A guide to marijuana laws and penalties by state.

Alabama ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for personal use of any amount:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $6000
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 1 year incarceration, $2000
Notes: Alabama is a sonuvabitch. "Personal use" is more or less subject to the discretion of the cop and/or the result of a trial. No set amount is determined. "Other than personal use" jacks the penalty up to a felony, up to 10 years in prison, and $15,000 fine. Don't go to Alabama with pot. Even if you've got pot for personal use, but have been convicted of possession (again, even for personal use) before, you get the felony. You'll also lose your license for 6 months with any of these offenses, even first time personal use.

Alaska 420

  • Recreational: Yes
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: Yes
Notes: Alaska seems pretty chill. Apparently, if you've just got pot for personal use, and you're in a private residence, you're protected by the Alaskan constitution to do whatever you want in the privacy of your own home. Sweet. They also passed a legalization bill in 2014, but it isn't exactly clear when possession and consumption will be completely legal yet. Apparently sometime in 2016.

Arizona ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes, accepts other states*
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for less than 2 lbs:
    • Felony
    • Incarceration: 4 months - 2 years
    • Max Fine: $750
    • Paraphernalia: Felony, 4 months - 2 years, $750
Notes: While Arizona is down with medical, they drop serious penalties on any amount of possession. The state has voted to legalize marijuana before, most recently in November 2016, but it has yet to pass, usually by very narrow margins.

Arkansas ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for less than 4 oz (first offense):
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $2500
    • Paraphernalia: "Smoking" paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, 1 year, $2500. "Growing" paraphernalia is a felony, 6 years, $10,000.

California 420

  • Recreational: Yes
  • Medical: Yes
Notes: California passed the legalization of marijuana in November 2016, allowing possession of up to one ounce. Consumption of marijuana in public is still illegal, and local governments (counties, towns, etc.) can still ban weed if they want.

Colorado 420

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: Yes
  • Penalties for possession of 2oz (less than an oz no offense, incarceration or fine):
    • Petty Offense
    • Incarceration: none
    • Max Fine: $100
    • Paraphernalia: Strangely, this is a petty offense, punishable by a fine of up to $100 and no jail time.
Notes: Colorado was the first state to legalize pot, and while it's not legal to smoke doobies in the street, in the more liberal cities like Denver, Boulder and Durango, it happens all the time. Go Colorado!

Connecticut 420

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: Yes
  • Penalties for less than 1/2 oz (first offense):
    • Civil Penalty
    • Incarceration: N/A
    • Max Fine: $150
    • Paraphernalia: Civil infraction, no incarceration, $300, unless they deem you have the paraphernalia with intent to ingest, distribute or cultivate more than a 1/2 oz.

Delaware ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties (anywhere except within 1000 feet of a school or 300 feet of a park, recreation area, or place of worship):
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 6 months
    • Max Fine: $1150
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 1 year incarceration, $2300
Notes: asdf

District Of Columbia 420

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: Yes
  • Penalties for less than 1 oz:
    • Civil Violation
    • Incarceration: none
    • Max Fine: $25
    • Paraphernalia: violation, 30 days incarceration, $100
Notes: DC seems pretty cool, though it's worth noting that paraphernalia carries a larger fine than actual marijuana.

Florida ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for less than 20 grams:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $1000
    • Paraphernalia: same as above
Notes: Any conviction also results in loss of your license for 2 years.

Georgia ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for 1 oz or less:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $1000
    • Paraphernalia: same as above
Notes: Georgia has "abandoning marijuana in a public place" laws, which equate to throwing pot out to ditch it means you get a fine as though you had it on you. Interpret that as you will. Any involvement of a ! MINOR turns it up to a felony, 5-20 years, and $20,000 in fines. If you use a "communication facility", ie a computer or a phone, to sell or "commission" marijuana, things also heat up and become a felony, 4 years in jail, and a $30,000 fine.

Hawaii ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for less than 1 oz:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 30 days
    • Max Fine: $1000
    • Paraphernalia: Felony, 5 years incarceration, $10,000
Notes: Having a pipe or other paraphernalia is a glaring larger offense than being in possession of a bit of pot.

Idaho ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for 3 oz or less:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $1000
    • Paraphernalia: same as above
Notes: Being stoned in public carries similar penalties, as does even being in a location where pot exists.

