The United States is still feeling the effects of the 2016 Election. A lot of controversy surrounds the results of the Presidential portion of Election Day. However, many states voted in favor across the board on one particular item this past year – to legalize marijuana.
Nine states voted on marijuana laws, resulting in eight states favoring the use of the medicinal plant. Now, more than half of the states in America allow the use of marijuana in some form. This past election season has brought the current tally up to 29 states plus the District of Columbia.
There are two different ways that marijuana is regulated in the U.S.A. It is regulated both recreationally and medicinally. Therefore, in some states one or the other may be legal. In others, it may be both.
Recreational laws are much like drinking laws. You have to be at least 21 to buy cannabis. The second regulation is medicinally. This is where a specialist writes you a prescription for a strane that will placate to your needs, whether it be depression, anxiety, eating disorders, HIV, etc.
Out of the 29 states, as well as D.C., here are the 12 that consume the most marijuana.
Legalizing marijuana medically in 1996, California was the first state to vote in favor of marijuana in the United States. However, the west-coast state only voted this past election season to legalize it recreationally. With 4,633,000 users, California has the most total users in the United States. However, with a population of 39.25 million, only 14.9% of Cali residents use marijuana, ranking the Golden State at the bottom of this list percentage-wise.
Marijuana has been medically legal for almost a decade, as Michigan passed a law in favor of it in 2008. Since then, 1,304,000 of the 9.93 million that populate the Wolverine State use marijuana as treatment for their ailments. That makes 15.6% of the state marijuana users.
- New Mexico
New Mexico is currently in its tenth year of legalized medical marijuana. However, there seems to be no shift any time soon as it comes to legalizing it recreationally. Many states have a tendency to begin with the decriminalization of marijuana prior to making the plant recreationally legal. However, in New Mexico, a maximum marijuana fine can still carry up to $5,000. Of the 2.08 million that inhabit the Land of Enchantment, 267,000 people use medical marijuana, making up 15.6% of the population.
- New Hampshire
House Bill 573 passed in 2013, making medical marijuana legal in New Hampshire. Of the 1.33 million who call The Granite State Home, 194,000 people use medicinal marijuana. That makes for 17.1% of the state benefitting from the plant.
Massachusetts took a big stand for cannabis in 2008, when it decriminalized possession of the plant to $100 for less than an ounce. The New England-based state also voted yes to Question 2, legalizing medical marijuana that year as well. It wasn’t until this past election where Massachusetts citizens voted yes to recreational marijuana. Now, 989,000 of the 6.81 million residents of Massachusetts use marijuana, which equals 17.6% of the state.
- Rhode Island
The smallest of the United States is one of the smokiest. With only 1.6 million people in the coastal state, 170,000 use marijuana medically. With such a small population, that means 18.7% use marijuana to treat their illnesses.
Maine was one of the first states to legalize marijuana medically, as they passed a bill in 1999. However, recreational marijuana only became legal this past election. With 1.33 million people living in the Pine Tree State, 224,000 use marijuana in some form. That means that 19.4% of the northernmost part of New England are marijuana users.
The Evergreen State sure does love its green. In 2012, Washington voted to legalize marijuana recreationally and medically. Now, 1,105,000 of the 7.29 million who live on this Canadian border-state use marijuana. Edging out Maine by a hair, 19.5% of Washingtonians participate in marijuana consumption.
The 49th State was not one of the last to legalize marijuana. Back in 2014, Alaska voted yes to both recreational and medicinal marijuana. Now, 114,000 of the 741,894 Last Frontier residents use marijuana in some form, making up 19.5% percent of the largest state in America.
The home of Bernie Sanders loves their marijuana. Cannabis became legalized medically back in 2004, and has been decriminalized numerous times since. In 2016 and 2017, bills have passed and stalled to legalize the plant recreationally. However, it is widely believed that The Green Mountain State will get greener in 2018. As for now, 108,000 people out of 624,594 use the plant, which makes for 19.8% percent of the state.
Oregon is well-known for its greener lifestyle. That’s what makes it an easy number 2 on our list. Since 2014, 646,000 of the 4.9 million people living in Oregon consume marijuana either recreationally or medicinally. That measures out to 19.9% of the state utilizing the plant.
No other state may be more synonymous with marijuana than the forerunner of ending the prohibition on recreational weed, Colorado. As of 2012, the Rocky Mountain State has been the standard bearer of marijuana, producing billions of tax revenues that have gone toward schools and infrastructure. 909,000 of the 5.54 million in Colorado use the plant recreationally and medicinally. That makes for 21.6% of the state’s residents marijuana users.
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