Every pot connoisseur in America is well aware that the quest for the eternal buzz is happening right now in Colorado, and soon the red-eyed adventure will begin in Washington State. We are talking about legalized recreational marijuana; the holy grail of high life in the United States, a place where being ripped is accepted and encouraged and over-zealous law enforcement are forced to stop harassing stoners.

However, while marijuana users are quickly becoming privy to the newfound weed laws in Colorado and Washington, most are not aware that 15 states have decriminalized marijuana possession, with small amounts of pot resorting in mostly fines instead of jail time.

Most recently, Maryland and Washington DC passed legislation to strip away criminal penalties for marijuana possession. The District of Columbia is simply waiting for the bill to cool off in Congress for the next two months, while Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley says he is prepared to sign the decriminalization bill passed earlier this week by the state legislature.

Recent crime data from the FBI indicates that 750,000 pot-related arrests were made in 2012. Nearly 80 percent of the busts were for marijuana possession.

Below is a list of states that have decriminalization laws in place. Granted some are more lenient than others, but it is never a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the legal boundaries of a particular area to avoid shakedown hassles.

Washington DC: (Pending Legislation) First offense possession up to one ounce comes with a fine of $25; second and third offenses $25.

Maryland: (Pending Legislation) First offense possession up to .35 ounce comes with a fine of $100; Second offense $250, third offense $500. Court order drug treatment is possible.

California: First offense possession up to one ounce comes with a fine of $100; second and third offenses $100.

Massachusetts: First offense possession up to one ounce comes with a fine of $100; second and third offenses $100.

New York: First offense possession up to .88 ounce comes with a fine of $100; second offense $200, and third offense $250 and up to 15-days in jail.

Ohio: First offense possession up to three and a half ounces comes with a fine of $150; Second and third offense $150.

Mississippi: First offense possession up to one ounce comes with a fine of $100-250; second offense $250 and 5-60 days in jail; third offense $250-500 and up to six months in jail.

Connecticut: First offense possession up to half an ounce comes with a fine of $150; second and third offense $200-500.

Rhode Island: First offense possession up to one ounce comes with a fine of $150; second offense $150; third offense $500 and up to one year in jai.

Minnesota: First offense possession up to one and a half ounces comes with a fine of $200; second and third offense $200. Court order drug treatment is possible.

Vermont: First offense possession up to one ounce comes with a fine of $200; second offense $300; third offense $500.

Maine: First offense possession up to one and a quarter to two and a half ounces ounces comes with a fine of $350-600 to $700-1000; second and third offense $350-600 to $700-1000.

Nebraska: First offense possession up to one ounce comes with a fine of $300; second offense $400 and five days in jail; third offense $500 and up to seven days in jail. Court order drug treatment is possible.

Oregon: First offense possession up to one ounce comes with a fine of $650; second and third offense $650.

Nevada: First offense possession up to one ounce comes with a fine of $600; second offense $1000; third offense $2000 and up to a year in jail. Court order drug treatment is possible.

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.