One surprising turn of events during last year’s elections was the legalization of marijuana in states like Washington and Colorado — events that brought to light a conflict between states’ rights and the role of Federal government in determining what laws ultimately stand their ground.

At issue is a major rift between how citizens view marijuana and how law enforcement and government employees view the drug in light of the War on Drugs that has been a political issue since well before Richard Nixon brought the term into popular usage. That view has changed as more citizens have had experience with marijuana, with many suggesting that its effects do not merit the strenuous enforcement of law against users that equate marijuana with harder drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine — even while the dangers of legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol are made more evident through scientific study.