Senators Want Feds To Make Sure Dispensary Cannabis Is Safe CATO Institute- Republicans and Federal Marijuana Policy Cannabis growers are trying to adapt to plunging retail prices Cannabis Compounds Could Replace Anti-Anxiety Meds Why Trump Can’t Beat Cannabis 98% of Americans live in a state with some form of Legal Cannabis Cannabis Prices Rocket in Nevada as Shortage Continues Cannabis Industry Statistics Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Cannabis Should Be Legal RICO Lawsuit Threatens Cannabis Industry Cannabis May Ease Nerve Pain – Study Legal Cannabis States Try To Slow Smuggling Cannabis Popularity Continues to Grow Among Adults NBA Star Zach Randolph Arrested On Marijuana Charges During Mob Fracas Even With Legal Cannabis, California’s Black Market Will Remain Huge NFL to work with players’ union to study marijuana for pain How California Can Utilize Surplus Cannabis As Trump wages war on legal weed, military veterans side with cannabis There Are More Legal Cannabis Workers Than There Are Dental Hygienists Cannabis or Marijuana? High Hopes Ride on Cannabis Amid Opioid Crisis Jesse Ventura Is Fighting To Legalize Marijuana California expands marijuana rules, will allow deliveries Study: Cannabis users tend to be more successful, happy Cannabis could be a $5-billion boon to the state — but many users may stay illegal Rescheduling Marijuana: How it Works California could be a ‘sanctuary state’ from federal cannabis laws Older Women and Medical Cannabis: A Growth Industry France to Decriminalize Cannabis Possession, Interior Minister Says Epilepsy drug derived from marijuana is close to federal approval Vermont Governor Rejects Marijuana Bill, Wants Changes Marijuana App ‘WeGrow’ Wants To Bring Flower To The People States move fast to protect marijuana industry American Legion to Trump: Allow cannabis research for vets Washington law paves way for organic marijuana market Oregon Economic Forecast Includes Marijuana For The First Time No sanctuary for cannabis in California New Jersey mom turns marijuana into money Women have lead role in new marijuana businesses in Washington State Want to be a budtender? Here’s How. Marijuana May Boost, Rather Than Dull, the Elderly Brain Trump Rejects Congress as He Signals Medical Marijuana Fight The Cannabis Industry Is Getting Super-Sized 87% Of Players Say NFL Should Allow Medical Marijuana Access Pot brownies could lose potency under proposed California rules Cannabis Prices Get Higher After Recovering From 2016 Bust Study proves the importance of using Medical Cannabis The Trump crackdown on legal marijuana might not happen Varying marijuana laws pose questions for air travelers Marijuana – Miracle treatment for children with autism Marijuana workers get the California seal of approval Is Legal Marijuana the Last Bipartisan Cause in America? Marijuana activists vow to smoke and get arrested on steps of U.S. Capitol Most Americans Support Pro Athletes Using Marijuana for Pain Relief California Cannabis Is Going Industrial Trump’s drug czar pick has strong “no” vote record on marijuana Billions In Marijuana Taxes Are Addictive To State Governors The Holy Land of Medical Marijuana Oregon lawmakers vote to block cannabis users’ info from feds Marijuana legalization grows closer with Senate tax proposal Jerry Jones’s marijuana proposal could save NFL players’ lives The problem with America’s marijuana DUI laws John Oliver – Update Federal Marijuana Laws The way people buy legal marijuana will change in 2019 DOJ Wants Information On Colorado Marijuana Cases Oregon lawmakers introduce laws to protect legal recreational marijuana Public support for legal marijuana surged in 2016 Federal Marijuana Hostility Wrong Addiction Specialists Ponder a Potential Aid: Marijuana Dozens of industries could see a boost from legal marijuana Oregon May Declare Emergency Over Jeff Sessions’ Marijuana Threats Maximizing the Medical Effects of Marijuana Marijuana Legalization Opponents Were Wrong Oxford University announces new £10m medical marijuana research program Pro-marijuana church in Alabama: Members tout ‘God and cannabis’ Every State Could Legalize Marijuana by 2021- The Motley Fool 25% of US beer drinkers have switched to marijuana or would if it was legal Colorado Rep. Jared Polis has a plan to keep marijuana safe from Sessions Good science on marijuana is hard to find Jeff Sessions: Marijuana Is “Only Slightly Less Awful” Than Heroin Federal Marijuana Crimes Drop For Fifth Consecutive Year Jeff Sessions Will Enforce Federal Marijuana Laws In An ‘Appropriate Way’ Beer Industry Could Lose $2 Billion From Legal Marijuana Pot for pets: Owners treat sick animals with marijuana Marijuana Legalization Hasn’t Increased Traffic Fatalities Don’t let Big Marijuana prioritize profits over public safety The future of recreational marijuana in Trump’s America Idaho customers breathe life into tiny Oregon marijuana town Elizabeth Warren to Jeff Sessions “Respect state marijuana law” Doctors warn against teen pot use as marijuana laws loosen Will Edible And Concentrate Marijuana Brands Get As Big As Budweiser? Marijuana Industry To Create More Jobs Than Manufacturing By 2020 California Marijuana Is Not Safe to Smoke California marijuana tax and tracking systems behind schedule Republican Introduces “The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act” Why the Legal Marijuana Industry Is Suddenly Worried Military Veterans With PTSD Begin Marijuana Clinical Trials Marijuana Drug Could Extend Lives of Brain Cancer Patients, Study Finds Contaminated Medical Marijuana Believed To Have Killed California Cancer Patient Marijuana lobby goes mainstream

