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As cannabis legalization spreads across the country, more questions are popping up about medical marijuana vs recreational marijuana.
States like California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Illinois, and Hawaii have legalized recreational marijuana use in recent years. Prior to legalization, these states allowed medical marijuana so get the difference between medical vs recreational weed.
A Complete Guide About Medical vs Recreational Weed
However, over 30 states don’t currently allow legalized recreational use, even though some allow medicinal use. Despite recreational use being illegal in several states, many states have decriminalized marijuana use, creating confusing gray areas.
The rise of CBD is also confusing the matter. Some states don’t technically allow full legalized recreational use but do allow CBD consumption. As CBD and hemp products become even more mainstream, expect “mixed legal status” states to move toward full legalization.
Let’s take a closer look at this hotly debated issue.
Where Is Recreational and Medical Use Prohibited?
There are still a few states that strictly prohibit marijuana consumption, including medical use. Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina don’t allow recreational or medicinal use of marijuana.
Furthermore, these states have not decriminalized use either, which means you could pay hefty fines or face jail time for marijuana.
What Is Marijuana Decriminalization?
Marijuana decriminalization is naturally confusing since it doesn’t mean legalization.
States that decriminalize marijuana don’t prosecute individuals caught with small amounts of weed; however, depending on a state’s laws, a DA could prosecute someone for possessing a larger amount of cannabis. Most states that decriminalized recreational use also allow legal medicinal use.
These states decriminalized use but have not fully legalized recreational marijuana:
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- New York
- Rhode Island
If you plan to travel or move to these states, research respective decriminalization laws before consuming recreational marijuana.
Strictly Medical Marijuana vs Recreational Marijuana Use
What about states that haven’t decriminalized marijuana? Don’t worry. Many of these states still allow legal medical use.
For example, Oklahoma has not decriminalized recreational use and possession. However, medical use is fully legal in the state. You need a medical marijuana license to visit an approved dispensary.
States with similar laws include Utah, Arizona, Montana, Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. Read very carefully, through; states like Texas and Georgia only allow CBD medical Use.
The Federal Law Conundrum
Another complicated factor is federal law. Despite rising legalization, medical and recreational marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Federal agents don’t arrest individuals for using cannabis; however, they do raid medical vs recreational weed dispensaries on occasion.
Despite talk of dispensary raids coming to an end, some raids are still being carried out by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agency. However, under the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, the Justice Department can’t use federal funds to obstruct state marijuana laws.
Knowledge Is Your Best Defense for Medical Marijuana vs Recreational Marijuana
Don’t get caught in the crosshairs of strict marijuana laws. Learn the difference between medical marijuana vs recreational marijuana first.
Informed decisions start with reliable information. Check out the blog to discover more expert tips on your favorite cannabis topics.