Seeing through the smoke: The future of marijuana policy in the United States


Clara Bates/The Harvard Political Review, via UWire

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Few industries worth almost $10 billion are illegal under federal law. Fewer still operate out of giant dispensaries that sleekly advertise their extensive selections, or state-of-the-art cultivation processes, in open sight of passersby. But we live in a new age: the age of recreational marijuana.

2018 will be a telling year for the future of the burgeoning marijuana industry in the United States. The regulatory situation was already complex when, in January, an unexpected policy change at the federal level led to widespread confusion about the industry’s future. Meanwhile, policy implementation at the local level has been complicated by inconsistent Department of Justice enforcement, and the states which have already legalized marijuana must continue developing solutions to challenges widely overlooked by the public. These hurdles notwithstanding, many experts believe that the momentum propelling legalization across the country is likely to prevail.

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