Public support for marijuana legalization has shifted drastically over the last decade. In 2006, only 32 percent of Americans favored legalizing marijuana, while 60 percent opposed it. By 2016, those numbers had nearly switched, with 57 percent of Americans favoring legalization and 37 percent opposing it.
As the nation becomes increasingly pot-friendly, states have begun to legalize marijuana to varying degrees. On election day in 2016, four states — California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — voted to legalize recreational use of cannabis, and several others legalized medical use.
With different states in various stages of legalization, keeping track of all the rules can be confusing. That’s why HealthGrove, a health data site by Graphiq, used data from Ballotpedia to find the legal status of marijuana use in each state (and the District of Columbia) as of November 2016. For context, the data experts also included the reported rates of marijuana use for people aged 12 and up. States are ordered alphabetically from Alabama to Wyoming.
In general, marijuana legality in states falls into three categories: illegal, legal medical use and legal recreational use. However, some of the states that have not fully legalized medical marijuana may allow use of cannabis extracts like cannabidiol or low-THC products. Only states with comprehensive legal public medical marijuana programs were counted as “medical use legal” here. On a federal level, use of the drug is still illegal under federal law. During his presidential campaign, President Trump argued that the issue of legality should be decided on a state-by-state basis, but it is still unclear how the new administration will approach the issue.
Note: Data on marijuana use by state comes from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and is current as of 2014.