Map updated January 2018: Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on Jan. 22 signed a bill that would allow limited possession and cultivation of marijuana. The new law does not allow for taxable and regulated sales.
The legalization of marijuana in America has been moving at a breakneck speed in recent years.
In 2016, marijuana legalization in America reached a tipping point: Medical marijuana became legal in half of the 50 states. Election 2016 brought additional states into the fold: Now nine states and Washington, D.C., allow adult-use recreational marijuana; 29 states have approved medical marijuana programs.
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The public sentiment toward marijuana also has been growing.
In October 2017, Gallup reported that 64 percent of Americans favored the legalization of marijuana — the highest acceptance rate recorded in the 50 years that the international pollster has conducted marijuana surveys. That acceptance rate, which was 12 percent in 1969 and a little more than 30 percent in 2000, accelerated after Colorado and Washington voted in 2012 to legalize marijuana for adult use.
In August 2017, a Quinnipiac poll found that 94 percent of Americans support “allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it,” up 5 points in a year.
The path toward legalization, however, hasn’t been smooth. Some states are adopting regulations with great caution and even greater restrictions, measures in regions such as the Bible Belt and South largely have not been successful, and battles have waged to undo laws already in place.
And then there’s the elephant in the room: Marijuana remains illegal on the federal level and remains a Schedule I substance in the eyes of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies. The Attorney General of the United States consistently expresses distrust about marijuana legalization.
Amidst this rapidly changing landscape, the following interactive map provides context on marijuana legalization in America.