A first-of-its-kind recreational marijuana bill was just introduced in New Jersey

Considering how unpopular marijuana was with the public during the mid-1990s, it's phenomenal to take a step back and witness just how rapidly pot's presence has grown in the United States over the past 21 years.

Marveling marijuana's expansion

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize the use of medical cannabis for compassionate use. Since California, 27 additional states and Washington, D.C., have followed. Five new states legalized medical weed last year alone, including Pennsylvania and Ohio, which chose to do so entirely through the legislative process.

A cannabis joint being rolled.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use. Since then, six additional states have legalized recreational pot, too. If not for Arizona's recreational weed initiative falling 2% short of passing in November, it would have been a...

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