The National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) was founded in 1970 with the mission of ending cannabis prohibition. The following year, President Nixon famously declared War on Drugs, and thus began a 45-year fight for the hearts and minds of Americans.
Battle lines were drawn—hippies, yippies, radicals, and leftists lined up behind the legalization movement. The law-and-order, clean-cut, conservative crowd backed a hardline approach to the scourge of marijuana. Both sides dug in, and the national debate devolved into a war of attrition. Billions of dollars were spent (wasted?) on a series of policies that destroyed much and achieved nothing.
It took 25 years before California eventually legalized medical marijuana in 1996.
via The Kindland