Every State with Legal Recreational Marijuana Ranked by How Long It’s Been Legal There

The United States continues to move forward with marijuana reform as more states begin to introduce medical and recreational cannabis laws. As of January 1, 2018, eight states and the District of Columbia have recreational adult use laws in effect. California became the eighth state to officially rollout these adult use laws the first day of January, which places the state in eighth on our ranking of recreational marijuana states by how long the drug has been legal there.

Washington ranks first on this list of recreational states because on December 6, 2012, it made history as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. Just a few days later, Colorado joined Washington as one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, making it the second state to join the legal ranks. Alaska is the next state on the ranking, though it took another three years for it to join in marijuana reform, became the third state to legalize recreational use on February 24, 2015. Oregon ranks next on the list because the state legalized marijuana just a few months later, so by October 2015, participating medical marijuana dispensaries began selling recreational cannabis in the state. Now, Vermont is also making history as the first to legalize marijuana through a legislative measure.


If passed, a new bipartisan bill filed in the House of Representative this week would automatically seal some federal marijuana convictions. On Tuesday, Representatives Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) introduced a new piece of legislation titled the Clean Slate Act. Under the new bill, individuals with federal cannabis convictions will automatically have their records sealed one year after they have completed their sentence.

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