Marijuana legalization is always a hot-button issue with those on both sides ready to argue their case. Just this week legislators in the state of Missouri voted in favor of Amendment 3. Once it goes into effect on December 8, 2022, it will be legal for adults over the age of 21 to purchase marijuana for non-medical purposes in the Show-Me State.

Joining the Ranks

With the passing of Amendment 3, Missouri will now join the ranks of other states where marijuana is legal for recreational usage. While the majority of the country still has recreational marijuana outlawed, there are now 21 states that have legalized it. According to,

Missourians on Tuesday voted to legalize recreational marijuana use, create measures for equity in the state’s new distribution system and expunge some nonviolent marijuana offenses. By passing Amendment 3, they joined voters in Maryland to become the 20th and 21st states to allow adults to use weed for nonmedical purposes.

Photo by Wesley Gibbs on Unsplash

States Where Recreational Marijuana is Legal

Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use a decade ago in 2012. Since then 19 other states and Washington D.C., have followed suit, including Missouri and Maryland just last week. However, at this time recreational marijuana use is still illegal under federal law. Here are the 21 states where recreational use is legal in the United States:

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  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

What About Indiana

The future of legalized marijuana in Indiana still looks bleak. Despite bordering Illinois where its recreational use is legal, when it comes to marijuana in the Hoosier State, it continues to be illegal both recreationally and medically. According to NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), any possession of marijuana under 30 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. For those with a prior drug offense, the sentence jumps to 1 year in jail, and a maximum fine of $5,000. A person found with 30 grams or more of marijuana in the state of Indiana can be charged with a felony, facing anywhere from 6 months to two-and-a-half years in jail with fines up to $10,000.


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LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

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