No, marijuana is not legal nationwide. Not yet, anyway. As Christopher Matthews writes for TIME, we may be headed in that direction, and recent developments – most notably the legalization of recreational marijuana in two states during the November elections – indicate a trend.
This trend is the polar opposite of the trend in the 1950s, when, as Matthews puts it, the anti-marijuana climate could get you life in prison on just drug possession charges, and it must have seemed as though the so-called War on Drugs would never end.
To a very real extent, it hasn’t.
Marijuana – along with a host of other drugs – is still illegal in many areas of the U.S. Maryland recently became the 19th state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, but plenty of states still haven’t legalized it to treat illness and disease, not to mention for recreational use.
We’ve got a long way to go, in a sense, before you can forget about criminal punishment for marijuana possession and related crimes. Nonetheless, Matthews writes that America has learned to “love” marijuana (a strong word, perhaps) given recent polls showing anywhere from 48-52% of Americans support legalization, a sharp contrast to 2005 polls showing two-thirds of Americans opposing legalization.