The path to legal pot in Arizona was a long and winding one. It started in 2010 when medical marijuana was legalized (actually, longtime advocates will tell you, it started a good while before that). In 2016, a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana suffered a defeat at the ballot box. It returned four years later, survived a legal challenge, and was approved at the polls by a 60-40 margin in November 2020. But even then, it wasn't clear how long it would be until dispensaries would be given the green light to sell recreational pot; in other states, the process had taken nearly a year. Then, one Friday afternoon in January, boom: The state approved dozens of licenses at once, swinging open the doors to recreational sales. There have been lines out the doors of dispensaries ever since. Often, as we walk around town, we now catch a whiff of cannabis in the air, be it in downtown Phoenix or a quiet Arcadia side street. It's just normal now — the way it should be.