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How Do Medical Marijuana Laws Work?

Numerous states have changed their laws regarding buying or being in possession of marijuana for recreational use and medical needs. Each state has different rules with varying details about amounts and how they can be used or bought. So what if you were in a state you did not live in, but they had legal marijuana for purchase, could you buy marijuana, or would that be illegal? Which states allow the selling of marijuana and what are the laws for marijuana?

As of January 6, 2022, eighteen States and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use to varying degrees for adults, starting in 2012 with voter referenda in Colorado and Washington. (NIH)

What Are The Laws About Medical Marijuana?

Before the last decade, possession of marijuana was considered a misdemeanor in most United States for first offenses of small quantities. More significant amounts of marijuana and second or third offenses equated to a felony in most states. Today the laws are strikingly different and more lenient. However, like alcohol, marijuana is regulated, and regulations are to be followed to use it. The debate about legalizing marijuana in all fifty states is ongoing but has moved towards the possibility of it occurring with conditions much the same as alcohol.

Which States Allow Marijuana for Recreational Use?

The list of states now allowing recreational use of marijuana is substantial. Recreational marijuana use refers to buying marijuana from a legal dispensary, being over 21, and using it responsibly, similar to alcohol. This means not using it openly in public or around children or driving a vehicle. The following states now allow recreational use of marijuana with its criteria, as many states declare individual laws about who, what, where, and how it can be used.

  • Colorado
  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • Michigan
  • Vermont
  • Illinois
  • Arizona
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Virginia
  • New Mexico
  • Connecticut

Who Can Buy Marijuana In a Legal State?

Since each state has laws about who is legally allowed to purchase marijuana, someone must confirm the laws about buying and using marijuana before they do it. Yet, in general, states will require that the person be over 21 and show proof of identity and age when buying or using marijuana if asked by the police. Unlike alcohol, marijuana is regulated by age and where and how it is consumed. Therefore, if someone is a tourist visiting a legal recreational use state, they are likely to be allowed to buy and use marijuana if they provide a valid state I.D. and are of age.

Why is Marijuana Legalized in Some States?

Marijuana is already and will continue to be viewed similar to alcohol. Both are addictive substances, but when used responsibly and without loss of control or consequences, alcohol and marijuana are relatively safe substances. Still, addiction problems do not care if a substance is safe, legal, or considered less harmful. Addiction is a disease that will attach to any substance or behavior that changes how someone feels about themselves and their life. The medical diagnosis of addiction is not about the substance but about the person’s mental health and how they responded to life before they found relief in a substance.

Marijuana—which can also be called cannabis—is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the United States, with an estimated 48.2 million people using it in 2019. (CDC)

Is Marijuana Therapy & THC Treatment Effective?

Yes, the most helpful methods for someone struggling with addiction and or overusing marijuana rely on behavioral therapy and in-depth counseling. Evidence-based approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and dialectical behavioral therapy. Each of these methods helps the individual understand why they need marijuana to cope and help the individual heal and address deep emotional wounds. Another strong form of treatment for marijuana addicts is mindfulness recovery practices and holistic therapy. Effective treatment for this addiction needs to be a long-term program to provide the person with coping skills and enough time to be clean and sober to progress in a therapeutic setting.

Sober Support is Available at Evoke Wellness MA

Evoke Wellness MA centers are overseen by medical doctors specializing in marijuana and other addictions. We strongly recommend that as soon as an individual asks for help to stop using marijuana, they are admitted to treatment the same day. Our evidence-based treatment center helps individuals recover through comprehensive treatment and therapy with compassion as the cornerstone. We can help you or your family member end the addiction to marijuana and all other substances today.