The Pot Republic

Map: The Legal Landscape

Marijuana has been illegal under federal law since 1970. But since California first passed its medical marijuana law 15 years ago, more than a third of all states are now experimenting with some form of legalization and/or decriminalization. Here's a closer look at the legal landscape, as of July 2011.

·  Medical Marijuana Sixteen states, plus the District of Columbia have legalized possession of medical marijuana. But U.S. attorneys across the country have been sending letters to local officials warning that local laws -- particularly those that allow marijuana dispensaries -- may violate federal drug laws. Roll over the dark green states for more details on what's legal.

States that have legalized medical marijuana States with pending legislation

Sources: Procon.org; 420 Magazine; NPR.org; Norml.org, individual state statutes
·  Decriminalization Oregon was the first state to decriminalize marijuana -- or make the possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil rather than criminal offense -- in 1973. As of July 2011, 14 states have decriminalized; roll over the green states for details on possession limits and penalties.

Sources: Norml.org; Procon.org; individual state statutes, Marijuana Policy Project; 420 Magazine; Connecticut General Assembly

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Posted July 26, 2011

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