Cannabis Policy in the U.S.

The use, sale, and possession of cannabis over 0.3% THC in the United States, despite state laws, is illegal under federal law. However, individual states have enacted legislation permitting exemptions for medical and adult use. 

In Congress

MPP is leading the effort in Washington, D.C. to pass federal medical marijuana legislation, as well as to end federal marijuana prohibition and allow states to replace it with a system of sensible regulation and control. For more information on our past and present work, visit our Federal Policy page and take action to support our work.

In Your State

MPP also works for sensible marijuana policies at the state level, and our grassroots and lobbying campaigns have changed several laws. MPP provided the bulk of the funding, staff, and expertise to the 2012 Colorado initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older — which made the state the first place in history to legalize marijuana for adults and regulate it like alcohol. In 2014, MPP followed up with the successful campaign to legalize and regulate marijuana in Alaska. Then, in 2016, MPP spearheaded the legalization initiatives that voters enacted in Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Most recently, MPP — working with local partners — led the successful 2018 initiatives to legalize marijuana in Michigan and medical cannabis in Utah. Along with our allies, we aim to pass several more laws to regulate marijuana like alcohol by 2020.

Legislatively, MPP led the campaign that made Vermont the first state to legalize marijuana legislatively. Along with our allies, we are now focusing on ConnecticutDelawareIllinoisMarylandNew HampshireRhode Island, and Vermont. MPP and our local partners are also lobbying for medical marijuana-related bills in state legislatures in Kentucky and South Carolina.

On the ballot initiatives front, in the wake of our 2018 victories in Michigan and Utah, MPP is beginning to lay groundwork for 2020 ballot measures. Stay tuned for details.

In addition, MPP monitors and analyzes all marijuana-related bills in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Visit our State Policy page to choose your state, to learn about current marijuana-related legislation in your state, or to contact your state legislators. Also, we invite you to review MPP’s state-by-state guide to medical marijuana laws and MPP’s model state legislation.