From Prohibition to Progress: A Status Report on Marijuana Legalization

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What We Know About Marijuana Legalization in Eight States and Washington, D.C.

On November 6, 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two states – and first two places in the world – to legalize marijuana for adult use. Two years later Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. followed suit. In 2016 voters in four additional states – California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada – also approved ballot measures legalizing marijuana. In January 2018, Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through a state legislature. More states are expected to legalize in the near future.

Evidence shows that marijuana legalization is working so far. States are saving money and protecting the public by comprehensively regulating marijuana for adult use.

This success has likely contributed to the historically high levels of public support for marijuana legalization in the U.S., which has steadily grown to an all-time high of 64%. The majority of Americans – including 51% of Republicans – now support marijuana legalization.

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