Even a decade back, there wasn’t a single state in the US that allowed the use of recreational marijuana legally. Today, there are 10 states, where you can legally buy and use recreational marijuana, besides Washington D.C. In 34 states, you can have access to medical cannabis. In recent years, Canada has legalized recreational marijuana, and there is a possibility that federally, cannabis might be legal in the US. In this quick post, we are decoding how far recreational marijuana has come in the last decade in terms of legalization.
The early background
The first state that legalized recreational marijuana was California. Following that, Washington made medical cannabis legal, and so did Oregon. In 2010, both New Jersey and Arizona legalized medical marijuana, while recreational marijuana was first made legal by Washington and Colorado in 2012. If you are game for facts, you should know that the first country to legalize weed was actually Uruguay, and this was in 2013. It was not surprising that many other states in the US followed suit, and there was actually a documentary that talked of the medical benefits of weed from CNN.
More to follow the path
New York legalized medical marijuana in 2014, and in the same year, both Maryland and Minnesota followed suit. Oregon and Washington also legalized recreational marijuana. It was in 2016 that five different states actually legalized recreational marijuana. These states were Massachusetts, Nevada, California, Maine, and Vermont. In the same year, Florida, North Dakota, Arkansas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania legalized medical cannabis. The year 2018 was an important year for cannabis because industrial hemp was made legal in 2018, which gave legalization to all kinds of CBD products, which remain on the top of sales. From drinks infused with CBD to skincare, edibles, vape pens and more, the market just exploded. In fact, you can even find fast food infused with CBD.
The path ahead
Canada became the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana in 2018, and it was a great move, if experts are to be believed, both for users and the government, because it made insane money through tax. Recently, the MORE Act was passed by U.S. House Judiciary Committee, which basically will delist cannabis from the list of controlled substances, and this also means that more states can take their own call on marijuana. It remains to be seen where recreational marijuana will stand in the decade that follows.