Potheads go West – an Update on cannabis law in US West Coast

Is cannabis legal in your state? – is already an outdated question, but: “How far is cannabis legal in your state?” – is what you’d better keep your eye on, as soon as you are touching the cannabis industry if you are a user or especially if a vendor. It lasts since 2013 the unclear situation. Slowly and steadily, more states in the US are ebbing towards the legalization of the plant. Such is the inffluence that a majority of Americans already support the decision to make the recreational use legal. The West Coast of America has been ablaze with California joining the pioneer states like Washington, Nevada, and Oregon in the bandwagon of places where you can smoke cannabis sans any restrictions. Let’s see if it is becoming another heaven for potheads or still early to judge.

The basics of cannabis legalization

The main basic rule is that you act always on your own decision, anywhere and in internet especially. The below is a compilation from the canna community, and NEVER can be an advice, of no kind, it can be olny what it is: a totally private blogpost and a personal perception of the guest author.

With the technical terms and constant changes, understanding the cannabis market can be a daunting task. Regardless of whether you are merely a beginner or an expert, the chances are high that the sheer volume of information might confuse you. Here are a few basic terminologies that you need to know before knowing the rules:

  1. Medicinal: The primary use of cannabis is for medicinal reasons. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound present in cannabis that gives it the therapeutic properties. CBD can help fight many mental and physical ailments.
  2. Illegal: There is not much to say here; illegal means that it is a criminal offense to have or use cannabis within the state.
  3. Decriminalized: Decriminalized is the thin line between getting punished for using cannabis but not going to jail. Some states have not made the use of cannabis legal, but they allow you to carry a small amount in your possession. If you get caught carrying more than that, a fine and citation will ensue, but you won’t face a jail term or criminal charges.
  4. Recreational: Recreational, as the name suggests, allows people to use marijuana for fun and leisure. Like if for example you can get some marijuana online in Canada if you wish to experience a euphoric high, yet they still struggling to sort out legal and illegal weed in online, while the latter takes a significant share, the state reports. So be careful, think your own (pot) head. However, people over the age of 21 are allowed to keep, grow, and use cannabis but only within the prescribed limits.

The downsides of not legalizing cannabis

While the US government is slowly opening up to the idea of making cannabis legal, the strong opposition is making it harder to see the light of the day. Owing to the conservative attitude of not only the government leaders but also one-third of the public, nationwide legalization of cannabis is still a pipeline dream. It is causing a widespread use of illicit and low-quality drugs, which is causing more harm than good. The government itself is losing millions by not making cannabis commercial in the States. Amid the controversies, there are a few states on the West Coast who have already taken a positive stand on it, where the use of cannabis is ‘high.’

Government’s take on the West Coast

The west coast of America consists of states like California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado were pioneering, and followed by states like Alaska and Hawaii. The cannabis wave did not sweep the entire coast at once; instead, the opening up to cannabis was a gradual process. Let’s see where each state stands in terms of legalization:


Current status: Legal

Legal limits: 1.5 ounces, the medicinal users can grow 6 plants and carry 3 ounces

While Washington was the first to make the magical herb legal in 2012, the state is still not as open as others. You are allowed to carry cannabis with you, but using it in public can land you in trouble. Growing and selling cannabis is still a no-no, for it is a felony. The medical users can get a license and become eligible to both carry and grow plants.


Current status: Legal

Permissible limits: 1 ounce and 6 plants for recreational use or as many for medicinal needs

California is very open when it comes to cannabis. The herb has been a part of their culture for decades now. You can find people having edibles or buds there at parties, just like they have wine. While selling recreational cannabis is a misdemeanor in California, you can grow cannabis plants if you are over the age of 21.


Current status: Legal

Permissible limits: 1 ounce and 4 plants for recreational use, 24 ounces, and 6 plants for medicinal users

Oregon became the trailblazer when it legalized the use of cannabis way back in 2014. For the ones who wish to get their hands green, you can even grow plants for recreational use. Exceeding the permissible levels can get you a fine of $650. The medicinal users can carry 24 ounces and grow six plants at a time, making it a lucrative place to be in for the medicinal users.


Current status: Legal

Permissible limits: 1 ounce and 6 plants, if you are 21 in age

Alaska made a radical move when it legalized on-site smoking at dispensaries in March 2019. You can get your hands on the best cannabis if you are 21 years old, but carrying anything over 4 ounces can lead to misconduct. If you wish to grow it, you are allowed to have a total of 6 plants, but only three can be mature.


Current status: Legal for medicinal use

Permissible limits: 1 ounce and 7 plants in total

Hawaii has a very active medicinal cannabis program, which is currently serving over 20,000 people. The state government allows you to both use and grow cannabis. Recreational use of cannabis is also acceptable in the state, provided you are dealing well within limits.

Can one still get caught?

First of all: sure you can. Even doing nothing bad, even knowing not about cannabis anything, and it pretty much works everywhere in the world, police is the corrupted body by definition (my nomad’s exp says), so we speak about probability, right?

Cannabis is legal along the West Coast, but there are still chances of you getting fined or even worse. Keep these points in mind when getting high to avoid committing a felony

  1. Avoid using it in public places: Using cannabis is open areas is not just frowned upon, but can also land you in trouble. Even smoking on the front porch outside your house is a crime, so be careful.
  2. Don’t smoke while driving: If you are driving, it is advisable to avoid smoking. Driving while being under the influence of cannabis is illegal in Oregon, Nevada, and Washington, just like it is when it comes to drinking. Both drinking and smoking cannabis can impair your judgment and become the cause of accidents. In California, for example, you cannot have an open container of cannabis in the car while driving.
  3. Do not cross borders with cannabis: While it is obvious, you cannot cross borders while carrying cannabis. Even if the state you are visiting allows the use, it is still a crime to go to other states with cannabis. So, California’s cannabis must stay in California.


While cannabis can be a source of fun and goodness, you need to be careful about the rules and regulations. The west coast of the US has always been more liberal and radical on topics surrounding cannabis. Get buying cannabis or get your hands dirty while growing your cannabis garden. You can obtain quality seeds from some of seed banks in US and start digging.

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