This week three more states are allowing the recreational use of marijuana for people over the age of 21. Connecticut, New Mexico, and Virginia can use marijuana legally as of July 1, 2021.

In New Mexico, lawmakers passed marijuana legislation in April. Retail sales of marijuana and related products will likely begin in spring of 2022. New Mexico also passed legislation to expunge marijuana convictions. That law took effect on July 1.

Three New States

Connecticut held a special session this month and passed a measure that permits personal use of marijuana up to 1.5 ounces. The measure also authorizes the review and expunging of low-level marijuana convictions. Licensing for the commercial cultivation of recreational marijuana goes into effect next year. Cultivation at home does not take effect until 2023.

In Virginia, legalization also became law on July 1, 2021. Lawmakers approved the legalization measure in April, which allows adults to legally possess up to one ounce without penalty. The legislation also allows adults to cultivate up to four plants at home. Commercial production and retail sales will not take place until January 1, 2024.

Marijuana Legal for One-Half of American Population

Erik Altieri, NORML’s Executive Director stated, “Legalization is now a reality for nearly one-half of the US population. As more jurisdictions . continue to enact these common-sense regulatory policies, it is imperative that Congress quits stalling and amends federal law in a manner that addresses this state/federal divide and respects the will of the voters in these growing number of states.”

This year five states have passed legislation legalizing recreational use of marijuana, including Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Virginia. South Dakota voters also passed legalization of recreational marijuana, however that measure is still under ongoing litigation. South Dakota is taking steps to put a medical marijuana program in place.

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