What a year it’s been for medical weed. No other substance has enjoyed such a huge amount of favorable press across a wide spectrum of media outlets, even managing to look good on traditionally slanted networks like Fox, repeatedly. Equally impressive, are the string of political victories on the local, state, and federal level. There’s been so many positive mentions that Americans may even finally be warming up to the idea of regulating the good herb like alcohol and booze, which is good for patients and partygoers alike, as well as the economy, as it can generate lots of much needed revenue. Let’s take a quick look back at the public relations coup that the ganja pulled off in 2009.

The American Medical Association finally came around to acknowledging its therapeutic value and they weren’t the only smart doctors to do so with studies indicating that it’s not a gateway drug, is safer than acetaminophen, helps treat MS, could be effective for rehab patients, and if genetically altered can even come amnesia-free. They even said vaporizes are the shit!

After months of floundering and chuckling at the online prowess of pot smokers, the Obama administration finally handed down some directives via Attorney General Eric Holder, instructing federal authorities to stop meddling in states where medical weed is legal like California, which is clearly at the forefront of the ongoing debate. Thanks in part to a tanking economy, a more reasonable electorate, and some luck, the “Broke-Ass State” has blazed a path in creating a model for regulating and taxing medical cannabis. And people are starting to take the potential revenues seriously. The trend is starting to catch on. In Colorado, it’s a gold rush. Michigan experienced its first year of relative freedom. Rhode Island got down, as did Maine. NY is considering it, Pennsylvania wants in and New Jersey is getting closer. Plus, Massachusetts decriminalized weed and other pot products. Let us not forget about Argentina either. Oh and there was that congressman who made the director of the FBI look high.

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Michael Phelps got caught smoking a world class bong and while some might see this as bad PR for the Olympic gold medalist it was great for the movement. Not only did it challenge traditional stereotypes, but also helped refute some of the bullshit propaganda the Partnership for a Drug Free America and their ilk have been slinging for over two decades. And while some sponsors may have dropped Phelps, Hova defended him. And while most Hollywood stars who aren’t Woody Harrelson generally shy away from discussing it, Megan Fox had no problem admitting her love of the weed—plus she told Disney to go fuck themselves. Lover her! Most recently and notable though, was Stephen Colbert’s hilarious interview with Snoop who admitted that Dr. Dre does not prescribe his weed and provided a nice humorous overlay. What else? It spawned new fashion, controversial art, and fancy design concepts.

Can you imagine how good things will get once hemp makes its way into the discussion?