You know that feeling when you realize that the good friend you let stay on your couch for a couple of days has suddenly become a permanent fixture in your home?

That's marijuana.

Pot, weed, grass, 420, ganga, dope, herb, joint, blunt, cannabis, reefer, MaryJane, bud, stinkweed, nuggets, blaze. Call it what you want, marijuana has subtly (but quickly) become a regular part of our lives.

Consider that over half of US states (29) have laws on the books that broadly legalize marijuana in some form. Eight states have legalized it for recreational purposes -- in just five years. Does anyone remember the "war on drugs."

And while we struggle to reconcile the real issues of federal restrictions versus states rights, another fact is turning out to be irrefutable: marijuana is having a much broader impact than many of us realize.

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