Where Is Marijuana Legal? Cannabis Legality by State (March 2023)
This page contains a table with the legal status of marijuana by state. We explain where marijuana is legal for medicinal and recreational purposes and where it’s decriminalized. You’ll also learn about the legality of CBD oil and hemp-derived delta 8 products.
The legal landscape for marijuana is changing dynamically in all 50 states, creating confusion between federal and state laws. In order to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing regulations, our team at CFAH created this interactive map for information on legalization, medical use, recreational use, and psychoactive products from hemp.
Is Marijuana Legal in Your State? (Live Update)
The map above gives a clear picture of the laws in each state and remains relevant to the latest changes on a monthly basis. Make sure you understand and follow the various states' rules regarding cannabis use.
Whether you’re a resident or a tourist, the following information will help you stay away from any misunderstandings or trouble with the local law. Scroll down to each state to learn more about their individual marijuana laws.
- Here we cover state laws reflecting current updates, not pending legislation or future legalization dates regarding the recreational or medicinal use of marijuana. States that have legalized but are waiting for the new law to pass will have an asterisk * next to them.
- CBD oil can be full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. This chart refers to full-spectrum CBD oil, which contains 0.3% THC.
- Individual states can place their own restrictions on the availability of certain cannabis products. For example, marijuana may only be legal up to one ounce or exclude certain products (e.g., smokable forms for patients).
- ** On July 1, Minnesota residents will be able to consume, produce, distribute, and sell edibles in packages containing up to 50 milligrams of any form of THC as long as it’s derived from hemp.
Disclaimer: We provide this information for educational purposes only. Please do not take it as legal advice or opinion. Readers have full responsibility for using the information in this article. If you’re an employer or employee seeking confirmation of your rights, you should seek an attorney or a designated official in your state for professional guidance.
Marijuana Legalization FAQs
Is Marijuana Legal at the Federal Level?
No. Federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), meaning that the government doesn’t recognize its medical use and considers it a substance of high risk for abuse. Possessing, growing, transporting, and distributing marijuana is a federal felony.
Individual laws that have legalized marijuana for recreational or medical use have challenged the federal government, creating a contradiction between the rights of states to create their own regulations and the federal government's power.
However, the federal government has decided not to interfere with marijuana legalization in states that have decided to do so. In 2009, the Obama administration instructed federal prosecutors not to chase people distributing marijuana following state medical cannabis laws.
Is CBD Federally Legal?
Yes. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp by removing it from the list of controlled substances. The new law drew a thick line between hemp and marijuana, legalizing all hemp-derived products that contain 0.3% delta-9 THC or less.
Hemp, once again, became an agricultural commodity; farmers can grow and sell it for any use, from clothes to ropes, construction materials, biofuel, paper, food, and health supplements like CBD oil.
You can legally buy hemp-derived CBD oil in all 50 states, although we recommend checking up with your local laws to confirm whether your state allows all types of CBD oil or just broad-spectrum and isolate-based products.
Related: Is Hemp-derived Delta 9 THC Legal?
Can You Legally Buy Delta-8 THC in the United States?
Yes and no. The Farm Bill legalized all hemp-derived products, including cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, isomers, and salts of isomers.
Delta-8 THC forms as a byproduct of THC oxidation over time. Until recently, marijuana was the only source of delta-8 THC because extraction from hemp was too costly.
The new law coincided with the discovery of new extraction methods that allowed manufacturers to extract usable quantities of delta-8 THC from hemp by converting CBD.
Since the final product contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC becomes legal under federal law.
However, 14 states have decided to ban delta 8 THC by either putting it on the list of controlled substances or by imposing the 0.3% limit on all variants of THC.
You can’t legally buy delta-8 THC products in Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, and Washington.
What Does Decriminalization Mean?
Decriminalization involves the reduction of penalties for marijuana possession. Having small amounts of weed is considered a civil offense instead of a criminal offense in states that decriminalize marijuana.
According to the report from the Marijuana Policy Project, 31 states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, typically removing prison sentences. However, in some states, there’s still the possibility of a fine or a criminal record when you’re caught with weed.
Some states that have passed decriminalization measures have medical marijuana programs. Two states where marijuana is decriminalized haven’t legalized it for any purpose (yet).
What is the Cole Memorandum?
The Cole Memorandum is the landmark memo on federal marijuana enforcement. The Justice Department stated in 2013 that it wouldn’t challenge states’ legalization laws and expected states to enforce the law on their own.
In 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed prosecutors to use their own judgment when prosecuting — or declining to pursue — marijuana offenses.
The Justice Department has generally refused to run cases where individuals don’t break the state law and hasn’t challenged state legalization programs in court.
After the Cole Memorandum, most prosecutors in the Department of Justice dropped most marijuana-related cases and moved gunpoint to more serious felonies involving firearms or organized crime.
How Many Americans Support Marijuana Legalization?
According to the statistics report on marijuana, 68% of Americans are in favor of federal legalization. As of April 2022, 70% of adult Americans want marijuana for recreational use.
That’s a huge leap throughout the history of legalization. In 1969, only 12% of U.S. adults supported legalization. In 2000, that figure increased to 31%. In 2013, it rose slightly adobe 50%.