According to federal law, cannabis remains an illegal, Schedule I substance, putting it in the same category as heroin and LSD.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, a Schedule I Substance is defined as plants, drugs, or substances with "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." While cannabis advocates scoff at this classification, the fact remains.
Nevertheless, over the past several years, the federal government has taken a far more hands-off approach regarding cannabis, giving individual states the authority to decide how they will deal with the plant themselves.
States like Colorado and Washington have fully legalized cannabis for adult use, as well as allowed farmers to register to grow hemp. Twenty-one other states have decided to legalize cannabis for medical use.
All this is going on with the full knowledge of the Federal Government. In fact, in February 2014, President Obama admitted that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol. If the President of the United States can give the plant a tacit approval in public without outcry, the tides are surely changing fast across the aisle.