In mid-April, Pennsylvania passed legislation to legalize medical marijuana, bringing the total number of states (plus Washington, D.C.) with some form of legal pot to 24. The majority of those states have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, however recreational marijuana use is fully legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia.
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Here are states with legal recreational marijuana:
Here are states with medical marijuana:
16. New Hampshire
17. New Jersey
18. New Mexico
19. New York
22. Rhode Island
Marijuana advocates believe there's a chance for at least 11 more states to legalize recreational marijuana in the near term.
In February, the District of Columbia decriminalized recreational marijuana, making it legal for residents to carry up to two ounces of cannabis and own six plants. However, it's still illegal to purchase pot in the District, WTTG reports.
"It costs a huge amount of money to states," Obama said, speaking to Vice's Shane Smith. "What I'm encouraged by is you're started to see not just liberal democrats but also some very conservative Republicans recognize that this doesn't make sense, including the libertarian wing of the Republican Party. They see the money and how costly it is to incarcerate.
"At a certain point, if enough states end up decriminalizing, Congress may then reschedule marijuana."
The legalization of recreational marijuana gives rise to a whole new economy surrounding the sale of cannabis, oils, lotions, edibles and paraphernalia. Advertising efforts are starting to crop up to support these industries, though marijuana marketing is highly regulated state by state, according to Ad Exchanger. However, those states that are blazing trails in the cannabis market are beginning to see tax revenues soar as a result.
During the last fiscal year, which ended late June, marijuana-specific tax revenue in Colorado hit $70 million, Time reports. That's nearly twice what the state raked in from alcohol tax revenue during that same time.
In the United States, sales of legal marijuana hit $2.7 billion last year, up from $1.5 billion in 2013, according to cannabis investment and research firm ArcView Group. If full legalization were to occur in all 50 states and D.C., the U.S. marijuana retail market could top $35 billion in revenue by 2020, according to estimates from independent research firm GreenWave Advisers. That's a lot of green.
August 30, 2016, 4:45 p.m. EDT: This story has been updated.