The Market for Medical Marijuana: Black to Gray to Everyday

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31246066@N04/

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31246066@N04/

Despite some Reefer Madness-era stigma still tucked away in the corners of society, marijuana has become a thing in the United States — a controversial, quasi-legal, socially and medically important thing that the nation as a whole still doesn’t really know what to do with yet.

Research that has been conducted and has come to light over the past several years has pretty much laid to rest the myth that cannabis has no medicinal or therapeutic qualities, and 20 states plus the District of Columbia currently recognize this. While still (very) illegal at the federal level — cannabis and cannabis resin are Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act, in league with LSD, MDMA, heroin, and psilocybin – there are an estimated 2.4 million medical marijuana patients in the U.S., and more are signing up every day.

But in order for medical marijuana to truly join the pantheon of legitimate drugs, two things have to happen: cannabis will have to find its place within the market mechanism, and the federal government will have to give up on its failed war against the drug.