November 8 2016. Five states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — considered legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. Three others — Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota — decided whether to permit cannabis for medical purposes. Montana weighed whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical cannabis law.

California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada legalized cannabis for recreational use after November 8 voting and can open their shops in 2018. Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota and Montana voters have approved cannabis for medical use.

Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. In Alaska, adults 21 and older can now transport, buy or possess up to an ounce of marijuana and six plants. Oregon voters approved a similar measure allowing adults to posses up to an ounce of marijuana in public and 8 ounces in their homes, set to take effect July 1. Colorado and Washington previously passed similar ballot measures legalizing marijuana in 2012.

Most recently, Louisiana lawmakers amended the state’s existing medical marijuana law, permitting doctors to recommend rather than prescribe medical marijuana, which runs counter to federal law. The law also expanded the list of eligible conditions for cannabis treatment.

Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing cannabis in some form.


Arizona (rejected), California (approved), Maine (approved), Massachusetts (approved), Nevada (approved), Florida (approved), Arkansas (approved), North Dakota (approved), Montana (approved).

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