Marijuana has been legalized as a recreational drug in an eight U.S. states namely Washington, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Alaska. These states have also legalized marijuana for medical purposes. The recreational use of marijuana involves the use of marijuana on private property under several conditions.
According to the Department of Justice, these conditions include preventing the distribution of marijuana to any minors and preventing the sale of marijuana to carry out criminal activity. There is also need to prevent the delivery or transfer of marijuana to states where it is illegal. Aside from these, recreational marijuana should not be associated with guns and violence.
Other restrictions imposed by the Department of Justice on recreational marijuana include the prevention of drugged driving, and public health issues brought about by the drug. It should also not mean that one should cultivate marijuana on public land or should use the drug on federal property. This means that one can buy and enjoy marijuana in the mentioned 8 U.S. states, but one should use it responsibly.
Under the Controlled Substances Act or CSA, marijuana is still an illegal drug from the perspective of the US federal law. However, federal law allows state laws to operate. So the CSA gives federal authorities the right to pursue those who used marijuana. Currently, illegal possession of marijuana or cultivating it is punishable by law especially if a person or company owns more than 100 marijuana plants.
Some states like Vermont, Arizona, Rhode Island, Montana, and Michigan have also passed laws to legalize recreational marijuana, but they failed. Nonetheless, a survey showed that most Americans (52%) supports the legalization of marijuana as a recreational drug.
In Colorado, in particular, any adult 21 years and above has the right to grow a maximum of three immature and three flowering cannabis plants. However, he should grow this in private. In fact, there are retail marijuana shops in Colorado. The state also has a regulatory body for the use of recreational marijuana — the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division. In Washington, the same laws apply, but people cannot grow marijuana for recreational use.
Recreational marijuana is allowed in a few countries as well as in eight U.S. states. However, restrictions by the federal government are harshly imposed on potential users of recreational marijuana despite their state laws allowing them to freely use the drug.