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Which States Have The Worst Marijuana Laws?


national cannabis coalitionI have lived my entire life in Oregon which is a very progressive state when it comes to marijuana laws. We were the first to decriminalize, the second to legalize medical marijuana, and our medical marijuana limits are some of the highest in the nation. The mood towards marijuana, for the most part, is not that bad compared to other parts of the nation.

Compare that to states that do not have decriminalized marijuana laws, and do not have medical marijuana programs. There are some states out there that are very harsh when it comes to marijuana. Their laws have been ruining lives for decades. These are the states that need reform the most, but sadly, they are the states that are likely to see these failed laws stay on the books the longest.

Below is a list of some of the harshest states in the nation. I put them in alphabetical order, so it’s not a top to bottom ranking. It’s my hope that I will be able to update this list someday because these laws will be reformed and be removed from the books:


Sale of a controlled substance in Alabama is a Class B felony punishable with a minimum sentence of 2 years and a maximum sentence of 20 years, along with a maximum fine of $30,000.


Distributing or cultivating 1 oz to 10lbs is a felony, punishable by 4-10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.


Under the influence of marijuana in public is a misdemeanor, punishable by 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Distributing or cultivating less than 1 lb (24 plants) is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Distributing or manufacturing paraphernalia is a felony, punishable by 9 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.


Distributing or cultivating 50kg or less is a felony, punishable by 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $7,500.


Cultivation of 5 plants is punishable by 12-17 years in prison.


Distribution or cultivation of any amount requires a mandatory 5 year sentence, up to 30 years.

South Dakota

A positive urine test in South Dakota is considered the same as possession of less than 2 oz, Possession of 2 oz or less is a misdemeanor, punishable by 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.


Cultivation of any amount is a felony, punishable by 5-30 years in prison, with a $10,000 fine.


Being under the influence of marijuana in public is a misdemeanor, punishable by 90 days in jail and a $100 fine.


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. enjightend 420 on

    If you look into these states history, they have prison for profit programs or privately ran prisons that lobby the state to keep the customers coming and the sentences outrages. Don’t ever get caught in these back assward states.

  2. Keeping Children from haveing debilitating seazers (?) HOW MUCH MORE SHOULD IT TAKE ? For THEM to wake the fug up ! ooooh !
    I just get so steemed about it !

  3. I wish !
    STUCK in the stone age Iowa & Chuck Grassly the cave man !
    We will most likely be last ? AND WE !!! KNOW HOW TO GROW HERE TOO!

  4. Just how is it that Our Federal Government can with hold something as harmless Yet Proven Beneficial as a Herbal remedy that cant kill you but make pain and discomfort more tolerable IN PLACE OF HARMFUL DEADLY DRUGS THAT ARE PROVEN KILLERS AND ARE VERY ADDICTIVE !

    It just is wrong to keep some thing so good from so many to stop people from using something that cant harm anyone and in the end they use other things that are much more deadly and addictive ? WTF ?

    The way I see it our laws are outdated and absurd and are making the U.S. Look like fools governed by fools !

  5. Please hit me up,,my phone number is,, 877-792-2873,, No
    need to mail or deliver. Just give me your address and what is the best time for
    you. My friend will come by for the pick up in a nice white or black car, decorated with all kinds of artwork, with Psychedelic lights all a glowing. We are big
    time buyers, we have plenty of other peoples money and cant be bothered with
    small time samples.
    If you want, we can even take for a ride in our cool vehicle, as we make our other pick ups. :)

  6. Sorry Indo, I’m not one to suffer fools graciously but appreciate your opinion just the same.

  7. Thank you for reply. But please note I don’t suffer assholes like you graciously. Now kindly fuck off!

  8. David_Rogers_Hunt on

    I would imagine you (juardo420) are either white, or at least, not a minority. The enforcement of Drug laws is very discriminatory in America. I am white, and I’ve seen minorities lives made into living hells for getting caught doing the same things cops have given me a pass on.

  9. Polk County Florida, worste single county ever to get arrested, if convicted of posession even if a misdemeanor 2 years drivers liscence sispension aa meetings drug test and community service are mandatory for atleast a year which is probation and thats if its just weed no pariphinalia or any other charge or you can choose to take the time and they will likely be a dick cuz its less money coming to the county

  10. stooping to this level doesn’t really warrant a response…..let’s keep it civil please!

  11. cannabis/ hemp is a plant given to us by God…..the medical results alone should be enough to overturn the unjust, racist & greed driven prohibition! alcohol prohibition lasted 14 years…..”marijuana” prohibition has been tearing apart families & ruining lives for 75 years & counting! i not only question your motivation behind your comment but if it’s sincere i deplore your ignorance!

