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Marijuana laws in the United States vary from state to state.
Since the late ’90s, states like California have started to shift policies and regulations surrounding the purchase and use of marijuana.
On the federal level, marijuana is considered a controlled substance and listed as a Schedule 1 drug. These legislations intend to describe the relative abuse potential and the likelihood of causing dependence on select drugs.
However, the government set these policies in the 1970s and has not updated them since.
Those statutes, established over 50 years ago, are still in effect today and don’t reflect modern research.
This is problematic because recent research shows marijuana provides many healing benefits.
The good news is that in the United States, most policy enforcement defers to the individual state governments. Inasmuch, each state has the right to develop its own legislation surrounding cannabis purchase and use.
In some states, marijuana and related products are legal recreationally, so they’re readily available for purchase in dispensaries. In other states, marijuana is medically legal and prescribed by doctors. In a few states, neither recreational nor medical marijuana is legal (yet!)
Here is a current list of states where marijuana is legal and unrestricted (for recreational use):