Nov. 21, 2016
________________________________________________________ Eight states and D.C. have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use, but all pot laws are not created equal.
Colorado and Washington were the first two states to legalize the drug for adult use in 2012. Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia came next, passing measures to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2014. Most recently, California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine all passed voter initiatives in the 2016 general elections to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use.
See the following gallery for important details about the laws in each state where marijuana has been legalized for adult use.
SEATTLE - AUGUST 16: Betsy Burbank shows off her homemade flag at Hempfest August 16, 2003 in Seattle. Hempfest is the largest rally and festival advocating marijuana drug war reforms in the world and was expecting over 170,000 participants. (Photo by Ron Wurzer/Getty Images)
In 2014, Alaska voters passed Measure 2 to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older. The measure, which passed with 55 percent support, removes criminal penalties for adults 21 and older who possess, use and grow limited amounts of marijuana for personal use. Adults are permitted to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to six cannabis plants at home, three of which may be flowering. The measure also provides for marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities, as well as retail marijuana stores. Alaska’s first retail marijuana store opened Oct. 29, 2016 in Valdez. (Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
On Nov. 8, 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64 to legalize adult marijuana use in the state. The measure passed with 56 percent voter support and took effect immediately. The new law gives adults 21 and older the ability to legally possess, use, transport and purchase up to 1 ounce dry marijuana flower. Adults can also grow up to six cannabis plants indoors. Retail marijuana stores aren’t slated to open until January 2018 at the earliest. (Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 to legalize marijuana for adult use in 2012. Legal retail sales began in 2014. Under the law, adults 21 and older can purchase, use and possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana or THC. Colorado residents 21 and older may grow up to six cannabis plants at home, three of which may be flowering. Denver voters approved a limited public use ballot initiative in November 2016, making it the first city in the country to allow for social marijuana use. (Photo credit: Theo Stroomer/Getty Images)
Maine voters narrowly passed Question 1 to legalize recreational marijuana in the November 2016 general elections. The measure passed with 50.63 percent voter support and takes effect within 40 days of passage. Under the new law, adults 21 and older will be allowed to purchase, use, possess and transport up to 2.5 ounces of dry marijuana for personal use, and grow up to six flowering plants at home. The law also creates a regulated system for retail marijuana sales, and provides for licensing of cannabis clubs where customers may purchase and consume retail pot products. Retail cannabis stores and clubs are not expected to open until August 2017, at the earliest. (Photo credit: David McNew/Getty Images)
Massachusetts voters approved Question 64 to legalize recreational marijuana in the November 2016 general elections. The measure passed with 54 percent support and takes effect Dec. 15, 2016. The new law permits adults 21 and older to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana inside their homes and up to 1 ounce in public. Adults may also grow up to six mature cannabis plants at home. The law creates a Cannabis Control Commission to oversee marijuana legalization and implement a system for retail sales. Retail marijuana shops will not open until Jan. 1, 2018 at the earliest. (Photo credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
(Photo credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Nevada’s Question 2 to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use passed on Nov. 8, 2016 with 54 percent voter support. The measure legalizes limited marijuana possession, use, consumption and cultivation for adults 21 and older in the state, and creates a system for regulate marijuana retail sales. Under the new law, adults 21 and older may possess up to 1 ounce of usable marijuana, and adults who do not live within 25 miles of a retail marijuana store will be allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at home. The measure takes effect Jan. 1, 2017. (Photo credits: [L] Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, [R] Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
In 2014, Oregon voters approved Measure 91 to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and older. Approved medical marijuana dispensaries began selling recreational cannabis to adult customers on Oct. 1, 2015. Under Oregon’s law, adults may possess up to 8 ounces of usable marijuana at home, and up to 1 ounce of usable marijuana outside the home. Adults may also grow up to four cannabis plants at home. (Image credit: Alex Milan Tracy/Demotix/Corbis)
Washington voters passed Initiative 502 to legalize recreational cannabis use in 2012. Recreational marijuana sales to the public began July 8, 2014. Under the law, adults 21 and older may purchase up to 1 ounce of cannabis from licensed retail pot shops. Washington’s law does not allow adults to cultivate marijuana at home. (Photo credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)
While not technically a state, District of Columbia voters passed Initiative 71 to legalize adult marijuana use in 2014. The measure permits adults 21 and older to possess and use up to two ounces of marijuana, and cultivate up to three marijuana plants at home. Due to particular complications with how ballot initiatives work in D.C., the District has not been able to implement a system for retail cannabis sales thus far. However, adults may grow their own cannabis and gift up to one ounce of the drug to other adults in the District. (Photo credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Gallery source links : Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development , Marijuana Policy Project (Alaska), Ballotpedia (California), Yeson64.org , regulatemarijuanainnevada.org , Marijuana Policy Project (Colorado), Amendment 64 (Colorado), The Denver Post , regulatemaine.org , NORML (Maine), Mass.gov , Ballotpedia (Nevada), regulatemarijuanainnevada.org , oregon.gov , whatslegaloregon.com , Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board , Ballotpedia (District of Columbia), The Washington Post
Featured photo credit: Ron Wurzer/Getty Images