Illinois ! MINOR

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for less than 2.5 grams:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 30 days
    • Max Fine: $0
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 1 year incarceration, $750
Notes: Another state where the possession of paraphernalia is worse than owning green itself. We rate it "! MINOR" as reports say that first time offenders typically get probation and no jail time, and their record expunged after successfully completing probation. That all sucks, but all in all...

Indiana ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for 30 grams or less:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $5000
    • Paraphernalia: Infraction, no jailtime, $10,000
Notes: Indiana often allows for probation rather than jail time for first offenders. Still, we rate it! ! ! DANGER for a high fine for possession, and a ridiculously high fine for paraphernalia.

Iowa ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for a first offense, any amount:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 6 months
    • Max Fine: $1000
    • Paraphernalia: Same as above

Kansas ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for any amount, first offense:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $2500
    • Paraphernalia: Same as above

Kentucky ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for less than 8 oz:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 45 days
    • Max Fine: $250
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 1 year incarceration, $500
Notes: We rate it! ! DANGER because who wants to do 45 days, but then again, Kentucky typically issues probation over jail time to first time offenders, and even has active hemp laws in place.

Louisiana ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for less than 60 pounds(!?), first offense:
    • "Not Classified"
    • Incarceration: 6 months
    • Max Fine: $500
    • Paraphernalia: No specific laws found

Maine 420

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes, accepts other states*
  • Decriminalized: Yes
Notes: Maine narrowly voted to legalize marijuana in November 2016, however there is currently a recount effort, since the vote was so close. If the recount holds, and is completed by January, that is when legalization might occur.

Maryland ! ! DANGER (for now...see below)

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: Yes (as of October 2014)
  • Penalties for 10 grams or less:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 90 days
    • Max Fine: $500
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 1 year incarceration, $1000
Notes: Things are changing as of October 2014, and we'll try and update accordingly.

Massachusetts 420

  • Recreational: Yes
  • Medical: Yes
Notes: Massachusetts voted to legalize in November 2016, and as of December 15th, 2016, it's legal to possess "small amounts" or marijuana. Sales in retail stores aren't expected to be a reality until 2018.

Michigan ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes, accepts other states*
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $2000
    • Paraphernalia: Sale only: Misdemeanor, 90 days incarceration, $5000
Notes: Interesting to note that in Ann Arbor, there is no fine or jail time for possession of pot. However, as does Federal Law, State Law trumps local laws, so it's a bit harry. Any pot conviction, you lose your license for six months.

Minnesota 420

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: Yes
  • Penalties for less than 42.5 grams:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: none
    • Max Fine: $200
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, no incarceration, $300

Mississippi 420

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: Yes
  • Penalties for 30 grams or less (first offense):
    • Not classified
    • Incarceration: none
    • Max Fine: $250
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 6 months incarceration, $500
Notes: If this is your second offense, you definitely will get at least 5 days in jail. If you have marijuana in any part of a vehicle other than the trunk, the penalty bumps to a Misdemeanor, 90 days in jail, and $1000 fine. Any conviction, you lose your license for 6 months.

Missouri ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for less than 35 grams:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $1000
    • Paraphernalia: Same as above

Montana ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for less than 60 grams:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 6 months
    • Max Fine: $500
    • Paraphernalia: Same as above
Notes: Technicalities can bump everything up to a felony and 10 years in jail. So, that's scary. Possession of marijuana on a train or "storing marijuana" gets you a harsher sentence.

Nebraska ! MINOR

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: Yes
  • Penalties for less than 1 oz:
    • Infraction
    • Incarceration: none
    • Max Fine: $300
    • Paraphernalia: Infraction, no jail time, $100 fine

Nevada 420

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes, accepts other states*
Notes: Nevada voted to legalize marijuana in November of 2016, and as of January 1st, 2017, possession up to one ounce is permitted.

New Hampshire ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes, accepts other states*
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for any amount:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $2000
    • Paraphernalia: same as above
Notes: If you're under 18, you'll lose your license for up to 5 years! 19-21, for up to a year.

New Jersey ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for 60 grams or less:
    • Disorderly Person
    • Incarceration: 6 months
    • Max Fine: $1000
    • Paraphernalia: Same as above
Notes: Failure to turn over marijuana to a cop is a misdemeanor, so best just to give it over. So is actually being stoned. Under 18, you can use your license for up to 2 years.

New Mexico ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for 1 oz or less:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 15 days
    • Max Fine: $100
    • Paraphernalia: Same as above
Notes: At 15 days in jail and such a low fine, New Mexico is only..well, 15 days of jailtime away from being a 420 level state, as per our ratings. Instead, because even any jailtime sucks, we've got to go DANGER.

