Prohibition of marijuana is a failed public health policy. Nearly 85 percent of Americans have tried marijuana. For at least two decades, it has been easier for adolescents to obtain marijuana than alcohol. Marijuana is the biggest cash crop in California. Nationwide, Americans spend and consume between $75 billion and $120 billion worth of marijuana annually.
A majority of Americans recognize that prohibition of marijuana is a flawed and failed policy. In a recent Gallup poll, 58 percent of Americans favored the legalization of recreational marijuana. More than 80 percent of voters favor legalization of medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington voters legalized marijuana in 2013. Beginning in California in 1979 with the Compassionate Use Act, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.