The bill then moved on to Senate for consideration, where progress has essentially stalled. In addition to facing an unfriendly Republican majority, Senate Banking Committee Chair, Mike Crap, has proved more interested in introducing his own legislation to address marijuana banking concerns—specifically something that would provide more protection for hemp and CBD businesses as well as ban high-THC vapes and certain edibles.
Marijuana Laws in Each State
Conditions that qualify for medical marijuana prescriptions include:
North Carolina Marijuana Laws: Medical (CBD) and Decriminalized
On April 7, 2021, Virginia's legislature passed a bill legalizing the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana for adults ages 21 and over, starting July 1. It will also be legal to cultivate up to four cannabis plants by this date, though it could take years before Virginia begins licensing recreational marijuana retailers. This law also won't allow existing medical dispensaries to begin selling to all adults immediately. Additionally, the bill allows for the resentencing of individuals currently imprisoned for cannabis-related offenses, though this prevision must be reenacted by 2022.
• It is legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to three ounces of marijuana.
• It is legal for adults 21 and over to grow up to six mature plants and six immature plants per household.
Weed has a golden cloud around it, where regressive, cobwebbed fears have been replaced by excitement, at least on the grand scale.
Who knows? Maybe one day our federal government will get it together. Until then, here are the 18 states plus the District of Columbia that have chosen to make it legal to buy and consume recreational marijuana, as well as the 36 states plus D.C. that have approved medical marijuana.
• It is legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana outside the home, and up to 10 ounces of marijuana inside the home.
• It is legal for adults 21 and over to grow up to six plants per household.
Weed is so normalized in America that it’s hardly cool anymore. Once Martha Stewart, Elon Musk, and your aunt—not even the eccentric one—started talking about marijuana like it was ibuprofen, it felt like it lost its gloried grunge. Long gone are the days of dirty bongs, replaced by high-brow smoking accessories and a trove of luxe edibles. Oh, and hundred-thousand-dollar bongs that are coveted like art, because they are art. The industry is dabbling in non-alcoholic THC beverages, and the country’s first-ever weed restaurant, where you can smoke and dine in public without feeling anything more than your regular dose of paranoia, opened in West Hollywood.
While he was in his Attorney General post, Jeff Sessions—Remember him? The flaming racist who thinks “good people don’t smoke marijuana?”—rescinded an Obama-era memo that protected states where marijuana was legal from most federal prosecution. That about summed up the lack of forward movement during the Trump years. (Trump did, it should be noted, think marijuana makes people “lose IQ points,” a fact we present without comment.) But more and more politicians on both sides of the aisle are in favor of decriminalization. In December, the House passed the MORE Act, which would decriminalize marijuana nationally, lead to expunged records for federal cannabis offenses, and set aside money for underrepresented communities in cannabis industry. It was welcomed by a slim Democratic majority when it hit the Senate, where it’s in committee.
• It is legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana.
• It is legal for adults 21 and over to grow five or fewer plants per household.
• It is legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana outside the home, and up to eight ounces of homegrown marijuana inside the home.
• It is legal for adults 21 and over to grow up to four plants per household.
At this point, it’s hardly a surprise that yet another state has decided to make itself a haven for marijuana users (as well as businesses tapping into the lucrative marijuana market). The tax revenue alone is hugely enticing; New York is expected to rake in $350 million a year. But as states legalize and business booms, as celebrities dive into the marijuana market and influencers suck on vape pens for the ‘gram, the weed industry must contend with vast inequality in America. Historically, law enforcement grossly targeted minority people, even though white people statistically use marijuana at the same rate. While cannabis brands blossom on social media, people still sit in prison for nonviolent drug offenses. Expungement of criminal records and cannabis business practices that benefit the communities most ripped apart by the War on Drugs are necessary, and must go hand in hand with legalization in the states. Or, at the federal level.