New York 420

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: Yes
  • Penalties for less than 25 grams:
    • Not Classified
    • Incarceration: none
    • Max Fine: $100
    • Paraphernalia: None for pipes, smoking apparatus, etc. Significantly higher for owning scales, etc.

North Carolina ! MINOR

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: Yes
  • Penalties for 1/2 oz or less:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: none
    • Max Fine: $200
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 45 days incarceration, $1000
Notes: Despite actually owning pot not being a big offense, having paraphernalia still is...so, we rate it! MINOR

North Dakota ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for less than a 1/2 oz:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 30 days
    • Max Fine: $1000
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 1 year incarceration, $1000

Ohio 420

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: Yes
  • Penalties for less than 100 grams:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: none
    • Max Fine: $150
    • Paraphernalia: Same as above
Notes: Involving a minor, or within 1000 feet of a school or even 100 feet of a juvenile seriously ups the penalties, so...stay away from kids.

Oklahoma ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for any amount:
    • Not Classified
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $0
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 1 year incarceration, $1100

Oregon 420

  • Recreational: Yes
  • Medical: Yes
Notes: As of July 15th, 2015, possession of up to one ounce in public and eight ounces at home will be completely legal. It's not legal to consume pot in any public place, which could include a front porch or campsite. Recreational marijuana is available for purchase at a limited number of stores.

Pennsylvania ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for 30 grams or less:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 30 days
    • Max Fine: $500
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 1 year incarceration, $2500

Rhode Island 420

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes, accepts other states*
  • Decriminalized: Yes
  • Penalties:
    • Civil Offense
    • Incarceration: none
    • Max Fine: $150
    • Paraphernalia: "Not Classified", 2 years incarceration, $5000

South Carolina ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for 1 oz or less:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 30 days
    • Max Fine: $200
    • Paraphernalia: Civil Citation, no incarceration, $500
Notes: Lots of programs to keep first time offenders out of jail, still, we have to go with "DANGER" as it's no guarantee.

South Dakota ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for 2 oz or less:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $2000
    • Paraphernalia: Midemeanor, 30 days incarceration, $500
Notes: "Inhabiting a room where marijuana is being used or stored" counts as possession.

Tennessee ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max Fine: $250
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 1 year incarceration, $2500
Notes: Having paraphernalia is 10x the fine of owning pot.

Texas ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for 2 oz or less:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 180 days
    • Max Fine: $2000
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, no incarceration, $500

Utah ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 6 months
    • Max Fine: $1000
    • Paraphernalia: Same as above

Vermont 420

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: Yes
  • Decriminalized: Yes
  • Penalties for 1 oz or less:
    • Civil Violation
    • Incarceration: none
    • Max Fine: $200
    • Paraphernalia: Same as above

Virginia ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 30 days
    • Max Fine: $500
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 1 year incarceration, $2500

West Virginia ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for any amount:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 6 months
    • Max Fine: $1000
    • Paraphernalia: No specific laws for just possessing paraphernalia were found. Strict laws for operating a paraphernalia business.
Notes: Trafficking marijuana into WV comes with a mandatory minimum 1 year sentence, max 5 years.

Wisconsin ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for any amount:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 6 months
    • Max Fine: $1000
    • Paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 30 days incarceration, $500
Notes: If you get caught with pot in your car, they can take it from you. Whoa.

Wyoming ! ! ! DANGER

  • Recreational: No
  • Medical: No
  • Decriminalized: No
  • Penalties for less than 3 oz:
    • Misdemeanor
    • Incarceration: 1 year
    • Max fine: $1000
    • Paraphernalia: "Not classified", 6 months incarceration, $750

Marijuana in the United States

Updated 12/2016

As of September, 2014, the majority of Americans favor marijuana legalization1 2 3.

38% of us have admitted to at least trying the drug, if not being regular users. It is completely legal in seven states, decriminalized in thirteen others, and legalized for medical use in twenty one additional states. Further, the United States Government has stated in 2013 that it will not interfere with state legislature on marijuana, and the Supreme Court decided not to weigh in on the subject as of March 2016.

We rate states in three classes:

Everything about our "ratings" assumes you're just participating in smoking weed and don't have more than the listed minimum amounts. We're not informing you on how to "get away" with anything, just letting you know what the penalties are for realistic recreational use of a substance many consider substantially less harmful than beer, or even nicotine.

This information was gathered as of 9/25/2014.