Recreational marijuana is already legal in several states | News for Fenton, Linden, Holly MI

According to, nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use — no doctor’s letter required — for adults over the age of 21.

Here’s a summary of where Americans can legally use recreational marijuana in 2018:

Adults 21 and over can light up in Alaska. In early 2015, the northernmost U.S. state made it legal for residents to use, possess, and transport up to an ounce of marijuana— roughly a sandwich bag full — for recreational use. More than two million people visit Alaska annually and spend $2 billion.

It was the first state to legalize medical marijuana back in 1996. California became even more pot-friendly in 2016 when it made it legal to use and carry up to an ounce of marijuana. The law also permits adults 21 and over to buy up to eight grams of marijuana concentrates, which are found in edibles, and grow no more than six marijuana plants per household. Many cities in the Central Valley, including Fresno and Bakersfield, have moved to ban recreational sales.

In Colorado, there are more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks and McDonald’s locations combined. The state joined Washington in becoming the first two states to fully legalize the drug in 2012. Residents and tourists over the age of 21 can buy up to one ounce of marijuana or eight grams of concentrates. Some Colorado counties and cities have passed more restrictive laws.

A ballot initiative gave Maine residents the right to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, more than double the limit in most other states. But that doesn’t mean residents can buy the drug. Maine Gov. Paul LePage dealt a major blow to the industry in November 2017, when he vetoed a bill that would have regulated and taxed the sale of recreational marijuana.

In 2016, Massachusetts gave residents the go ahead to carry and use an ounce of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants in their homes. But the future of the state’s legal market is hazy. Lawmakers delayed the opening of pot shops to July 2018, instead of the January 2018 date that voters approved in the election. Until then, there will be no sales of recreational weed.

Residents and tourists who are 21 and over can buy an ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles or concentrates in Nevada — while supplies last. Less than two weeks after sales of recreational weed began on July 1, 2017, many stores ran out of marijuana to sell. The state has earned nearly $20 million in marijuana tax revenue since the market launched. Nevada residents must live 25 miles outside the nearest dispensary in order to be eligible for a grower’s license.

Oregonians have enjoyed the right to carry an ounce of weed and grow up to four plants at home since 2015. It’s also legal to give edibles as a gift, as long as they’re ingested in private. Sales have exploded since legalization. In 2017, the state paid out $85 million in marijuana tax revenue to fund schools, public health initiatives, state police, and local government.

Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislature, rather than a ballot initiative, when Republican Governor Phil Scott signed a bill into law on Jan. 22. Adults in the Green Mountain State will be able to carry up to an ounce of marijuana and grow no more than two plants for recreational use. The new law goes into effect in July. But the bill is limited in scope. It doesn’t establish a legal market for production and sale of the drug.

Dispensaries in Washington have raked in over $1 billion in non-medical marijuana sales since the drug was legalized for recreational use in 2012. The state allows people to carry up to an ounce of marijuana, but they must require the drug for medicinal purposes in order to be eligible for a grower’s license.

Residents in the nation’s capital voted overwhelmingly to legalize nonmedical marijuana in November 2014. The bill took effect in 2015, allowing people to possess two ounces or less of marijuana and “gift” up to an ounce, if neither money nor goods or services are exchanged.

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