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Here's the Timeline for the History of Marijuana Legalization in the United States

While it seems every year the United States adds at least one more state to the list of legalized marijuana states, it's important to remember that 20 years ago we had only one state with legal medical marijuana only. So this is a good time to reflect on the history of marijuana legalization in America.

The Motley Fool helped put together a timeline of major milestones in marijuana legalization, and we thought it would be a good idea to share it as well. Take a look:


California passes Proposition 215 legalizing medical marijuana in the state. Arizona also passes an initiative legalizing medical marijuana, but it's later ruled invalid for referring to "marijuana prescriptions" which are illegal under federal law.


Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Washington D.C. all pass various medical marijuana laws, although Congress would prevent Washington D.C. from implementing theirs.


Maine legalizes medical marijuana through a ballot initiative.


Colorado, Hawaii and Nevada all legalize medical marijuana.


California passes a law preventing doctors from receiving punishments for recommending marijuana to patients.


Montana and Vermont legalize medical marijuana.


New Mexico and Rhode Island legalize medical marijuana, while Vermont and Oregon expand their own programs.


Michigan legalizes medical marijuana.


New Jersey legalizes medical marijuana. Congress reverses a previous decision and allows Washington D.C. to legalize medical marijuana. The Obama administration passes a new policy that asks prosecutors to refrain from going after people for using marijuana.


Arizona legalizes medical marijuana, and Washington D.C. does so once again.


Delaware legalizes medical marijuana.


Colorado and Washington voters approve ballot initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana. Massachusetts legalizes medical marijuana.


Illinois and New Hampshire legalize medical marijuana. The Obama administration introduces the Cole Memo establishing federal protections for states with legalized marijuana.


Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. all legalize recreational marijuana. Minnesota and New York legalize medical marijuana.


California, Nevada and Massachusetts legalize recreational marijuana. Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Ohio all legalize medical marijuana.


West Virginia legalizes medical marijuana.


Jeff Sessions rescinds the Cole Memo protecting legalized marijuana states. Vermont legalizes recreational marijuana and Oklahoma legalizes medical marijuana.

Of course, 2018 isn't over, and Michigan and/or North Dakota could legalize recreational marijuana while Utah and/or Missouri could do so medically.

We can't wait for the day when, "Congress legalizes marijuana" can be added to this timeline.

(h/t Motley Fool)


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