Since the early 70s with marijuana’s popularization growing, many have gotten caught up amidst law enforcement and the unfair justice system regarding the plant.
As the popularity grew, legislation began to take place mostly throughout the West coast. Hemp in the early days of the country was a very popular cash-crop with its bi-product of marijuana being used solely for medicinal purposes in addition to the hemp. In the 1930s, governments across the country began cracking down on marijuana coming up with new facts that had no backing to scare the public into believing that the plant was dangerous.
In 1973, a few states decided to decriminalize the plant to help lower the number of arrests being made surrounding it.
Only about 20 years later did marijuana see its day as the healing and medicinal benefits became more publicly known and wanted. In 1996, voters passed Proposition 215 in California which legalized marijuana solely for medicinal use. This was extremely difficult as the federal government still held its ground with marijuana being a Schedule I narcotic.
In the years to follow there were many difficulties with legalization and decriminalization. In the state of California, businesses began popping up all over to then get shutdown by the feds. In the state, all you needed was a legal certification from a doctor and with that, you could acquire weed from one of the many dispensaries.
With much pushback from the federal government, California succeeded in growing a huge business out of the plant and it continues up until this day.
Pot on the East Coast is a different story altogether. The other side of the country is just now seeing legalization happen in states such as Massachusetts and Maine, but all of this is happening at a slow pace. With the majority of the East Coast having strict laws throughout time regarding the plant, its no wonder that the people are not as inclined to legalize the plant. This could potentially be blamed to the fear instilled as them since their youths dealing with marijuana.
As the times are changing, marijuana is seeing its day come across the country. Hopefully the East Coast can catch up to its western relative and help to make the whole of the country more marijuana friendly for all.