Western States and Marijuana Laws

Utah is definitely not one of the marijuana friendly states in the west. Most people have probably heard that Colorado and Washington have decriminalized marijuana for personal use. Additionally, California has made small personal use charges infractions (something more akin to a speeding ticket than a typical drug charge). California also allows for very liberal medical marijuana use. But what about the other states in the west like Utah, Arizona, and Nevada? This article provides general information regarding the western state and their respective marijuana laws on personal possession on first time charge and medical marijuana use. While we do not practice law in many of these states, we provide some general information readily available to the public:


Washington law allows for private personal use of marijuana with possession up to one ounce. Anything beyond this amount or any other type of use such as public use or a showing of an intent to sale or distribute is illegal. Cultivation is also illegal for any amount. Washington law allows for medical marijuana use.


Possession of marijuana less than 1 oz is illegal but does not carry the potential for any jail time on a first offense. The max fine is $650.00. You cannot sale, distribute, or cultivate. Oregon  law allows for medical marijuana.


To date California has not entirely decriminalized personal marijuana use although it came very close in prior years to doing so. Today, 28.5 grams or less is only an infraction. The state allows for medical marijuana use and tends to be more liberal with its medical marijuana laws. Medical marijuana is readily available in locations throughout the state.


Possession of 3 oz or less is a misdemeanor and carries a max jail sentence of 1 year. Idaho law does not allow medical marijuana use.


Possession of 1 oz or less is a misdemeanor and carries a max fine of $600 with no jail time on a first offense. The state allows for medical marijuana under limited circumstances.


Possession of less than 2 lbs is a class 6 felony carrying the potential for 4 months to 2 years in prison with a fine of $750.00. The state has a medical marijuana statute.


Possession for personal use of less than 6 grams is a misdemeanor with the potential for 6 months incarceration. The state allows for medical marijuana.


Possession up to 3 oz considered a misdemeanor and is punishable up to 1 year in jail. The state does not have legal medical marijuana use.


Possession of 1 oz or less is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail. The states does not allow medical marijuana use.


One ounce or less is no penalty for personal use. You may also cultivate up to 6 plants for personal use.

New Mexico

1 ounce or less on a first offense may result in up to 15 days in jail. The state allows for medical marijuana.

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