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In recent years, it has become clear that there is no longer a question of whether we’ll see the end of cannabis prohibition: All signs indicate that cannabis will be legalized in the United States for adult recreational use. The questions now are about when it will happen and, crucially, how it will take shape.

With every act of state-level decriminalization, an aperture is created — a space for forging policy around cannabis that could influence how the inevitable national shifts take place. In one such vision, major corporations can step in and further establish “Big Weed” monopolies. In another, opportunities are created for those in power to reckon with the extreme racist violence of the war on drugs and to ensure that the communities decimated by prohibition can benefit from legal weed going forward.

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