For most of my life, marijuana has been considered a taboo topic that wasn’t discussed openly and was swept under the rug by federal, state, and local officials. It was understood that a black market existed, but the “war on drugs” was always in force, with marijuana placed side by side with heroin and cocaine as scourges of society.

But as we near 4/20, a date of significance within the cannabis community that’s celebrated by smoking or consuming marijuana, what’s crystal clear is that this is no longer a taboo topic or an illicit industry. In a relatively short amount of time, the pot industry and the cannabis movement have come an incredibly long way. Here are 16 facts that unequivocally show that cannabis is now a mainstream topic and is here to stay.

1. More than 40 countries have given medical cannabis the green light

Believe it or not, more than 40…

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