Marijuana is now the nation's fastest-growing industry. The legal marijuana industry brought in $2.4 billion last year, so it's certainly no longer any sort of laughing matter. That figure represents an increase of a whopping 74 percent in one year's time, and it is estimated that the total legal market could be worth $11 billion as soon as 2019.
According to the Controlled Substances Act, Eric Holder himself can reclassify anything on the list, with no more authority necessary than his own signature. Perhaps if Congress refuses to act, Holder (or Obama) will make this change on his own. That, more than a Times editorial, might more accurately be called marijuana's tipping point.
It will be a frustrating wait for those who want to move forward in California more quickly. But if it means two additional years of preparing the ground and gaining public acceptance, taking the time and opportunity to learn from other states' mistakes, and -- most importantly -- if it means getting more and more advocacy groups to work together instead of against each other, then the wait may well be worth it.
Barack Obama and Eric Holder continue to fight the War On Weed as if Nancy Reagan were in charge. Or Harry Anslinger, for that matter. This fight has been very quiet, for the most part -- Obama has given no major speeches touting his crackdown on marijuana -- but it has been a fierce one nonetheless.