Once upon a time it seemed like a crazy pipe dream that marijuana would be recreationally legal in the United States. But that was long ago, before the first states legalized its medical use and before Colorado and Washington voters made it legal recreationally in 2012. Following the 2014 and 2016 elections, cannabis reached a new high, becoming legal in six more states—Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Oregon—and Washington D.C. (Not to mention legal for medical use in 28 states).
While marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, states have made their own determinations about how to handle pot within their borders, and for the most part are enjoying more tax revenue and a new tourism stream. But each state differs somewhat in its laws, so here’s a rundown of how it works in each one and when the new laws are expected to take effect.—Kelsy Chauvin