Legalization of marijuana has been a hot topic of debate since the beginning of the 21st century. Many states have passed legislation to legalize marijuana for medicinal use, recreational use, or both. After the 2016 election, the total number of states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use grew to 28 along with eight states and Washington D.C. that have legalized it in a recreational capacity. This trend has come after a change in the way society has perceived the use of marijuana and its use has become increasingly accepted by a larger number of people. Since 1989, the support for the legalization of marijuana has gone from 16 percent then to 54 percent. As recent as October of 2015 that number has risen to 58 percent. This drastic increase in popularity has allowed these states to be able to pass legislation fostering the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana. However, there are still the other 42 percent that oppose it use. This almost 50/50 divide in ideology begs the question of whether to embrace the change in society or continue to oppress it. So what factors are considered when making this kind of sociological decision? Some of these factors include medicinal purposes, health related issues, economic changes, and the criminal aspect of legalization. Each of these factors play a large role when people make a decision to support or oppose the legalization of marijuana.
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