Local Decriminalization Laws

Municipal efforts to either reduce or eliminate local penalties for marijuana-related violations (or to deprioritize the enforcement of existing marijuana laws) have become increasingly popular over the past several years. 

Since 2012, NORML has identified over 120 cities or counties that have passed ordinances providing for significantly lower cannabis-related penalties than those provided under state laws. (This total does not take in account local ordinances enacted in states that have since moved to legalize cannabis, thus making the local laws no longer relevant.) As a result, even in jurisdictions where cannabis remains criminalized statewide, much of the public now resides in communities where cannabis criminalization is no longer strictly enforced as a matter of local  policy.