As more and more states have turned toward the legalization of cannabis, the federal government continues to lag. This week on Everyday Injustice, we talk with Christi Smith, a senior fellow for the R Street Institute’s criminal justice and civil liberties team.

She is a former adult probation and parole officer and retired assistant professor of criminal justice.

The war on drugs and the continued prohibition of cannabis has profound implications for mass incarceration.

The puzzling questions is why does cannabis remain “illegal at the federal level, and its possession and use are subject to the most severe criminal penalties under the Controlled Substances Act.”

As Smith finds, “More than 90 percent of Americans—on both sides of the political aisle—support legal adult use of medical or recreational cannabis.”

In addition, “Legalization is also increasingly supported by law enforcement, with two-thirds of police supporting medical or recreational cannabis.”

Listen as Christi Smith discusses the implications of federal cannabis policy and how federal legalization can restore police legitimacy while enhancing public safety.