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Where is Marijuana Legal in the United States?
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Summary: As we welcome 2015, more and more states will be moving towards legalizing marijuana. Do you live in one of those states? 

Even with Washington, Colorado and other states legalizing marijuana, there is still a major divide in the country, according to CNN.


January 1 marked the one-year anniversary of the sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado. The legal sale of recreational marijuana has been in effect in the state since June 1, 2014.

Oregon and Alaska will enact their sales beginning in 2016.

To read more about the legalization of marijuana, click here.

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Voters in Washington, D.C. also approved recreational marijuana, but the law needs to be approved by Congress.

Medical marijuana, the decriminalization of marijuana possession or both have been legalized by 27 states and the District of Columbia so far.

There are 23 states that still prohibit marijuana outright.

Marijuana was designated a Schedule I drug in 1970 with the Controlled Substances Act. The legislation from Congress made it illegal to manufacture, distribute or possess marijuana anywhere in the United States.

Things changed in August of 2013 when the Justice Department said it would not challenge any state that legalizes recreational marijuana.

In Colorado, private possession of one ounce of marijuana has no penalties attached to it. Anyone 21 or older can grow up to six plants, with no more than three being mature at once, legally in Colorado.

To read more legal news stories, click here.

In Washington state, adults can have one ounce of marijuana and/or 16 ounces of marijuana-infused solid products and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquid products for private use. If you use marijuana in public in Washington state it is a civil violation.

There has been no change in the classification of marijuana by the Drug Enforcement Agency, but medical organizations are asking for restrictions on research to be loosened. The organizations want to find out if marijuana is helpful or harmful to those who use it.

The American Academy of Neurology wrote a paper that supports the “efforts to conduct rigorous research to evaluate the long-term safety and effectiveness of marijuana-based products. Further research is needed to determine the benefits and safety of such products,” the authors wrote. “This is of paramount importance when marijuana-based products are used in patients with underlying neurologic disorders, or in children whose developing brains may be more vulnerable to the toxic effects of marijuana.”

JAMA Internal Medicine published a study in August that found the states that have legalized medical marijuana have fewer deaths related to prescription painkillers each year.

To read more about medical marijuana, click here.

On the other side of the spectrum, a study from The Lancet in September found that teens who use marijuana daily prior to 17 years of age are 60 percent less likely to earn their high school diploma than teens who do not use marijuana.

Many people believe that the medical opinion of marijuana will change as more states adopt laws legalizing the drug.

Do you live in a state where marijuana use is legal? Use our poll to share your thoughts.

Is marijuana legal in your state?

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Source: CNN


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