Asked Questions About Legal Cannabis

Should cannabis be legal?

Should Cannabis be Legal?

There is still a significant debate regarding the legalization of cannabis, including both for recreational and medicinal purposes. However, there has been a notable trend toward making cannabis legal in states and numerous countries. Whether that means cannabis should be legal is debatable, but things appear to be shifting in that direction.

Are There a Lot of Cannabis Legal Countries?

The number of cannabis legal countries continues to grow. However, many nations are still against marijuana.

Are Cannabis Seeds Legal?

In states or countries where growing marijuana is legal, cannabis seeds can be legal as well. However, those who wish to have seeds may need specific permits, and the licenses are usually oriented to businesses, so most individuals aren’t able to possess them.

Is Cannabis Oil Legal?

In states or countries where cannabis is legal, cannabis oil is typically legal as well. Outside of those areas, cannabis oil is illegal.

Is Cannabis Legal in the UK?

Medical cannabis is legal in the UK. However, recreational marijuana is not legal.

Is Cannabis Legal in Canada?

Yes.

Is Cannabis Legal in America (US)?

From the perspective of the federal government, cannabis is still illegal. However, many states have legalized it for medicinal or recreational purposes. This means the legality of marijuana in America is a gray zone, as the states that choose to legalize are technical in conflict with federal law.

Is Cannabis Legal in Australia?

Medical cannabis is legal.

Is Cannabis Legal in France?

Yes, but only if the product contains less than 0.2 percent THC.

Is Cannabis Legal in Jamaica?

Possession of cannabis is decriminalized, so having quantities that fall within “personal use” carries no legal ramifications.

Is Cannabis Legal in Spain?

Possession of cannabis is decriminalized, so having quantities that fall within “personal use” carries no legal ramifications. Additionally, in Catalonia, smoking clubs are legal, providing users with a source of cannabis that is approved by the region’s government.