The Changing Landscape of Cannabis Legalization in the United States

Cannabis use is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, with 59% of Americans supporting both medical and recreational use of the drug. As a result, many states have legalized marijuana for various purposes. 21 states, along with the District of Columbia, have permitted recreational use for adults over 21 years of age. Additionally, 37 states have approved medical marijuana, with varying restrictions. Only Idaho and Nebraska do not approve the use of CBD or marijuana at all.

Even President Joe Biden has expressed support for marijuana legalization, noting that incarcerating people for possessing the drug has negatively impacted minority groups. It is expected that legislation surrounding marijuana and CBD will continue to change in the years ahead, with seven new states predicted to approve recreational marijuana by 2030. The time period between medical approval and recreational approval is also shortening.

There is also potential for federal regulatory changes, with over 50 federal bills introduced in 2022, and President Biden issuing an executive order pardoning non-violent offenders convicted of simple possession of marijuana. The Controlled Substances Act, Cannabis Opportunity Act, and Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act are all being reviewed to loosen restrictions against the drug. As such, the US’s policies on cannabis, at a state and federal level, are rapidly changing. It is likely that Americans will see the prohibitive cannabis legislation surrounding marijuana use disappear in the next few decades.

Cannabis Legislation by State

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