In May, Minnesota became the 23rd state to legalize recreational marijuana use. After decades of activism, marijuana users and advocates are finally seeing a large-scale relaxation of marijuana restrictions at the state level. The District of Columbia and Guam have also legalized recreational pot.
THC, one of the psychoactive compounds in marijuana, can cause euphoria when smoked or ingested, though it can also cause anxiety. Besides smoking for pleasure, many use marijuana for medical reasons, including the relief of chronic pain, insomnia, nausea, tremors associated with Parkinson’s Disease, and anxiety. Another active compound in marijuana is CBD, which is purported to carry some of the same medical benefits without causing the associated high. (Take a look at these foods and drinks enhanced with CBD.)
For the states that have legalized cannabis use, marijuana has been a boon for government coffers. Many states with fully operational marijuana programs brought in tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue off of cannabis sales in 2021. California reported marijuana tax revenue in excess of $1 billion that year.
Despite its federal status as a controlled substance, people across the country have used marijuana on a regular basis, and continue to do so.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 233,000 people in Nebraska aged 12 and up have reportedly used marijuana in the last year – or 14.4% of the 12 and older population, the sixth lowest usage rate among states.
Though it has been decriminalized, Nebraska is one of the few states where marijuana remains illegal, even for medicinal use.
All data on marijuana usage rates is from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, published in March 2023. The legal status of marijuana use in each state, last updated on July 1 2023, came from DISA, a third-party administrator of drug and alcohol testing, background screening, and more for employers.
RankStateShare of residents age 12+ who have used marijuana in past year ($)Residents age 12+ who have used marijuana in past yearLegal status in state1Vermont30.8175,000Fully Legal2Oregon28.81,052,000Fully Legal3Alaska27.0158,000Fully Legal4Washington25.91,691,000Fully Legal5Massachusetts25.61,552,000Fully Legal6Maine24.8298,000Fully Legal7Nevada24.8659,000Fully Legal8Colorado24.71,217,000Fully Legal9Michigan24.72,118,000Fully Legal10Rhode Island24.2229,000Fully Legal11Oklahoma24.2794,000Mixed12New Mexico22.8406,000Fully Legal13Arizona21.91,348,000Fully Legal14Montana21.6203,000Fully Legal15New York21.13,578,000Fully Legal16Illinois21.02,247,000Fully Legal17California20.86,886,000Fully Legal18Connecticut19.9619,000Fully Legal19Ohio19.61,947,000Mixed20Iowa19.3519,000Mixed21Delaware19.2164,000Fully Legal22Maryland19.1988,000Fully Legal23Louisiana19.0727,000Mixed24Kansas19.0459,000Fully Illegal25Indiana18.61,062,000Mixed26Missouri18.6963,000Fully Legal27Minnesota18.6893,000Mixed28New Hampshire18.5225,000Mixed29Virginia18.01,304,000Fully Legal30Pennsylvania17.51,934,000Mixed31Wyoming17.284,000Fully Illegal32Georgia17.21,546,000Mixed33Wisconsin16.6834,000Mixed34Tennessee16.6975,000Mixed35West Virginia16.6253,000Mixed36North Dakota16.5105,000Mixed37New Jersey16.31,285,000Fully Legal38South Carolina15.6687,000Fully Illegal39Mississippi15.6383,000Mixed40Arkansas15.6393,000Mixed41Idaho15.3242,000Fully Illegal42Kentucky15.2573,000Mixed43Florida15.02,805,000Mixed44Hawaii14.9175,000Mixed45Nebraska14.4233,000Fully Illegal46North Carolina13.71,219,000Fully Illegal47South Dakota13.7100,000Mixed48Utah13.3361,000Mixed49Alabama12.7537,000Mixed50Texas12.63,066,000Mixed