Where is Cannabis Legal in the USA?

Where is Cannabis Legal in the USA

New Jersey legalized recreational marijuana sales on April 21, with some dispensaries offering free doughnuts and other perks to entice customers. More than three-quarters of the states in the United States have made it legal in some form. An estimated $15 billion was generated solely by the recreational or adult-use cannabis industry in 2017. By 2025, the cannabis industry is expected to be worth more than $25 billion.

Federal legalization of marijuana is now being debated in the Senate; if passed, it would erase criminal records of nonviolent offenders and support social and criminal-justice initiatives in areas most adversely affected by excessive police.

Although the House of Representatives passed the MORE Act in early April, it now faces a more difficult fight in the Senate. Find out if your state has legalized pot, what will happen to the MORE Act, and other legalization measures.

States which have legalized medical marijuana?

As of April 2022, 37 states have legalized the medical use of cannabis, including Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.

Medical marijuana is now legal in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.

Each jurisdiction sets its guidelines for the conditions for which medical marijuana may be prescribed, the quantity specified, and the procedure for obtaining a medical marijuana license. So, if you are looking for cannabis seeds California, ensure you understand its legality.

States that have legalized recreational marijuana

Eighteen states, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, have legalized adult use of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. If you are in these states, you can buy cannabis seeds online and enjoy your weed.

The District of Columbia, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands also allow recreational marijuana use. After months of discussions, Rhode Island became the latest state to legalize recreational marijuana usage in March 2022.

Voters in South Dakota approved a constitutional amendment to allow recreational marijuana in 2020, but the state's Supreme Court overturned it last year.

What is the current state of federal law on marijuana?

The Narcotic Enforcement Agency still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 because it has "no generally recognized the medicinal value and a significant potential for misuse." Other Schedule I substances include heroin and LSD, whereas cocaine is classed as a Schedule II drug.)

"Based on assurances that those states would establish a sufficiently rigorous regulatory framework," President Obama ordered the Justice Department to defer to state authorities in areas that had legalized marijuana in 2013.

Under President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrew the Cole Memorandum, a directive issued by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Legalization activists urged the then-Vice President Joe Biden, now the current President, to persuade Attorney General Merrick Garland to revive the Cole memo.

What is the MORE Act?

Marijuana Opportunity and Reinvestment Expungement Act now in the Senate would abolish federal criminal penalties for those who cultivate, possess, or distribute cannabis and expunge nonviolent cannabis convictions. It would also implement a fee to support the communities damaged by decades of enforcement focused on marijuana-related nonviolent offenses. The funds would benefit programs including career training, legal help and child mentorship.

States would not be required to legalize marijuana under the law, though. State legislators would be in charge of enforcing regulations.

In December 2020, parliament authorized it to abolish the federal ban on marijuana for the first time. A similar measure was presented in the Senate by the former Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California, now the Vice President, but it was not considered.

Even if it is put to the vote in the upper house, it would need the backing of 10 Republicans and all Democrats to pass. According to Piper Sandler's senior research analyst, Michael S. Lavery, the bill is unlikely to pass the Senate in its present form.

The proposed Senate bill to legalize marijuana

A second measure in the Senate is the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which seeks to legalize marijuana. The federal prohibition on cannabis would be lifted, and firms operating in states where the drug is legal would be able to access banking services, business loans, and credit card transactions.

In February, Charles Schumer, Sen. Ron Wyden, and Sen. Cory Booker sent a letter inviting their colleagues in the upper chamber to assist in finishing the measure.

Hundreds of millions of Americans reside in states that have legalized some cannabis while the federal government continues to decriminalize it. A wide range of issues, from the expansion of small businesses to public safety, is complicated due to this difference.

Are there other bills in Congress aimed at decriminalizing marijuana?

Politicians have a growing desire to align federal rules with state restrictions as more states allow medicinal or recreational marijuana.

The Senate passed the Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act, making it easier for researchers to investigate cannabis and related products for their therapeutic properties, in late March.

Dianne Feinstein, a sponsor of the measure, said that this legislation would expedite the FDA's approval process for marijuana-derived drugs, allowing them to reach patients more quickly and safely.

Legislation to provide state-licensed marijuana firms access to banking services was enacted by the House of Representatives on February 4. The measure was initially presented in 2019 by Colorado Democrat Rep. Ed Perlmutter. He said he is confident it will finally clear the Senate this session. Further steps may be introduced or lobbied for in the following months and years to build on the momentum created by this legislation.

Does President Biden support legal weed?

Then-candidate Biden vowed to "decriminalize cannabis use and automatically remove past convictions" during the 2020 presidential campaign. In the words of Biden's campaign website, "no one should be jailed because of cannabis usage."

Specifically, the site promised to "support the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes, leave decisions regarding legalization for recreational use up to states, and reschedule cannabis as a Schedule II drug so researchers can study its positive and negative impacts" if elected President of the United States.

A presidential amnesty for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses is possible, but the President cannot remove federal marijuana prohibitions on his own. Can he also restore Obama-era guidelines to the Justice Department about prosecuting minor cannabis crimes or interfering with the states' laws?

In addition, Biden might lend his support to existing and similar initiatives in Congress. Biden and his Democrat Party need electoral victories, and cannabis legalization is a popular option.

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