An Official Primer to Legalized Cannabis—From Health Properties to Legislation and Everything in Between
"It's complicated" is the easiest way to describe America's fraught history with cannabis. For the last several hundred years, the relationship between Americans and marijuana has had its ups and downs, from the government encouraging the growth of hemp in the 17th century for the production of rope and sails, to the early 20th century when it was weaponized against the Mexican American community. Now, however, cannabis is having a moment, and the slow-and-steady, state-by-state legalization and/or decriminalization of recreational marijuana across the U.S. is already starting to shift social and cultural conversations around weed and has promising potential for both the economy and criminal justice system.
"Ending the federal marijuana prohibition is necessary to right the wrongs of this failed war and end decades of harm inflicted on communities of color across the country," Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer wrote in a memo with fellow Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Ron Wyden of Oregon. The trio of Democratic senators added that they plan to make the federal legalization of marijuana a priority in 2021.
Not quite sure what to make of this wave of pro-weed policies? Here are some key things to know about the legal marijuana industry in the U.S.