Marijuana may only be legal in a handful of U.S. states, but that doesn’t mean all other states treat the drug like its the spawn of Satan. Many states have decriminalized the drug and rarely enforce anti-cannabis laws.
Here are 10 states where marijuana isn’t legal, but it may as well be:
Technically, this will only be true for another few months since Vermont legalized marijuana earlier this year, but even before those laws kick in, it’s still mostly ok to use cannabis there. Vermont has the eight lowest rate of marijuana arrests in the country and has the third highest rate of cannabis users behind only Oregon and Colorado.
Yet again, another state that we can only include on this list for another few months before legalization starts in July. Massachusetts has the lowest marijuana arrest rate in the country as well as the eighth highest rate of users. No wonder they legalized!
Again, technically a state that has legalized marijuana. But the state’s governor has refused to sign legislation that would actually implement the new laws. But he seems to be the only person in the state who actually still cares if people use cannabis.
When you think of progressive states, Ohio usually doesn’t really come to mind. But they’re actually ahead of the curve when it comes to marijuana. The state has decriminalized cannabis and has the 10th lowest marijuana arrest rate in the country.
Illinois is seen as a future battleground for legalized marijuana. The state’s already decriminalized cannabis and allows it for a limited number of medical reasons. And the Chicago Police Department routinely brags about how much marijuana arrests are decreasing in recent years. So you’re pretty safe to toke up here.
Hawaii does not have decriminalized marijuana, and only recently implemented a medical cannabis law. But the state is pretty tolerant towards the drug. They rank sixth in the country in lowest marijuana arrest rates, and actually have lower arrests than some legalized states.
Delaware is a state that many believe will legalize marijuana in the near future. The state’s already decriminalized the drug, and has begun holding legislative hearings about possibly legalizing it. They’re already pretty lax on the drug, so why not just go all the way?
3. New Hampshire
New Hampshire is currently in a legalized marijuana sandwich. Every place that it borders (Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and Canada) has voted to legalized marijuana but are waiting to implement their new laws. Considering New Hampshire has the ninth highest rate of marijuana users in the country, the state may have to legalize as well before they lose all their residents to neighboring states.
2. Rhode Island
You can basically just put “New England” on this list, because pretty much every state in this region is cool with marijuana, and Rhode Island is no different. The state’s decriminalized the drug, and has the seventh highest rate of marijuana users, ahead of the recently legalized Massachusetts.
Like other states on this list, people expect Connecticut to legalize marijuana in the relatively near future. They already boast the fifth lowest arrest rate for cannabis-related offenses, and they’ve decriminalized the drug. And with so many of their neighbors joining the ranks of legalized states, they probably will soon as well.