On the federal level, nothing about marijuana policy has changed. It's still illegal for medical and recreational use.
On the state level, however, medical and not-so-medical marijuana are becoming voter-supported growth industries. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medical marijuana and turned it into a $17 billion industry. In November, Colorado and Washington voters helped legalize recreational pot use in their states.Supporters of the ballot measures in those states say legalized marijuana will bring in tens of millions of dollars in revenue for state and local governments, with Colorado scheduled to open its first marijuana stores in January 2014. Publicly traded marijuana companies such as Medical Marijuana Inc. (MJNA), GrowLife Inc. (PHOT) and Hemp Inc. (HEMP) have already seen share prices surge. Just one problem: The federal government still has a whole lot to say about regulation and taxation of weed and doesn't make it easy on dispensaries, shops and growers. Those folks have a tough time opening bank accounts for their businesses and would have an even tougher time keeping the feds off their back by taking out nationally televised ads. Especially during the Super Bowl, the biggest event for a sport with a weed history so cloudy that ESPN Magazine dedicated some serious real estate to discussing the topic in its NFL Draft issue last year. Besides, even if weed was legal, it wouldn't be guaranteed air time. Just ask the Marlboro Man or Joe Camel what their Super Bowl Sunday plans are this year.
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