After successful ballot measures in the 2020 U.S. election legalized recreational marijuana use in Arizona, New Jersey and Montana, state legislatures in New York, Virginia, New Mexico and Connecticut passed bills in 2021 to legalize weed. This brings the tally of legal weed states to 18 (along with D.C.). The new development is bringing recreational marijuana to more East Coast states, after the American West had long been the hotbed of legalization efforts. Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize the drug in 2012.
New Jersey is expected to actually start selling legal weed on April 21, while New York, Connecticut and Virginia haven't set a start date yet. Sales have been up and running in Arizona and Montana as well as in New Mexico. While setting up a licensing system for dispensaries selling recreational weed usually takes more time, possession and consumption are already legal in all states that passed bills or had successful ballot measures.
South Dakota actually gave the recreational and medical use of cannabis the green light at the same time in the 2020 elections, but the state's Supreme Court ruled the ballot measure on recreational weed invalid for technical reasons after a complaint funded by Governor Kristi Noem. There are currently 37 states that have medical marijuana laws, including all that allow recreational use.