According to Gallup polls, more than two-thirds of Americans support legalizing cannabis for adults’ use. State-by-state polling shows majority support in every single state. Yet only 23 states (and D.C.) have passed laws to legalize and regulate cannabis for individuals over 21.
Those states that have legalized cannabis are blue, red, and purple: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. (Voters in South Dakota passed a legalization law in November 2020, but it was overturned in court.)
MPP played a leading role in the campaigns to enact 13 of the 23 legalization laws, including the first legalization state in the nation — Colorado — and the first two through the state legislature, rather than the ballot box — Illinois and Vermont.
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.
NOTE: Many of these materials have not been updated yet to reflect that Delaware and Minnesota legalized cannabis in April and May, 2023, and a few do not have updates for Maryland and Missouri's laws, which passed in November 2022.
The Case for Legalizing Cannabis and Regulating Sales