More and more people in the U.S. are just saying yes to America’s favorite drug, and state legislatures are working hard to keep up with the budding demand.
In an April 2013 poll, Americans said for the first time in decades that marijuana should be legal. Other surveys followed, the most recent of which found that 58 percent of the people—an all-time high and double the support it received just 15 years ago—think it should be completely legal.
As a result of this growing advocacy, laws that regulate marijuana use are changing, and quickly, leaving the federal government to figure out just how to deal with local governments that enact laws that conflict with national policy.
Twenty states have passed legislation to allow medical marijuana since California became the first to do so in 1996. Sixteen states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. As for all-out legalization, both Washington and Colorado approved the recreational use of marijuana by adults in the 2012 election, and other states are positioned to follow suit.