States That Have Decriminalized Marijuana

States That Have Decriminalized Marijuana

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The following states have passed laws decriminalizing certain marijuana possession offenses. Typically, decriminalization means no arrest, prison time, or criminal record for the first-time possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal consumption. In most decriminalized states, these offenses are treated like a minor traffic violation.



  • Alaska*
  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware**
  • District of Columbia*
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota****
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri*** ****
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada****
  • New York
  • North Carolina****
  • Ohio****
  • Oregon*
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

* Voters in each of these jurisdictions have subsequently approved legislation legalizing the adult use and personal cultivation of cannabis

** Delaware’s decriminalization law takes effect December 18, 2015

*** Missouri’s decriminalization law takes effect January 1, 2017.

**** These states still classify marijuana possession offenses as criminal misdemeanors, but the offenses do not carry any threat of jail time.

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