In the Golden State, youth crime has plunged 30% since 2010. The number of high school dropouts is down 20%. So is the amount of youth drug overdoses. It’s thanks to a 2010 state law decriminalizing marijuana cases. And if you think marijuana is a “gateway drug”… non-marijuana drug arrests are down 23% over the same time too.

Similar changes are happening across the U.S. 2014 saw new marijuana decriminalization measures pass in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. These are affecting federal drug policies.

Over 100,000 inmates in the bankrupt U.S. penal system—half of all federal inmates—are locked up due to nonviolent drug offenses.

But starting in November 2015, 46,000 federal inmates may apply to have their sentences shortened. The move by the Justice Department will amount to a savings of over $2 billion. And for the first time in 34 years, the federal inmate population will decline (by a projected 12,200 by 2016—about six prisons filled to capacity).

You may be unaware of just how fast this change is sweeping America. The legalization trend is strong and gaining. It will have lasting effects on everything from taxes to health care… even the road to the White House in 2016.

You can catch up on the changing state of U.S. drug policy by reading this free, eye-opening article in Rolling Stone.