But it does seem that prohibition tends to be an inadequate public health response to drug use, and that legalization and decriminalization can help both remove the taboo of a drug, increase the amount of research put into the safety of that drug, and help people access that drug at a lower risk, as they’re honestly going to buy it no matter how legal or illegal it is. Research has shown time and time again that increasing safe access to potentially harmful substances, rather than restricting access and imprisoning those struggling with substance abuse issues, can help reduce the risk of death, sickness, and addiction.
Despite the protestations of policy experts, medical professionals, and dedicated activists around the country, the federal government continues to classify marijuana as a schedule 1 narcotic. The Drug Enforcement Administration defines that particular class of substances as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” a phrase that quite objectively does not describe marijuana. But despite the federal government’s intransigence, it appears that more and more Americans aren’t taking Reefer Madness as gospel.
Because the legalization of recreational marijuana is happening on a state-by-state basis, the question of where is weed legal may be one that some have trouble answering. But luckily, we’ve made a marijuana map that shows states with legal weed. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the fast-track to legalization happening all over the country, let’s get into the basics of legal weed.
States Where Adult Recreational Use of Marijuana Is Legal
All of these states have also decriminalized marijuana and set up medical cannabis programs.
A handful of other states across the country have already legalized and decriminalized the drug for recreational and medical use, suggesting that voters have changed their minds about whether marijuana is a gateway drug and whether people deserve to go to jail for possessing it.
And then there’s the money. Part of the reason voters like legalizing weed is the demonstrated impact it can have on the economy. After Colorado legalized weed, the state gave the tax dollars from weed sales to their public school systems to the tune of $160 million in the first five years. The states that are joining Colorado can expect to see a similar economic boom from the legalized, taxed, and regulated sale of the drug.
For parents of color and parents of older teenagers, legalization for people over 21 comes as a positive good in a time where young adults can have their entire careers, lives, and educational futures derailed if they’re caught with a gram of weed on them.
States that have legalized cannabis sometimes limit how marijuana businesses can use traditional marketing channels, forcing dispensaries to get creative with how they reach out to their potential customers.
Physical shops are a popular way for many consumers to buy their cannabis products. Customers can see the range of products for sale, check out the packaging, smell the different strains of cannabis flower, and ask as many questions as it takes to find the best products.
Finding a Recreational Dispensary
There are limitations to how much marijuana and its derived products you can legally purchase and possess at any given time. These amounts will change by state, so check with your budtender to find out how much marijuana you can buy at one time.
While most new users have a mental image of walking into a cannabis shop when deciding to buy marijuana for the first time, there are actually a few choices in how you get your marijuana, including entering brick and mortar shops, ordering your selections ahead of time for pickup, and having someone deliver your order. Some shops even offer all three options. Other dispensaries may exist only as a delivery service.
Maine and Vermont have also legalized recreational marijuana. However, as of now, there are no legal dispensaries licensed in these markets, so consumers aren’t able to purchase marijuana yet.
If you live in a state where recreational use is legal, you can buy weed online — but under one condition. Online purchases still need to be made from a business based in your state since transporting weed across state borders is illegal, even if it’s between two “legal” states.
8Delta8 employs both internal and third-party testing, ensuring top quality and safety. Its products feature a QR-code, which takes you straight to the lab results on the company’s website. This way, customers can easily make sure that they’re not consuming any cutting agents or additives.
While Finest Lab’s primary specialty is terpenes, the company’s love for cannabinoid science and its healing powers doesn’t end there.
4. Snap Dragon
Delta 8 THC is present in very low levels in cannabis, so low that extracting it becomes highly ineffective, and a particular process is required. Delta 8 THC extracted from hemp is federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.
Again, it’s a legal gray area.
Moreover, in the legal market, medical dispensaries, in particular, offer a much wider range of strains bred and groomed to produce specific effects. With the black market, not only are your options minimal, but you can’t even be sure of what you’re getting.
The following vendors have made the cut after a careful process of vetting the market.