With Colorado legalizing recreational Marijuana this year, we take a look back at the October 1969, LIFE cover story titled, "MARIJUANA: At Least 12 Million American Have Now Tried It. Are penalties too severe? Should it be legalized?" Fast forward 45 years and we are only now beginning to see real changes in the War on Drugs. 'Across 10 full pages, intermingling opinion, photography and reportage, LIFE took a hard look at pot smoking in the U.S., but waded deep into the debate -- already heated then -- of whether or not the country's Draconian marijuana statues were doing more harm than good.'
All photograph courtesy Co Rentmeester-Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images