Understanding the Legalization of Marijuana

More and more states across the United States have been passing laws for the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana has many nicknames such as weed, pot, dope, or cannabis. It is made from the dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. It contains psychoactive compounds including THC. Weed also contains other active compounds like cannabidiol, or CBD, that are not mind-altering.

Legalization of Marijuana: Changes Over Time


As of August, 2020, there have been 11 different states that have legalized the recreational use of weed. This list includes Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. In addition to 11 states passing laws for the legalization of marijuana, some have decriminalized it. This includes 16 other states, plus the US Virgin Islands as well.

The legalization of recreational marijuana has been a recent move. In 2012, Colorado and Washington were the first states to pass this law. However, it is still illegal on the federal level. 


CBD, which is short for cannabidiol has been a big buzzword lately. It is the second most common of the active ingredients of marijuana. While CBD is a part of of marijuana, one of hundreds, it does not cause a high on its own. You can find this product in oils, skincare products, food, and many more things. However, CBD is currently illegal in Idaho, Iowa, and South Dakota. In other states, some forms may be legal while others are illegal. Every state is has different laws about CBD.


Just because many states have passed the legalization of marijuana, there are still rules surrounding the drug. For instance, it is not legal to drive while high. Smoking weed can alter your mental state and impair your ability to drive. You can be charged with a DUI for driving high even if you live in a state where medical or recreational marijuana use is legal. This includes states like Colorado and California.

It is very important that you do not drive while high. Although you may think you are fine to drive, your mind and actions could be impaired. You could be putting your life, and the life of others, in danger.