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Legality And Weed An Overview To Understand The Legal Connotation Of The Substance

Legality And Weed An Overview To Understand The Legal Connotation Of The Substance

what states is weed legal

With the question of legality always looming over cannabis as a substance, it is hard to determine the extent to which this legality stretches. Therefore, this article aims to discuss in what states is weed legal. And with that we would understand the connotation of legality and what it means.

Legality & Weed

Legality & Weed

Weed has always had a troubled relationship with the law. Since the late 1800s, marijuana has been deemed as a Schedule I drug under the infamous Control Substance Act. This means that the state does not recognize the medical purpose of the substance and claims that the substance has a high propensity to be abused. 

However, ever since Biden’s October proclamation in 2022, there has been a drastic change in the federal government’s attitude toward cannabis. Slowly, a change is being noticed in how cannabis is perceived by state and federal law. There are several states where marijuana is legal, then there are states where weed is legal but only for medical purposes and are strictly monitored. 

Therefore, to understand legality effectively, let us look at the legal status of cannabis across some of the major states of America. In other words, let us see what states is weed legal and where they are illegal or closely controlled. 

According To States

The legal status of cannabis is something that is a fairly contentious topic that needs some analysis. While some claim complete legality, others claim that it is merely decriminalized. This means that individuals who possess weed can only do so under specified conditions. 


In the state of Colorado, anybody who is currently over the age of 21 is cleared to possess and distribute around an ounce of weed. Subsequently, a single individual can grow up to around six plants, and each household can grow up to 12 plants, regardless of the number of residences. But you are not allowed to smoke or consume weed in public. This is a place where weed is legal but in a controlled manner. 


Anyone above the age of 21 is cleared to possess marijuana in specific quantities. If you are of legal age, you can possess an ounce of weed, 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquid products, 7 grams of concentrates, and 16 ounces of edible. Like Florida and Colorado, you are not allowed to use or consume marijuana in any shape or form in public. 


Similar to Colorado, California is a place where anybody above the age of 21 is allowed to possess, purchase, or give away upto an ounce of marijuana. Adults are allowed to cultivate the plant but under specific conditions. Also, if you are in public, you are not allowed to smoke or consume cannabis or cannabis products, not even in your car. 

Read Also: Exploring The Legality Of Weed In Miami: What You Need To Know 


In Massachusetts, legalized weed can only be found in medical dispensaries that are specifically cleared by the state to possess and sell weed. Subsequently, anybody above the age of 21 is legally allowed to possess an ounce of marijuana on their person and around 10 ounces at their place.


Unlike most states on the list, this is a state that exclusively accepts the recreational usage of marijuana. Similar to most other states, Michigan allows anybody above the age of 21 to possess, distribute, and grow marijuana but in a controlled manner. The metrics of the following are most similar to what we have observed in most other states till now. 

New Jersey

This was among the four new states that unanimously decided to legalize marijuana. Around 67% of voters approved or presented their opinion on legalizing cannabis Once the bill was passed, the regulations remained mostly the same. Anyone over the age of 21 can possess, consume, or grow state-approved amounts. Beyond this, it will be treated as a criminal offense.

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New York

On March 31st, the Governor of the state, Andrew Cuomo, signed the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act. This bill allowed anybody above the legal age of 21 to possess 3 ounces for recreational usage. Subsequently, the regulatory body was put in place by the two regulatory agencies that would oversee the usage and marijuana-related convictions. Therefore making things easier for medical as well as recreational usage. 


Even a few days back, Virginia was staunch against Marijuana usage in any shape or form. However, after the state government passed the bill on April 7, 2021, citizens who are above the age of 21 are allowed to possess around 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational usage. However, the state is still in the process of legalizing the substance completely. Therefore, the state has yet to establish any distribution network. Hence, there are no legal dispensaries that distribute marijuana according to legal guidelines.


Another state where cannabis is legal for recreational use for anyone above the age of 21. As an adult, you are cleared to possess around 1.5 ounces of cannabis or marijuana in person and another five ounces in your car or residence. Even though this bill came into effect in 2021, it was not until 2023 that retail was given the green light. In January 2023, the retail of cannabis actually began.


On May 30th, 2023, Minnesota became the 23rd state to legalize cannabis usage under federal guidelines. According to the new bill set in motion by Governor Tim Walz, anyone above the prescribed age of 21 was allowed to possess the federally approved amount of 1 to 1.5 ounces of marijuana in person. The bill also explained that any prior marijuana offense would be expunged, and the people convicted would be released if their case fulfilled certain requirements. Hence, making it a revolutionary decision 

The Final Thought

So this was a concise list of ‘what states is weed legal.’ In other words, these were the places where marijuana is legal for recreational as well as for medicinal purposes. But as explained repeatedly, none of the states have made any moves that provide absolute legality to cannabis and cannabis. The legality comes with a sense of restriction that the government feels is necessary.  

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