Medical marijuana is legal in the state of Colorado. As a result, businesses have been created to grow, package and sell medicinal marijuana. This has created jobs, paid rent, and perhaps most important in 2012 America, they've paid millions in taxes. The problem: even though medical marijuana is legal in Colorado, it's illegal under federal law.
The shutdown of Oaksterdam University was another in an ongoing dispute between federal and local officials in California on the topic of marijuana laws. It's one that has been escalating over the past year – but so far discussions between the state and feds have been rare.
Several states with dispensaries have seen an increase in both arrests and the confiscation of marijuana plants. However, a look at DEA records shows what appears to be an uneven enforcement policy among pot-friendly states over the past several years.
It is long past time for politicians at all levels to end this bankrupt policy of Prohibition, and stop breaking down the doors of Americans who only want to possess a harmless plant in the comfort of their own homes.
Pot should remain as a controlled substance, with marijuana-based medicines (like cocaine-based medicines) available by subscription fulfilled not from your home-grown stash but through a pharmacy, contends Bob Enyart, pastor of the Denver Bible Church.
So what argument should advocates employ? That the government has no business interfering in private activities except to prevent harm to others
If pot becomes legal, local, artisanal growers—perhaps along with farmers' collectives—are likely to dominate in the early stage, as big firms ramp up to enter the market years later. Think Starbuds vs. Maxwell House.
Labs like Full Spectrum and Steep Hill are springing up to serve the medical marijuana dispensaries and patients in states like Colorado and California to test the strength and purity of the drug.
Cash is king in the marijuana debate. The economic argument for legalization is that it is cheaper for the government to control consumption with taxes than with law enforcement. What's more, the untapped tax revenue will help relieve many a fiscal crisis.
Taking a pocketbook approach to marijuana consumption, black-market prices make the weed more expense than alcohol and tobacco, but legalization could change that.
Is marijuana a harmless giggle, as John Lennon once called it, or a dangerous and illicit addiction? The debate has once again been pushed to the forefront, thanks to a couple of timely factors.
In this slideshow, we take a look at different people, laws and films that played a role in shaping marijuana's image in the minds of Americans.
Thousands of patients claim marijuana provides them relief from devastating symptoms. We asked High Times Cultivation Editor Danny Danko to put a cost on this relief.