Here Is Every American City That Legalized (or Decriminalized) Marijuana in 2017

Polls continue to show Americans favor legalizing or decriminalizing cannabis for adult use, and each year more cities throughout the United States move forward with their own legislation to regulate the herb. 2017 brought both disappointments (like the rescinding of marijuana decriminalization in Nashville and Memphis in April) and victories to cannabis activists at local levels. To help you brainstorm for your next cannabis-friendly destination, here is every American city that legalized (or decriminalized) marijuana in 2017.

  • Denver, Colorado
    In November of 2017, Denver city officials implemented the voter-backed ordinance for consuming cannabis in public social settings that passed in 2016. However, there are still rules against smoking weed out in the open; the ordinance only allows the vaping and eating of marijuana in businesses with the proper permit.
  • Athens, Ohio
    In November of 2017, voters passed a new ordinance to remove fines and court costs for misdemeanor marijuana offenders.
  • Atlanta, Georgia
    In October of 2017, the city council of Atlanta voted 15-0 in favor of decriminalizing marijuana within the city limits. The decision reduces the penalty for possessing up to one ounce of cannabis from jail time to a $75 fine
  • York, Pennsylvania
    In July of 2017, the York City Council voted 4-1 in favor of giving law enforcement officers the flexibility to treat first, second and third offenses for possession of small amounts of cannabis as civil matters. The ordinance reduced penalties for those found with up to 30 grams of marijuana and up to eight grams of hashish from arrests with jail time to citations and fines.
  • Wichita, Kansas
    In June of 2017, the Wichita City Council voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance that is more lenient in dealing with first-time offenders of cannabis possession within the city limits, reducing penalties from jail time to up to $2,500 in fines.
  • Kansas City, Missouri
    In April of 2017, voters in Kansas City approved a measure to eliminate the up-to 180-day jail sentences and reduce fines from $500 to $25 for adults caught with up to 35 grams of cannabis within the city limits.
  • New Orléans, Louisiana
    In March of 2017, the New Orléans City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to decriminalize marijuana possession within the city limits. It reduced penalties from jail time to a fine of $40-100.
  • Houston, Texas
    In February of 2017, the Harris County District Attorney announced a new program to decriminalize cannabis possession in Houston and surrounding areas within the county. In lieu of an arrest, adults caught with up to four ounces will have 90 days to complete a four-hour class.


Saying you work in cannabis is sure to raise some eyebrows. Some people might be curious, others might not take you seriously, and still others might ask how they can invest. These cannabis executives dish on the reactions they get when they say they work in the space, and how those reactions have evolved over the past 10 years.

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