Marijuana — also known as pot, weed, or cannabis — is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug, meaning it's a chemical substance that affects behavior and mood.
The major psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is THC (that's short for tetrahydrocannabinol). Although effects vary from person to person, marijuana consumption is typically associated with euphoria, giddiness, relaxation, heightened sensations, and increased appetite. That likely explains why marijuana users often report increased enjoyment from food and music.
Marijuana remains illegal in most of the United States. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, the strictest possible classification in the agency's system. The classification means the DEA perceives marijuana as more dangerous than schedule 2 drugs like cocaine and meth, and therefore enforces stricter regulations on marijuana than schedule 2, 3, 4, and 5 drugs.
The harsh classification has serious ramifications for marijuana even in places where state law says it's legal. Marijuana businesses, for instance, must function as cash-only businesses largely as a result of prohibition.
The schedule is not something the president could change alone, but the administration, through the attorney general or secretary of health and human services, could begin a review process for the current schedule. Given the scientific evidence today, legalization advocates argue the review process would lead to a less stringent classification for marijuana.
Congress can also pass legislation to reschedule marijuana, which is something legalization advocates have been lobbying legislators to do for a long time.
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What is marijuana decriminalization?
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What is medical marijuana?
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Where is marijuana legal?
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Wait, marijuana is legal in North Korea?
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Which states are working to legalize marijuana next?
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What's the case for marijuana legalization?
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What's the case against marijuana legalization?
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How is popular opinion changing on marijuana legalization?
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How many people get arrested for marijuana-related offenses?
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What are the health effects of marijuana use?
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How does the federal government deal with legal marijuana?
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What is President Barack Obama’s stance on marijuana legalization?
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How do states regulate legal marijuana?
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Is marijuana a gateway drug?
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Does marijuana legalization lead to more marijuana use?
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How much tax revenue would come from marijuana legalization?
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What’s happened in Colorado since the state legalized marijuana?
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How do you know if someone is drugged driving?
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Where can I learn more about marijuana legalization?
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