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What States Have Legalized Weed?

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A look at the 21 states that have legalized recreational marijuana, and the 12 still pushing for full-legalization.

Description: A map of the United States with highlighted states that have legalized recreational marijuana use.

As of 2021, twenty-one states have legalized recreational marijuana use, while 37 have approved some form of medical marijuana statute. As the legalization of cannabis continues to spread across the country, more states are pushing for full-legalization legislation. Full-legalization legislation has been introduced this year in at least 12 states: Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

In Oklahoma, the state has embraced medical marijuana, with some 400 dispensaries in Oklahoma City alone. But voters decided against going further and legalizing recreational marijuana in 2020. However, the state is set to vote again on a ballot initiative in 2021 that could possibly legalize cannabis in Oklahoma.

In Washington state, Senate Bill 5069 is one of several marijuana-related bills this legislative session. If passed, it would legalize marijuana in the state if the federal government decriminalizes it. Of the 15 states in which Joe Biden won by at least 10 percentage points in 2020, only Delaware and Hawaii haven't legalized recreational marijuana use.

In Illinois, the first month of adult-use cannabis sales generated $52 million in sales and taxes. legalization has also been proposed for the state of Missouri, which is bordered by Illinois. Oklahomans will also have a decision to make in 2021, with State Question 820 proposing the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The federal government's legalization of cannabis would have a major impact on the states that have already legalized it. Businesses would be able to transport their products across state lines, and the taxes generated by the sale of cannabis would increase significantly. Local municipalities would also be banned from prohibiting marijuana businesses from operating in their areas.

As the push for full-legalization continues, more states are likely to join the twenty-one that have already legalized recreational marijuana. This could mean a big change in terms of the availability of cannabis products and the taxes generated by their sale.

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