The landscape of the war on drugs has changed significantly within the past few years. Currently, in many states, heroin addiction has reached epidemic proportions. Also, the rising use of prescription drugs has prompted some state governments to implement restrictions on refills of narcotic medication. Also, with the increase in the use of narcotic medication and the influence of big pharma over many aspects of healthcare, it has become common for people to look for alternatives to habit forming narcotics.
As the landscape has changed, the law has begun to slowly and steadily change regarding marijuana. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Agency has listed marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic. Such drugs as Heroin and LSD are both listed as Schedule I drugs as well. Research regarding marijuana over the years has concluded that it is not a dangerous drug, and , in fact, has quite a few beneficial uses for people suffering from cancer, anxiety, and epilepsy. Also, marijuana isn’t seen as a dangerous drug as it once was.
In 2012 Colorado and Washington State became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational sale and use by adults. This was a major turning point regarding this type of legislation and has set a precedent that other states can and have followed after the historic legislation. In 2015, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. all passed legislation to legalize marijuana. Currently, Maine, Massachusetts, California, Nevada, Missouri, Ohio, and Arizona are all on the verge of passing laws legalizing the recreational sale and use of marijuana.
Colorado and Washington State have both been important proving grounds for the legislation. These states have seen great increases in revenue from the taxes. These taxes are being used toward education and other programs within the state. In Colorado alone, so much money has been made from the legalized sale of marijuana that they are finding it hard to distribute the funds to school districts in need because prior profits from the sales have fixed many problems already.
In the near future, many states will follow suit, many very reluctantly. As for now, marijuana legislation has been proven very effective.