State-by-State Laws for the illegal Use of Marijuana

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What Is the Current Legal Status of Marijuana?

Ten years ago, you probably would not find yourself asking whether marijuana was legal or not. Today, laws governing the use, possession, and sale of marijuana have seen drastic changes. On a basic level, marijuana laws can be broken down into two general categories.

Federal Law. As far as the federal government is concerned, marijuana is illegal, plain and simple. While the different Attorney Generals have taken different stances on whether or not they will pursue various marijuana issues, such as medical marijuana, the law of the land is that it is a Schedule I narcotic and against the law to use, possess, or sell.

State Law. Here is where things get a little complicated. To make things a little more simple, there are three basic categories of state laws surrounding marijuana:

State-by-State Marijuana Laws

State

Possession

Sale

Notes

Alabama

Illegal

Illegal

Alabama permits the use of non-psychoactive CBD oil for medical use.

Alaska

Legal in residence

Medical

Alaska allows possession up to 4 ounces if it is in your residence. They also tolerate a small, limited number of cultivation for personal, medical use.

Arizona

Illegal

Medical

Arizona allows the possession and use of 2.5 ounces of marijuana for patients with a written prescription.

Arkansas

Felony

Medical

Arkansas allows use of marijuana for qualifying conditions with a prescription.  Possession of marijuana without a prescription is a felony unless it is a first offense with less than 4 oz. (class A misdemeanor)

California

Legal

Legal

California allows possession of up to 1 oz. of marijuana and 6 plants per residence.

Colorado

Legal

Legal

Colorado allows the possession and use of 1 oz. of marijuana and 6 plants per residence.

Connecticut

Decriminalized

Medical

Individuals 21 and over possessing less than ½ ounce will be subject to fines and confiscation. Those under 21 face harsher penalties, including a suspended license. 

Delaware

Decriminalized

Medical

 Individuals possessing up to 1 oz. of marijuana are subject to fines and confiscation.

Florida

Illegal

Medical

Possession of under 20 grams is a misdemeanor. 

Georgia

Illegal

Felony

Possession of 1 oz. or less is a misdemeanor.  Patients with certain conditions may possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil.

Hawaii

Illegal

Medical

Possession of less than 1 oz. is a petty misdemeanor and more than 1 oz. but less than a pound is a misdemeanor. 

Idaho

Illegal

Felony

 Possession of under 3 oz. is a misdemeanor.

Illinois

Illegal

Medical

Possession of under 2.5 grams is punished by a fine.  Possession of under 30 grams is a Misdemeanor. 

Indiana

Illegal

Illegal

 

Iowa

Illegal

Felony

 

Kansas

Illegal

Illegal

 The first possession charge is punished as a misdemeanor, however, a second offense is punished by up to 42 months in prison.

Louisiana

Illegal

Illegal

 First offense possession of marijuana is punished by up to 6 months and $500 fine.

Maine

Legal

Legal

Maine allows personal possession of up to 2.5 oz. 

Maryland

Decriminalized

Medical

Maryland punishes 10 grams or less with a fine.  Possession of more than 10 grams is a misdemeanor.  Qualifying patients are allowed a 30-day supply of medical marijuana.

Massachusetts

Legal

Medical

It is legal for individuals to possess up to 1 oz. for personal use.

Michigan

Illegal

Medical

 Possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor.  Patients with a proper prescription can possess up to 2.5 oz.

Minnesota

Decriminalized

Medical

 Possession of less than 42.5 grams requires a fine and possible drug education program.

Mississippi

Decriminalized

Illegal

In Mississippi, the first time offender who possess 30 grams or less faces a fine. That individual may avoid arrest if a valid proof of identity is shown to the officer and the individual signs an agreement to appear in court.

Missouri

Illegal

Illegal

 

Montana

Illegal

Medical

 Possession of under 60 grams is a misdemeanor.

Nebraska

Decriminalized

Illegal

In Nebraska, possession for first time offenders is a civil infraction. Second and third offenses are misdemeanors.

Nevada

Legal

Medical

 Possession of up to 1 oz. is legal.  Possession of more than 1 oz. is punished with a fine

New Hampshire

Illegal

Medical

 

New Jersey

Illegal

Medical

 Possession of under 50 grams is a misdemeanor.  Over 50 grams is punished as a felony.

New Mexico

Illegal

Medical

 Possession of less than 8 oz. is a misdemeanor. 

New York

Decriminalized

Medical

 Possession of 25 grams or less is penalized with a fine and less than 8 oz. is a misdemeanor.

North Carolina

Decriminalized

Felony

Possession of less than 0.5 oz. is punished with a fine.  Currently, there is a bill on the floor to legalize medical marijuana.

North Dakota

Illegal

Medical

 1 oz. or less is a misdemeanor

Ohio

Decriminalized

Medical

Less than 100 grams is punished with a fine.

Oklahoma

Illegal

Illegal

Oklahoma has some very severe penalties for marijuana use. Pursuant to statute, a person, who will be tested 2 hours after arrest, and who has any amount of marijuana in their blood, salvia, urine, will be jailed for no less than 10 days and no more than a year.

Oregon

Legal

Medical

 1 oz. or less is legal; 1-2 oz. is a fine; 2+ oz. is a misdemeanor.

Pennsylvania

Illegal

Illegal

Pennsylvania also takes marijuana enforcement very seriously. Possession of 30 grams can result in up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine; more than that is punishable up to 1 year in jail and a $5000 fine.

Rhode Island

Decriminalized

Medical

Possession of less than 1 oz. is a fine; 1 oz. – 1 kg. is a misdemeanor

South Carolina

Illegal

Illegal

 

South Dakota

Illegal

Illegal

 

Tennessee

Illegal

Illegal

 

Texas

Illegal

Illegal

 

Utah

Illegal

Illegal

 

Vermont

Decriminalized

Medical

Possession of 1 oz. of marijuana or less is punished by fine or diversion program.

Virginia

Illegal

Illegal

 

Washington

Legal

Legal, with license

Anyone 21 and over may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana. Licensed growers and individuals with certain medical conditions can cultivate plants.

Washington D.C.

Legal

Legal

 Possession of 2 oz. of marijuana or less and 6 plants or less is legal.

West Virginia

Illegal

Illegal

 

Wisconsin

Illegal

Illegal

 State laws provide that any possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor but many cities have reduced the first offense penalty to a fine.

Wyoming

Illegal

Illegal

 

 
Should I Seek Legal Counsel?

Marijuana laws are in constant flux. The information above barely touches the tip of the iceberg for many states. If you have a question about the legality of marijuana in your area, it would be wise to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney or medical marijuana lawyer.

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Last Modified: 06-06-2017 12:38 AM PDT

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