Summary List Placement
Marijuana legalization is spreading around the US.
Since 2012, 15 states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana for adults over the age of 21. And 36 states have legalized medical marijuana — meaning that a majority of Americans have access to marijuana, whether medically or recreationally.
New York became the latest state to embrace cannabis when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill legalizing marijuana on March 31. His move came shortly after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation officially legalizing marijuana in his state.
New Jersey was one of four states, along with Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota, where voters backed legalizing recreational cannabis in November. Voters in Mississippi approved the creation of a medical cannabis program.
Virginia and New Mexico are also close to legalizing recreational cannabis.
Some states that passed medical or recreational legislation through ballot measures have yet to iron out the details. For that reason Insider does not include South Dakota or Mississippi in our tally of markets where the substance is legal. Both states have faced legislative opposition to rolling out their programs.
Though Canada legalized marijuana federally in 2018, the US has not followed suit, forcing states to chart their own courses. As it stands, marijuana is still considered an illegal Schedule I drug by the US federal government.
Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election and the Democratic party’s control of Congress could give marijuana a bigger boost in the US. In March, the SAFE Banking Act — a bill that would help cannabis businesses access banks — was reintroduced in both chambers of Congress.
Biden has said he would support federal decriminalization of the drug, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that marijuana reform will be a priority for the Senate this year.
All the states where marijuana is legal:
This article was first published in January 2018 and has been updated with new information about where cannabis is legal. It was updated on April 1 with New York’s legalization. Melia Russell contributed to an earlier version of this story.
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Adults 21 and over can light up in Alaska. In 2015, the northernmost US 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. The first pot shop opened for business in 2016.
Alaska has pounced on the opportunity to make its recreational-pot shops a destination for tourists. More than 2 million people visit Alaska annually and spend $2 billion.
Arizona in 2020 voted to legalize cannabis for all adults over the age of 21.
The measure had support from almost 60% of Arizona voters, according to Decision Desk HQ.
The ballot measure was backed by a number of cannabis giants, including Curaleaf, Cresco, and Harvest Enterprises.
The Arizona Department of Health Services began accepting applications for adult-use licenses on January 19. Approvals were issued just three …read more
Source:: Business Insider
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