Marijuana perception, representation and legal status was not always what it is today. In 1937, ‘marihuana’ was portrayed as a dangerous, addictive drug. In 2016, 57% of the American public supports legalization of recreational marijuana use while medical marijuana is legal in almost half of the U.S. In regards to recreational marijuana, and since the beginning of the decade, marijuana policy reformers have had their fair share of success. To account for the vast changes in marijuana’s legal and cultural status, this thesis examines both historical and contemporary evidence regarding marijuana laws and the respected moral enterprise behind them. Alongside a review of the leading narratives of the 1937 ‘Marihuana Tax Act’, this study analyzes California’s recent marijuana legalization ballot measure, titled ‘The Adult Use of Marijuana Act’ (‘AUMA’), or proposition 64. Based on a qualitative analysis of the campaigns for and against proposition 64, this study seeks to better understand liberal drug-control policies in general, and marijuana legalization in particular. To theorize both the criminalization and legalization of marijuana, this thesis derives itself from several theoretical frameworks. In particular, Howard S. Becker’s (1963) model of moral entrepreneurship, Jerome Himmelstein’s (1983) corrections to Becker’s model and Craig Reinarman’s (1983) neo-Marxist approach to drug-controls policies and their relation to the capitalist state and state apparatus.