The times they are a'changin'. Maybe you tried pot back in college, or maybe you inhaled at a party once or twice. Back then "pot" was just a generic term used for the buds carried around concerts and parties in plastic baggies without a thought to whether the buds were indica or sativa. As long as it got you high, everything was lumped into one category—weed, pot, grass or whatever slang was popular at the time.
In 2015, the marijuana industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S.. Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use and almost half of the other states have either decriminalized it or legalized some form of medical marijuana.
Colorado was the first state to fully legalize in 2014. $600 million-worth of weed was sold there in the first 11 months generating $68 million in taxes for the state. The state is now collecting so much in tax revenue that they need to start giving some back. Americans spend an estimated $40 Billion getting high each year, roughly 20% of what's spent on cigarettes and alcohol.
Cannabis is becoming a legitimate business, and the stigma of talking about marijuana is fading away. It's now socially acceptable to talk about marijuana like you'd talk about alcohol, excepts alcohol brands can advertise.
It's not just "pot" anymore. That nondescript bag of buds is now broken out into hundreds of products, some of which don't even get you high. Cannabis oil for example, is high in CBD and is used to treat children with seizures. There's no THC in the oil, just oil from the plant minus mood altering vibes. Now, dispensaries can recommend a specific strain like a sommelier recommending a wine. Some strains treat PTSD while others can help patients sleep better. Oils and concentrates are a whole new frontier of products skewed toward medical applications as well as to put in edibles.
Major news sites like CNN, Washington Post and NBC are talking about weed on a regular basis. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been outspoken in his support for medicinal marijuana. Yet, people are still being treated like criminals when it comes to weed. Children treated with cannabis for seizures are taken away from parents, and adults with no crime record are locked up for years over small amounts.
A majority of Americans (52%) are now in favor of marijuana legalization compared to only 12% in 1969. The time has come to remove the stigma attached to marijuana. Like it or not, it's coming out of the shadows into mainstream culture.