From as early as the 1600s, marijuana had been utilized for medical, religious and recreational purposes. However, the early 20th century saw a dramatic shift in attitude towards the plant, with 29 U.S. states outlawing its use between 1916 and 1931. This trend was made official with the passing of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, effectively making cannabis illegal throughout the United States.
In October 2022, the Biden administration took a significant step towards the potential federal decriminalization of marijuana. Despite its classification as an illegal substance on the federal level, many U.S. states have legalized the use and sale of medical marijuana, and an increasing number are also allowing recreational use of the plant.