29 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico permit a variety of medical marijuana and cannabis programs. However, despite the rise in state laws permitting different marijuana programs, the statistics on those being punished for marijuana related crimes remains staggering. On average in 2016 alone, someone in the U.S. was arrested for possession of marijuana every 48 seconds. That's equivalent to having almost the entire 2016 population of Washington, D.C. be placed under arrest. According to the Washington Post, that represents about 5 percent of all arrests made last year. If you're interested in which states have the harshest criminal punishments for marijuana related offenses, NORML has a comprehensive list of such regulations (note that many state laws may have changed, thus the accuracy has not been independently verified).
Despite half of the states in America having legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes, the divisiveness of the drug remains fully intact. Fear of federal criminal liability and stigmatization leave many on the periphery of what is the fastest growing industry in North America.