  12. In AZ when you get caught with a roach in your car they take your drivers license for a year and then make you pay for installation and upkeep for an ALCOHOL ignition breathlock!!! for another year. I personally knew 4 people (and i don’t get out much) and none of them ever touched a drop of alcohol

  13. What about Indiana? this state sux for getting popped with weed. especially here in Starke county where they belive they can make whatever law/ rules they want for it. could get thrown out or u could do 15yrs over a roach.

  14. Christopher Potas on

    you obviously don’t know jack-shit bout Michigan…stick to listening to Limbaugh and STFU…the adults are talking

  15. 38 years a I got busted Minnesota and all I got was 1 night in jail . next day went to court and judge gave me 1 day and let me go! Deasent state to get busted if you got to get busted!

  16. The one worry I have about Texas are those pesky internal US border check points like the notorious I-10 check in Sierra Blanca.

  17. Actually with a small amount they might not even charge you with POM but instead possession of paraphernalia its a Class C which doesn’t involve probation, just fines and maybe community service. I have known a bunch of guys that got caught with around 14 grams and were charged with paraphernalia instead

  18. Benjamin Saladus on

    1st arrest in Texas gets you probation. No jail time. “Do DA fucking research hur hur hur hur”

  19. No not really, I have lived in TX most of my life these states are defiantly worse. You can’t be thrown in jail for a positive drug test in TX. I’m not happy with simple possession being a class B but these states are all harsher.

  20. i would steer clear of Michigan period. Detroit, Dearbornistan screw that. at this point might as well burn the whole place down and kill everything that runs out fo the fire!

  21. captainBUZZkill on

    Yeah only took 20 years to talk that percentage of people into believing that weed is safe. At this snails pace rate all of us alive and fighting for legalization today will be dead before the feds follow up and legalize it. 70 plus years of suffering and criminal prohibition and still no joy on the federal level. Sorry to be a buzz kill but my state still has dry counties and alcohol has been (re)legal now for over 70 plus years (they were a little slow to repeal those laws also). Hell at this rate my kids kids MIGHT have a chance of legalization without abandoning their home state, I will never see it in my life time here.

  22. I’m in PA and have been caught with weed and paraphernalia on numerous occasions. From my experience the cops always let me go as long as I’m honest and hand over the stuff.

  23. This is bs weed is weed drugs are chemical s mixed and filterd alterd from its original , u grow weed , cut it down cut flowers dry it then stuff it in a pipe or bong then smoke it Wtf no one has died from over doseing but if u take toomany pills or drink toomuch alcohol u will die , it will take 1500lbs in 15min to over dose on weed ..ya like a person can consume1500lbs in 15min rotflmao

  24. Immortal Illumined on

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

    from my lone state and mid 20% approval 20 years ago to now much of the country, world, and an almost 70% approval rating, WINNING…

    the good news is some of these states are pushing the strongest reforms in the nation…


  25. i,m not sure exactly what the laws are for “outsiders” here in Michigan but not as bad by far as those i’ve read. we have MMJ, and there are a couple cities that have decriminalized pot. you won’t have any trouble here, unless you get pulled over for something really stupid. keep up the good work Weedblog, you have another subscriber!

  26. I hope your state will join the 21st century soon. In the meantime, you can always take a vacation in Colorado, where the ski slopes are white and the buds are green (and brown and purple).

  27. I’m glad you posted that. I’ve erroneously posted on a few boards that MS had already decriminalized. Thanks to you, I’ll be more accurate in the future!

  28. I think it’s funny *THIS* article — an article about harsh legal punishments — is blessedly free of comments from scammers.

    Something tells me it’s not a coincidence.

  29. Brent Haycraft on

    Indiana sucks.. I went to give a friend a ride home from the bar. They had been drinking wanted a sober driver (i don’t drink) I was on my way home from getting me a doobie. Got pulled over because they thought I had my brights on. They searched my car I had forgot all about it being in there. Cost me my license for 6 months. Lost my job my house and 2 cars. Now my 2 year old daughter and I have to live with my grandparents.. We struggle to make ends meet because I can’t get work because no license… Thanks war on drugs… I’m a collage graduate and graduated high school with a 3.8gpa
    Ps I wasn’t high when I got pulled over… Was just a Friday night and I had drunk people with me.

  30. All the red states (especially in the south) are the WORST! Its just like with slavery and jim crow laws. The same states that continued slavery and jim crow laws the longest are the same states that continue to have the most draconian laws against marijuana.

