According to national polls — including Pew, Gallup, and CNN — more than 60% of Americans support legalizing marijuana for adults’ use. Eleven states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana for individuals over 21, and 10 of the states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington — have approved taking cannabis production and sales off the criminal market and regulating and taxing them.

MPP played a leading role in the campaigns to enact eight of the 11 legalization laws, including the most recent one, which was signed by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 25, 2019. Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act includes the most far-reaching social equity and criminal justice reform provisions ever included in a legalization bill. It will expunge as many as 770,000 cannabis convictions, while providing funding for communities hard hit by prohibition and disinvestment. It also provides funding and other measures to ensure those who have been harmed by cannabis prohibition are represented in the industry.  

Legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue and created tens of thousands of jobs. It has also displaced the criminal market and freed up law enforcement resources to focus on serious crime. Meanwhile, teenagers’ marijuana use rates haven’t increased, and voter support has grown.

Below you will find more information about those laws and how they are working, along with materials to make the case for allowing adults to use a substance that is safer than alcohol.


1. The Case for Legalizing Marijuana and Regulating Sales

2. Overviews of Bills and Laws

3. Responding to Concerns

4. Data From States That Have Legalized and Regulated Marijuana

5. Federal Policy