Recreational, Medical, Illegal: A State-by-State Guide to Cannabis Policy

States with all-out bans may soon become the minority.
Mar 5, 2014· 0 MIN READ
Paul Tullis is TakePart's Features Editor, and a Contributing Writer for The New York Times Magazine.

United States Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in 1932 that a “state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory” by trying new and different policies without harm to the rest of the country. With regard to cannabis, at least, the idea may have spread farther than Brandeis would have imagined. Since 1996, when California became the first state to allow cannabis possession for medical use, “medical marijuana” has spread to 19 other states and the District of Columbia. Colorado and Washington legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2012, and today 12 more states are considering legislation to allow medical use. An initiative to legalize recreational pot will be on the ballot in Alaska this year, and Oregon looks likely to have one too. More detailed information can be found here.

Marijuana Legalization Across the United States

(Illustrated by Lauren Wade)