Marijuana States

Legal Marijuana States

MMJ Doctors knows how tricky it can be figuring out which states have legalized marijuana and what their laws might be. We decided to let you know about legal marijuana states, along with a bit of their history, such as when they legalized and what hurdles they had to go through.


Alaska became one of the first legal marijuana states taking a very big step towards eventual legalization. This was back in 1975, which is also the year of the Ravin v. State court case happened. The Alaska Supreme Court declared the decriminalization by allowing a certain amount of marijuana to be privately held for home use.

While recriminalization measures would later be passed, the previous Ravin court case was still in play. This would be seen in the 2003 case Noy v. State, where the precedent set by Ravin allowed for the one David S. Noy to not be convicted. It was not until 2014 that Alaska, along with Oregon, was able to legalize marijuana through votes during that year’s Election Day.


California has been at the forefront of marijuana legalization, advocating for it officially in the early 1970s. Being an important state for the counterculture movement, it has a long history of people who have been in support of marijuana in all its forms. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, becoming a true trailblazer in the greater acceptance of medicinal cannabis.

It would not be until twenty years later that marijuana would finally be fully legalized in California. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), also known as Proposition 64, was approved in late 2016; the sale of recreational marijuana commenced in early 2018. Prop 64 also allowed for the retroactive recall and resentence of thousands of felony and misdemeanors related to marijuana from as far back as the 1970s.


Colorado has a very colorful history with marijuana, which goes back one hundred years with a state amendment from 1917 prohibiting cannabis. Over the following decades, many would wind up being incarcerated for selling and possessing cannabis. It was not until 2000 that medical marijuana became legalized in the state, which allowed residents to use cannabis for a wide variety of health ailments.

Recreational marijuana in the state was legalized in 2012, with the selling of products from dispensaries beginning in January 2014. This resulted in a new form of tourism for a state already accustomed to tourists. Colorado has since gained a strong number of revenues from both actual sales and accrued taxes.


Illinois holds the distinction of being the first state to legalize recreational cannabis via the state legislator. Starting right at the start of 2020, recreational marijuana use will be completely legal.

But before that, it took the state many years to have any sort of legal cannabis. It was not until 2013 that the state legalized medical marijuana, which was passed by the state’s General Assembly. It would not be until 2016 that medical marijuana was decriminalized within the state of Illinois.

*Illinois law legalizing the use of recreational marijuana is set to go into effect for January 2020


The state of Maine had kept cannabis illegal for most of the 20th century, but it was decriminalized in 1976. Medical marijuana was legalized in 1999; ten years later, marijuana was decriminalized further, increasing the amount that could be permitted without prosecution.

Recreational marijuana in Maine was voted upon in 2016, with the “Yes” vote winning by an extremely slim margin. As a result, due to a quite noticeable half of voters being against legalization, it has taken years for Maine to be able to legally sell recreational marijuana throughout the state.


Massachusetts has one of the more complicated situations involving cannabis. The most straightforward thing that can be said is that medical marijuana was voted to be legalized in 2013, followed by a vote for recreational in 2016. However, it has taken years for rules and regulations to be set, so that the sale and purchase of recreational marijuana can happen. Additionally, some specific towns throughout the state have banned or set moratoriums regarding retail stores for recreational marijuana.


Ann Arbor is a unique case for being so lenient in its marijuana laws, and it would not be until other cities in Michigan followed suit. Later reforms in the 2010s were enacted in various cities that decriminalized marijuana possession.

It was in 2018 that a ballot was passed to legalize recreational marijuana usage. Under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, adults aged 21 and older can legally up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis.


Nevada had voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1998 and 2000, being taken into effect in 2001. From here, a pass to legalize recreational marijuana was attempted a few times, until finally being voted on in 2016. The sale and consumption of recreational marijuana began in 2017.


The state of Oregon has had one of the longest histories with marijuana. It became one of the first states to decriminalize it in the early 1970s. This was the first step in a series of measures that made sure to put cannabis on the lowest priority for law enforcement and state government. By 1998, medical marijuana was voted to be legalized in the state.

It would not be until 2014 that voters made recreational marijuana legal. Before that, a 2012 ballot had tried but failed to pass for recreational use. Under the rule that all recreational businesses must be licensed to sell products, many businesses applied for licenses, resulting in a strong increase with the start of 2017.


Vermont started by legalizing medical marijuana in 2004, without the signature of the state’s governor. It was then decriminalized in 2013, but it took a few years before it was legalized for recreational use. It would not be until 2018 that recreational usage was legalized and began being enacted.


As it is right on top of Oregon, it should be no surprise that Washington also has had a similar history with marijuana. After several cases and situations involving people needing marijuana for medical purposes, voters passed for legal medical marijuana in 1998 (the same year as Oregon). In the realm of legalization, Washington actually beat Oregon by two years, as they were able to legalize it in 2012.

District of Columbia

Washington, D.C. has unique laws pertaining to marijuana. As of 2019, marijuana is legal both recreationally and medically; however, you cannot purchase marijuana recreationally, only medically. This means medical marijuana patients are free to visit medical dispensaries, but anyone interested in purchasing marijuana recreationally within D.C. is out of luck. It’s a strange rule that allows for the drug to be fine within the District but not legally purchasable unless you have an MMJ card.

The Medical Marijuana States with Reciprocity

Due to the legality surrounding medical marijuana, it can be difficult to know whether you can use your MMJ ID card outside of the state you originally got it from. We are here to provide a list of the marijuana states that do accept out-of-state ID cards; we will also include any additional info about the respective state.

Recognizes out-of-state MMJ ID cards, but does not allow visitors to purchase from state dispensaries.

As long as you prove the existence of your out-of-state MMJ ID card, you can sign a visiting patient form.

You can apply for a 60-day allowance twice per year or use of your out-of-state ID in Hawaii. You must also have a condition that qualifies you for medical marijuana in Hawaii. There is also an application fee of $49.50.

While Maine recognizes out-of-state MMJ ID cards, you cannot purchase any medical marijuana unless you are registered within the state by a state physician.

While enforcement may vary, the law in Michigan under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program states that out-of-state MMJ IDs are recognized.


New Hampshire

Out-of-state visitors can pay $100 for a temporary 30-day license that lets you use your MMJ ID card.

Rhode Island
As long as you qualify under RI’s conditions for receiving medical marijuana.

District of Columbia

Contact MMJ Doctors Florida or New York to get started on your card

Choosing MMJ Doctors

While they do not have recreational or reciprocity, New York and Florida have both legalized medical marijuana and are now legal medical marijuana states. Both states permit you to get a medical marijuana card and purchase medical marijuana legally at in-state licensed dispensaries, as long as you have a certification from a qualified cannabis doctor. You can get in touch with MMJ Doctors to set up your appointment with a licensed physician either in New York or Florida; the appointment can be in-person or via a video call in New York and only in-person in Florida. Getting your MMJ card has never been easier, and MMJ Doctors makes sure it stays that way. Call us toll-free on 1(888) 578-6704 or visit our appointment webpage to make your appointment today.

Schedule an appointment with a qualified marijuana doctor today

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