Marijuana Legalization in the United States

The United States has a long history with marijuana, dating as far back as colonial times when the plant was grown to manufacture hemp rope, sails and clothing. In the 70’s and 80’s, public perception of marijuana was largely negative and often associated with hippies and so-called “stoners”.

However, in the past 20 years, marijuana has made great strides in being legalized across the country. Public support for marijuana usage has grown. While there is no federal law that legalizes weed, many states have passed legislation to legalize medical or recreational marijuana usage.

It can be difficult to keep track of the legal status of marijuana state-by-state. What’s the difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana? Which states have legalized medical marijuana, and which states have legalized marijuana for recreational use? Here’s some information to help you answer these questions.

What’s the difference between Medical and Recreational Marijuana?

The major difference between medical and recreational marijuana is its legal definition. Adult-use recreational marijuana is legal for anyone over the age of 21 to purchase for personal use. Medical marijuana requires a doctor’s prescription to treat conditions like chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety and depression.

Both medical and recreational marijuana contain active compounds called cannabinoids. The two most common cannabinoids are THC and CBD.

THC and CBD have different interactions with the body. THC is a mind-altering chemical which provides the “high” feeling that many people are familiar with when they think about smoking marijuana. CBD is not intoxicating and does not provide any high sensation.

Where is Marijuana Legal Medically and Recreationally?

As state legislatures go through the process of legalizing medical and recreational marijuana usage, many states are experiencing a delay in legalization and the legal selling of marijuana and marijuana-infused products at dispensaries.

For example, New York legalized recreational marijuana usage in 2021, but it is working on issuing licenses to businesses so they can sell cannabis products legally. Only a handful of dispensaries in New York City and across the state are able to legally sell recreational marijuana. While many businesses are waiting for their licenses to open up shop, other businesses are taking advantage of these growing pains to turn a profit.

It is important to understand the laws for marijuana usage in your state. There are some states where marijuana is only legal for medical use, other states where marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use, and several states where marijuana usage is not legal. You can check out which states have legalized marijuana usage here.


Medical marijuana is currently legal in 39 states, EXCEPT the following:

  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming


Recreational marijuana is legal in the following states and the District of Columbia:

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

Terrasana is an Ohio-based medical marijuana dispensary. Currently, medical marijuana is the only legal form of marijuana in Ohio. You can learn more about how to qualify for a medical marijuana card on our FAQ page or by visiting the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program website.

At Terrasana we have very knowledgeable Patient Consultants that are always willing to help you learn more about cannabis and cannabis-infused products. Visit us online or at one of our Ohio dispensary locations. We’re happy to help you!

About Terrasana

At Terrasana, our team is committed to providing cannabis education, natural marijuana treatment options, and exceptional care to Ohio’s medical marijuana patients. Our company is focused first and foremost on creating a safe and welcoming environment for our patients and offering products that are carefully curated to provide quality care. We are also proud to be the only Ohio medical cannabis company operated by a Physician and Doctor of Pharmacy, as well as the first cannabis company to open a dispensary location in Central Ohio.

Each of our Ohio dispensaries offers its own unique menu of medical marijuana products including edibles, cannabis tinctures, topicals, vapes, and more. Every Terrasana cannabis dispensary also operates under a comprehensive set of guidelines and protocols as defined by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, ensuring a secure and compliant experience for all of our Ohio patients.

Terrasana helps patients along their personal healing journey by empowering them with education and providing safe access to natural medical marijuana from the good earth.

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