Weed is ready to hit the mainstream
Time The 2016 US election “may go down as a watershed for weed”, says Katy Steinmetz. Amid all the drama of the campaign, relatively little attention has been paid to the various marijuana-related measures that individual states approved, but these promise to have a transformative effect. Before the election, recreational use of marijuana was legal in four states and the District of Columbia. It’s now legal in eight – and one of the four new states to legalise it is California, America’s most populous state and the fifth-largest economy in the world. In addition, four more states voted to legalise the medical use of marijuana. “The upshot is that more than half the states in the US now have medical marijuana laws, and roughly one-fifth of the population lives in a place where adults 21 and older can legally consume weed for fun.” Experts believe this could prove a tipping point, forcing the federal government, which still views marijuana as “a highly addictive substance on a par with heroin”, to adopt a more sensible stance. After the election, legalisation has “shifted from being an experiment in the American west to something primed for the mainstream”. With Canada also looking to legalise recreational marijuana next year, the end of prohibition is surely nigh.