The small South American nation of Uruguay was the first to legalize marijuana for adults. New Zealand, Luxembourg and Mexico are among those that have looked to Canada for guidance or lessons, while Russia has chastised it for its “barefaced” flouting of international anti-drug treaties.
Here’s a look at how Canada’s experiment is playing out internationally and where the next attempts at legalization are coming:
States continue to flout federal prohibition and legalize marijuana within their borders, arguing that the nation’s war on pot has drained law enforcement resources, had a disparate impact on minorities and failed to curb the drug’s popularity.
Thirty-three states and Washington, D.C., have now legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use, with Michigan and Illinois the most recent of 11 states to OK recreational sales.
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives, with significant bipartisan support, passed a bill that would grant legal marijuana businesses access to banking while sheltering financial institutions from prosecution for handling marijuana-linked money. That would clear up a serious headache for the industry. Many pot businesses