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.


Before Nikki Furrer was a cannabis writer and professional, she had another dream job: owning an independent bookstore. While she says her business venture as a bookseller was ultimately untenable, it did open her eyes to how much she enjoys “matching the reader to the exact book they’re craving.” This zest for matchmaking is evident in her book 'A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis.' As the title suggests, 'A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis' is for women who are curious about cannabis. A more appropriate title, however, might have been a 'A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis.' Though Furrer touches on applications for the plant that are specific to women—relief of menstrual pain or beauty (though her belief that cannabis is a beauty product because it makes you appear more well-rested seems relevant to both men and women—much of the information in the book is relevant to anyone who is totally inexperienced with cannabis, apprehensive about trying it and needs a run down of the basics.

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