Culture The 25 States Where Marijuana Is Decriminalized  

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The difference between legalization and decriminalization of marijuana may not seem huge, but it’s actually very significant. While legalization allows for the distribution and possession of marijuana,decriminalization mostly cuts down on the arrests and prosecutions connected to weed. That’s why many states are more willing to take the steps to decriminalize marijuana over legalizing it. Decriminalization allows for cutting costs on legal procedures and stops wasting the time of many law enforcement officers.

The states on this list have decriminalized cannabis. If aperson is discovered with a small amount of marijuana in their home or on theirperson, they may be subjected to fines or mandatory drug treatment instead ofjail time. Many of the states on this list have conditions set to the decriminalization, such as only decriminalizing the first offense or just allowing 2.5 ounces or less.

Which states have decriminalized medical marijuana? Checkout this list to find out if your state has stopped handing out harsh punishments to pot users.


Alaska hasn't had penalties for possession of marijuana under 4 ounces since 1975. Residents can also grow up to 24 cannabis plants in their home as long as there is no intent to sell.

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Although the entire state hasn't decriminalized cannabis, many cities within have, including Fayetteville and Eureka Springs. Marijuana is considered a low priority to the police of Arkansas. 

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In 2000, California made simple drug possession punishable by drug treatment instead of prison time. In 2010, 1 ounce of marijuana possession was decriminalized. 

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The Denver Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative, voted for in 2005, allowed people over 21 to possess 1 ounce of cannabis. In 2012, Colorado Amendment 64 was passed, which decriminalized the drug throughout the state.

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