For those who don’t read every word written about marijuana legalization, the changes in recent years can seem confusing. A decade ago, there wasn’t any place in the United States where it was legal to buy or possess marijuana. In 2019, it’s legal in states across the country.
It’s a good time to reset some of the basics of legalized marijuana in 2019 in one handy list for those who are trying to catch up. While these will certainly change, it’s important to know where things stand at the moment.
What States Have Marijuana Legalization?
The two latest states to join the ranks are Illinois and Michigan. Sales are expected to begin in both states in 2020. That brings the total number of states that have legalized marijuana in 2019 to 11, along with the District of Columbia. They are:
- Washington DC
Vermont and Washington D.C, have legalized recreational marijuana, but do not allow sales. All the states restrict sales to those 21 and older. They have varying caps on how many plants a person can grow in their homes and how much marijuana they can possess at one time.
What States Have Medical Marijuana Legalization?
It’s easier at this point to list the states that don’t have legalized medical marijuana. In total, 33 states have legalized medical marijuana in some form, but each state has different approved medical conditions. So, it’s important to check what conditions your state allows to be treated with cannabis.
The states without legalized medical marijuana include the entire Southeast of the Mississippi and north to Kentucky and Virginia (this does not include Florida, which has legal medical marijuana). Another notable state with no legalized marijuana of any kind is Texas, the second most populated state in the country.
Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming and Idaho also do not have legalized medical marijuana.
What Countries Have Marijuana Legalization?
Uruguay and Canada are the only two countries that have legalized marijuana at the national level. The United States famously has not legalized marijuana at the national level, continuing to list it as a Schedule I illegal drug on par with heroin and cocaine.
There is a movement to at least decriminalize marijuana at the national level. Much depends on who wins the White House and control of Congress in the 2020 election.
Where Is Hemp Legal?
The U.S, Congress made hemp legal at the national level in 2018, giving states the right to set up their own rules. This is why CBD health and wellness products have started to show up on shelves across the country. They are hemp-derived and do not contain THC, the ingredient in marijuana that causes the high.
This is the “big picture” of where things stand with marijuana legalization in 2019. Where it goes next will depend on Congress, state legislatures and voters across the country.