In the last four months, five states have legalized recreational marijuana, meaning now 30% of the country allows its adult residents to possess and use cannabis.
At least two more states are poised to be added to that list following the passage of cannabis legalization bills this year.
Marijuana policy experts and advocates say this national trend is indicative of a shift in Americans’ perspectives on marijuana.
Arguments from elected officials and voters that centered around perceived dangers of marijuana substance abuse or a rise in criminal activities have quelled as evidence has grown to show there are economic, social and health benefits from a state regulated cannabis industry, according to Mason Marks, a law professor at Gonzaga University and a fellow-in-residence at Harvard Law School’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics.
“It’s turning out to be very antiquated,” Marks said of past opposition to legalizing marijuana.
Marks and other experts say there will be stronger legalization efforts in the near future. However, they noted there would still be an uphill battle before the country sees any true national repeal of its marijuana laws. [Read More @ ABC News]