  31. shit yeah my homie got pulled over with not even a bowl of green and was almost slammed with a felony

  32. I recently read an article stating that Utah has approved Cannabis Extracts for treating Epilepsy in children. Pretty progressive if you ask me…AZ is a medical state but they are too dumb to know that marijuana and cannabis concentrated or natural is the same good medicine.

  33. Be careful in oklahoma!!! They r obvious in profiling on highways and r searching cars with people who dont even look like stoners…beware! Beware!

  34. I have predicted the last three states to legalize will be Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. Why is Utah not on this list here?

  35. Thank you! I am glad to hear you can find something good to smoke, and I hope your fearless leaders will come to their senses soon.

  36. I don’t know where you guys have been in the South but in the Carolina’s finding good bud is relatively easy and in bigger cities the loud stuff is usually all you can find, but it is a little more expensive here than the west coast. We have strict laws but there is no witch hunt for pot smokers like there has been in the past, but the politicians our still to corrupt and loyal to their party to ever try and change the law

  37. Perhaps you should medicate and contemplate this problem in more depth…
    (Ah… the troll is talking about those evil hippies of yesteryear…)

  38. Ole Miss, The Rebels is home of the nations largest University marijuana research center

  39. Hippiesgetalife on

    So she sold illegal drugs and was sent to jail? How is this a problem? Just DON’T SELL DOPE! Pretty freakin simple.

  40. Beautiful country, enjoy. (And buy something to stimulate the local economy, maybe a Breaking Bad donut.)

  41. Actually, Sarijuana, my proposed route does include New Mexico, at least the northeastern portion of it.

  42. Oklahoma is bad news. When I drive to Colorado next year, I will avoid Kansas and Oklahoma like the plague. There was a single mother with the surname of Spottedcrow who was given given a horrific 12year sentence for selling a small amount to an undercover.

  43. Hi pk: Actually Mississippi has the most lenient marijuana laws in the South, which is not saying a lot.

    According to wiki: “Cannabis has not been decriminalized in Mississippi. If you have 30g or less, it is a misdemeanor with no arrest and a fine of $100–$250. If you possess 30 grams or more in a motor vehicle it is a misdemeanor with a possibility of 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.”

  44. EVERYONE in those states, and every state, has to get involved to change those Laws. The ONLY way to do it is politically. If the Politicians get more votes for changing the Laws than by being “tough on crime”. Votes is the only thing that matters. Join NORML, do something, 1or at least give them some money now and then to support the brave Activists!!
    Get off the couch and fight, my fellow stoners!!
    Before your life is ruined with jail too

  45. Wyoming: any amount, including paraphernalia, can get you up to one year in jail and or one year of supervised probation. Also a very hefty fine. Super awesome. I live here. It’s soooo great.

  46. It’s all about money. Hemp is going to drastically change our economy, our culture, our whole way of life. It is a miracle of nature.

  47. Somehow you missed Oklahoma, which in my experience is by far the worse state to get caught with even a seed or a stick!!

  48. Terrytwotoker420 on

    some hillbllly’s like to smoke weed just as much as you do. can i help it if i was born on the golden gulf coast. i want to be free like you. but the conservatives have the older people around here brainwashed. we need some help down here please.i want to be free in my own state. all we get is Mexican brown weed. i just want to smoke some good stuff like what i see you up there smoking. GOD HELP US! FREE THE SOUTH

  49. Laws just got out of hand for awhile.. its time to start keeping them in check.. sum laws should b taken as a criminal offense against the public..its upsurd that sum laws r still there.. i think whoevr follows unjust laws should be treated like a criminal themselves.. dont just blindly uphold the law smhh.. use ur own moral code.. or maybe that is the problem, that their morals are just not as common sense as most ppl believe they r.. if they would just see right through these harsh laws even sooner that would b great.. ppl dont deserve being treated like 5 year olds tellin em wat they can and cannot put into their bodies regardless of the fact if its good for them or not lol thats their choice. These marijuana laws were based on fraud anyways along time ago. And maybe those same fraudsters are still at it trying to keep the “marijuana monster” at bay lol

  50. Mostly rural states with low population density and conservative politics. For better or worse, they will catch up to the rest of the country eventually. In the meantime, they will just have to settle for abundant supplies of beer, homemade meth and Hillbilly Heroin.

  51. I’ve always wondered about the constitutionality of severe sentences for cultivating a plant for private use. In a country that claims to value personal rights, how can growing a plant be a criminal act?

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