Decriminalization

The following states have passed laws either fully or partially decriminalizing certain marijuana possession offenses. Typically, decriminalization means no arrest, prison time, or criminal record for the first-time possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal consumption. In most decriminalized states, these offenses are treated like a minor traffic violation. Additionally, over 50 localities in a dozen states have enacted municipal laws or resolutions either fully or partially decriminalizing minor cannabis possession offenses.

States with Marijuana Decriminalization Laws

Alaska* California* Colorado*
Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia*
Hawaii Illinois* Maine*
Maryland Massachusetts* Minnesota**
Mississippi Missouri** Nebraska
Nevada* New Hampshire New Mexico
New York** North Carolina** North Dakota**
Ohio** Oregon* Rhode Island
Vermont* Virginia

* Voters in each of these jurisdictions have subsequently approved legislation legalizing the adult use and personal cultivation of cannabis.

** These states have partially decriminalized certain marijuana possession offenses. Although the law still classifies marijuana possession offenses as criminal, the offenses do not carry any threat of jail time.