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Where Recreational Cannabis Is Now Legal in the United States | Frommer's FreeImages.com/Mateusz Atroszko

Where Recreational Cannabis Is Now Legal in the United States

Nineteen states and counting . . . 

Marijuana has emerged as a rare point of consensus among U.S. voters. In red states as well as blue states, the population has legalized stoned states. 

A little more than a decade ago, recreational pot was illegal in all 50 states. But Colorado and Washington lifted their prohibitions in 2012, and, as of this writing, a total of 19 states, 2 territories, and Washington, D.C., have followed. (Marijuana is permitted for medical use in even more states—a total of 37 to be precise.) 

Here's the full list of U.S. states and territories where recreational cannabis is currently legal:

Alaska
Arizona
California
Colorado
Connecticut
District of Columbia
Guam
Illinois
Maine
Massachusetts
Michigan
Montana
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Northern Mariana Islands
Rhode Island
Oregon
Vermont
Virginia
Washington 

For travelers from other places, buying legal weed from a dispensary is pretty straightforward. All businesses that sell marijuana must be licensed by the state to do so. Laws governing how much pot you may legally possess and where you may partake (usually not in public) vary by location. Consult the state's official government website for details.  

Note that marijuana remains illegal on the federal level in the United States. That means travelers aren't supposed to carry the stuff across state lines on an airplane, for instance. The Transportation Security Administration warns that if airport screeners encounter what "appears to be marijuana or a cannabis infused product, we’re required by federal law to notify law enforcement."

Then again, agency officials also say they don't go out of their way to look for weed in passenger baggage, so enforcement could be iffy. (Penalties for taking cannabis across international borders are much more severe.) 

If you've never combined travel and THC before, check out our step-by-step guides for out-of-towners looking to buy pot in Colorado and California, two places where tourism infrastructure and cannabis entrepreneurship are both well established. 

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