98% of Americans live in a state with some form of Legal Cannabis

Legal Cannabis



The state of legal cannabis in the United States has changed appreciably over the last two decades. This rapid evolution can be tracked along five important axes:

  1. An expanding landscape of state marijuana laws;
  2. Ballooning public support for legal cannabis;
  3. Shifting enforcement policy from the White House;
  4. Congress warming to the need for reform; and,
  5. State policymakers stepping up to support legalization without backlash.

When President Barack Obama was sworn into office, only 13 states had legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes and none allowed its recreational use. By the time Donald Trump was inaugurated, those numbers had grown to 28 states (plus Washington, D.C.) where medical marijuana is legal and eight states (and D.C.) where recreational use is permitted. And in the months since, another state—West Virginia—passed a law legalizing medical use, Vermont’s state legislature became the first in the nation to pass a recreational legalization bill (though it was vetoed by the Governor and sent back for changes), and several other states have begun to consider their own legalization proposals. Though marijuana remains illegal at the federal level for any purpose, attitudes towards its legalization at all levels are changing, and changing quickly. In recent years, we’ve seen ballooning support in public opinion polls, substantial policy shifts in the White House, a willingness to address the issue in Congress, and state policymakers taking it up in growing numbers. As more states enact and implement legal marijuana programs, there is a growing urgency for federal policy change to ensure that states regulate as responsibly and safely as possible.

An Expanding Landscape

Since 1970, marijuana has been illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, listed as a Schedule I drug. That means for the purposes of federal law, marijuana has no currently accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse—just like heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.1

United States, Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration “List of Controlled Substances,” Accessed July 19, 2017.

At that time, marijuana was also illegal under the laws of every state. But over the last two decades, the map of state marijuana laws has undergone a significant transformation. California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in 1996.2 Other states gradually started to follow suit, and what began as a trickle has now become a flood. In the last few years, the number of states passing laws to allow the use of legal cannabis in some form has skyrocketed.

Today, 29 states have legalized medical marijuana, eight of which also permit recreational use, and another 17 allow the limited use of non-intoxicating marijuana extracts to treat certain medical conditions (like seizure disorders in young children).3 Roughly 201 million Americans (60% of the country) currently live in states where marijuana is legal for general medical use—up from 62 million ten years ago and 32 million ten years before that. And nearly 70 million (21%) live in states where recreational use by adults is also allowed, up from 12 million in 2012 and 0 in 2011.4 All told, roughly 98% of Americans live in a state that has some form of legal cannabis—up from 0% just 21 years ago.

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