The 5 States (and One City) Where You Can Legally Give Weed as a Christmas Present

Hey, what's in your Christmas stocking?

Marijuana Christmas stockings
Photo Credit: Pinterest

The days are ticking down toward Christmas, but last-minute gift-givers in a handful of legal marijuana states (and Washington, DC) have an option most of the rest of us don't: legally giving theirs friends and loved ones a gift of marijuana.

There are some caveats: These gifting rules are for adults only—meaning 21 and over—and there are limits on how much can legally be given away, usually an ounce. Also, the laws allowing for gifting mean true gifting, not "You can have this bag of pot for free, but the baggie costs $200." Still, the rules aren't so onerous, and by following them, you can give that special someone a unique and very dank Christmas present.

Not all of the states that have legalized weed are on this year's list. Maine and Nevada both legalized it in November, but the laws won't go into effect until mid-January in Maine and January 1 in Nevada. And although Washington state legalized it in 2012, the nation's harshest marijuana legalization regime—it doesn't allow personal grows, it makes possession of an ounce and a half a felony—doesn't allow for gifting, either. Bah, humbug.

But if you live in one of the following places, you have that extra Christmas option:

1. Alaska

Alaska legalized marijuana via the ballot box in 2014, with the new laws going into effect in February 2015. Under the state's legalization law, it is perfectly legal to give away up to an ounce. Heck, you can even give away up to six pot plants, too.

2. California

Golden State voters approved the pot-legalizing Proposition 64 in November 8, and its possession and cultivation provisions went into effect the next day. Under the new regime, you can give away up to an ounce. Of course, since no legal marijuana has been planted and harvested since November 9, you have to have a medical marijuana card to legally have any to give away, but you can still give it away.

 3. Colorado

The first state to legalize it back in 2012 (beating Washington by a couple of hours), Colorado's pot law also allows for the gifting of up to an ounce. And with a billion dollars in legal marijuana sales this year, there's definitely room for a little giving.

4. Massachusetts

The Bay State legalized it last month, and the new law went into last week, just in time for the holidays. You can give away up to an ounce with no legal problem. In an interesting twist, since the new law allows people to possess up to 10 ounces at home, you could also legally get 10 friends to gift you an ounce each. Sweet!

5. Oregon

Oregon legalized it in 2014, and you can give away up to an ounce.

6. Washington, D.C.

The nation's capital legalized pot possession and cultivation, but not sales, in 2014. It also legalized the gifting of up to one ounce. But since the possession limit is two ounces, two different people could give you an ounce and you'd still be street legal. 


Phillip Smith is editor of the AlterNet Drug Reporter and author of the Drug War Chronicle.

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