It’s pretty much official: Marijuana legalization is sweeping the nation. The midterm elections this year saw Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. all vote to end prohibition within their respective jurisdictions, and even Guam got in on the action by voting to legalize medical cannabis. Following in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington in 2012, it’s safe to say that 2014 will be looked upon as one of the biggest years in marijuana history, with 2016 primed to be even bigger.
Much of the fuel behind the legalization movement has been provided by the activists who have been fighting for it for a long time. The issue has been, up until now, that the general public and almost all policymakers were not on board. Over the past decade, those attitudes have taken a dramatic shift, with recent Pew Research Center numbers showing that a majority of Americans now supporting legalization (52%), compared to the 45% who do not. What’s changing people’s minds? The fact that marijuana is not, in fact, the dangerous substance it has been made out to be for decades, and the promise of economic rewards from legalization.
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