Although the United States is slowly becoming the land of the red, white, and green because more states are legalizing marijuana, the laws in some states are still extremely harsh. In the 2016 election, four states passed initiatives legalizing non-medical marijuana in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine. As of said election, approximately one in five Americans live in a state where it’s legal to smoke marijuana without a doctor’s recommendation. Once all these changes to the various state laws take effect, there will be a total of eight states and Washington, D.C. that have fully legalized marijuana. Even though this is great progress for the marijuana industry, the other four in five Americans still live in states where marijuana laws and punishments exist.
If you’re not living in one of the legal states, one of the worst places to get charged with possession in is Arizona. Arizona is the only state where if caught with any amount of marijuana, even just a small amount for personal use, it is considered a felony. Even a first-time offender can face up to two years of jail time and a $150,000 fine. During the 2016 election, for the second time in Arizona’s history, the state rejected a ballot measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana.