February 19th, 2017
Contributing writer for Wake Up World
Marijuana is easily one of the world’s most controversial plants and, in the U.S., has endured a particularly rocky history. While smoking marijuana was once viewed as an act of political dissidence against the Vietnam War, today the plant is recognized as an invaluable medicine and smoking-hot commodity that’s generated billions of dollars in revenue in states where it is now fully legalized. Meanwhile, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level and is considered by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) a Schedule 1 drug alongside heroine, LSD and ecstasy, and yet, a total of 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia now have some form of legalized marijuana, while eight more states — three of which adopted the measure in November 2016, and include California, Nevada and Massachusetts — allow recreational use of the plant.
Today, cannabis is undoubtedly undergoing a revolution in the U.S. In this article, we’ll examine the history of marijuana use and prohibition in the U.S., the road to public acceptance, and the burgeoning cannabis industry.
The documentary featured below, “The Marijuana Revolution” (2016), details the fascinating journey of marijuana and the various challenges faced by its proponents throughout history. As the film notes, marijuana was once regarded as a harmful and addictive drug used mainly among black jazz musicians and Mexican migrant workers.
Today, the majority of Americans support cannabis either as a medicine, for recreational use or both. Surveys show that at least 4 in 10 Americans have tried marijuana, while nearly 60 percent support full legalization.
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