No smoking section.
Let's start with the red zones where cannabis remains illegal, meaning no medical or recreational sales (for CBD too). The four states that fall under this category are: Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, and Wyoming, all of which remain under old laws that permit no possession or use of cannabis. This might be because Tennessee and South Carolina are part of the Bible Belt. Similarly, Idaho maintains a full illegal status for cannabis, apparently unaware of how many potato chips it would help them sell.
The green light.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are now 18 states where cannabis is fully legal, meaning as long as you are 21+ you can purchase and smoke weed recreationally. These fully legal states are: Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine.
Medicinal use only.
Some states now allow patients with certain conditions (cancer, HIV, and other serious illnesses) to use cannabis to relieve pain, anxiety, and loss of appetite linked to their health situations. With authorization from a physician, patients can seek a medical cannabis card and visit medical cannabis dispensaries to purchase legal products. Medical cannabis is legal in Utah, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. While these states allow sales under various regulations, possession and use for recreational purposes remain illegal.
And then some states only allow CBD products, no THC. These states include Texas, Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, and Georgia.
Decriminalized states (not even a slap on the wrist).
Decriminalized cannabis policies have been active in Nebraska and North Carolina. These states do not officially permit medical marijuana use. Still, they have the same standards for would-be violators in possession for therapeutic use as they do for violators who are just enjoying a little smoke. So while it’s not fully safe to light one up in either place, it’s not going to ruin your record. Other states almost at that point: Minnesota, North Dakota, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Ohio.
Subject to change.
As we mentioned, all of these laws are constantly changing. As a result, many states that have yet to legalize are waiting and watching to see how the earlier legal states, like Oregon, play out.
It’s clear cannabis legalization is a long road. But it’s one we're moving down quickly (with a few bumps, of course). In the meantime, make sure to enjoy your smoke responsibly where it's legal and send your best wishes where it's not.