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* Louisiana**
Maine* Maryland Massachusetts*
Minnesota** Mississippi Missouri**
Nebraska Nevada* New Hampshire
New Mexico* New York* North Carolina**
North Dakota** Ohio** Oregon*
Rhode Island Vermont* Virginia*

* 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.