Not many issues can fully harness the attention of the American public at the moment, but marijuana might just be one of them.
In just two decades the United States has gone from having zero states in which marijuana was legal for medical purposes and recreational use, to 23 states (as well as Washington, D.C.) passing legislation for medical marijuana and four states (plus Washington, D.C.) enacting laws to allow the drug to be sold for adult recreational use. This is truly remarkable considering that the federal government and the Drug Enforcement Administration still hold marijuana to be a Schedule 1 drug. By definition, Schedule 1 drugs have no medically defined benefit and are considered illicit.
This bifurcation between the federal government and 23 states — and even between jurisdictions within states that have legalized marijuana across the board, such as Colorado — have made for a dicey clash between supporters and opponents of marijuana’s expansion.