Cannabis, marijuana, the ganja, whatever you like to call it has been federally illegal in the US for over 80 years as it was claimed to be a harmful gateway drug. But we all know that's a bunch of nonsense and there are 11 states who agree and have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Marijuana is still federally illegal but most states have written their own laws and legislatures for cannabis use and possession in their state. Recreational cannabis cannot be ingested, smoked or used on public property and must be used on private property or in a person's residence, in all the states on our list. Some states even have cannabis clubs that are basically like a bar but they serve cannabis rather than alcohol.
The first 2 states to legalize recreational weed were Colorado and Washington back in 2012.
Colorado is probably the most famous cannabis friendly state. In CO, adults over the age of 21 can smoke marijuana, just as anyone over 21 can drink alcohol. Adults can possess up to 1 ounce of flower and 28 grams of concentrates. However, the purchase limit is 1 ounce of marijuana flower, 8 grams of concentrates or 800 mg of edibles at a time. Adults must have a government issued ID to purchase from a recreational dispensary.
In Washington any adult over 21 with a valid ID from any state or an international passport can purchase recreational marijuana. People can purchase up to 1 ounce of flower, 7 grams of concentrates, 16 ounces of edibles or 72 ounces of liquids and cannot exceed these amounts on their person at any given time.
Two years later in 2014, Alaska and Oregon legalized recreational marijuana in their states. Washington DC also legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.
Alaska also follows the same age restrictions as alcohol consumption, adults 21 and over can possess and partake in recreational cannabis. Individuals can have up to 1 ounce of flower. There are no specific laws on purchasing limits but I'd guess you can't purchase more than you're allowed to possess. A government issued ID is required for all purchases.
Oregon's laws are a little different compared to the previous states. Adults over 21 in public can possess up to 1 ounce of flower but in a private residence can have up to 8 ounces of flower. Both in public and private you cannot possess more than 1 ounce of concentrates or extracts, 16 ounces of edibles in solid form, 72 ounces of cannabis in liquid form, 10 cannabis seeds and 4 immature cannabis plants. The purchasing limits are 1 ounce flower, 5 grams of concentrates or extracts, 16 ounces edibles, 72 ounces liquids, 10 cannabis seeds or 4 immature cannabis plants.
Washington DC passed the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014. This law allowed adults over the age of 21 to possess up to 2 ounces of flower and 3 mature plants and 3 seedlings. The sale of recreational weed is illegal.
California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts were the next 4, legalizing recreational marijuana in 2016.
Adults over 21 in California can possess up to 28.5 grams of flower, 8 grams of concentrates and up to 6 plants in their home. Adults must have a government issued ID to purchase and the limits are the same as possession, up to 28.5 grams of flower and 8 grams of concentrates.
In Nevada adults 21 and over with a valid ID can purchase up to 1 ounce of flower and 1/8 ounce of concentrates. Their growing laws are different than those we listed above. In NV you can only grow at home if you live a minimum of 25 miles away from a dispensary.
Maine is a little different as there are no open recreational dispensaries at this time. It has been repeatedly delayed by Governor Paul LePage, but it does look like dispensaries should begin to open in 2020. Adults over the age of 21 can possess up to 2.5 ounces of flower. They can also grow up to 3 mature plants, 12 immature plants and unlimited seedlings. Once dispensaries open, a valid ID is required for purchase and you may purchase up to the legal limit of 2.5 ounces at a time.
In Massachusetts adults over the age of 21 can possess up to 1 ounce of flower or 5 grams of concentrates in public and up to 10 ounces of marijuana in their home. Adults may also grow up to 6 marijuana plants with a max of 12 per household.
Vermont and Michigan legalized recreational marijuana in 2018.
Vermont is another state that does not have recreational dispensaries. However, adults over the age of 21 can possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana. Adults can grow up to 2 mature plants and 4 immature plants per household. The plant yield will not go against the 1 ounce possession limit as long as it is stored in the growing location.
Michigan also doesn't have any open recreational dispensaries but they are said to begin opening in early 2020. Currently persons 21 and over can possess up to 2.5 ounces of flower in public and up to 10 ounces of flower at home. You can also possess up to 15 grams of concentrates and up to 12 plants.
Illinois is the most recent state to legalize recreational marijuana just a few months ago. Starting January 2020, Illinois residents who are 21 and over may possess 30 grams of flower, 500mg of edibles or 5 grams of concentrates. Non-residents may purchase up to 15 grams of flower, 250 mg of cannabis infused products or 2.5 grams of concentrate. There are no purchase limits for state residents just yet but you can expect them to not exceed the legal possession limit.
Those are the 11 recreationally legal states and their laws. For more information see the sources linked below or search your states government website for current laws.