The Dominican Republic has historically been one of the weaker nations when it comes to international Soccer. However, much like Cuba, the Dominican Republic has attracted some global attention over the last decade. For the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Cuban team qualified directly to the Third Round as one of the six highest ranked teams and were place in Group C with Honduras, Panama, and Canada. Although the Cuban team had a couple of close games, they ended up their qualification process with 1 draw and 5 defeats. Cuba has ranked as high as 46 in 2006 and as low as 175 in 1994. These strong positive deviations throughout the aforementioned 12 year period are similar to the positive deviations that the Dominican Republic has experienced as of late. The Dominican Republic is ready for the big stage.

Dominican National Team 2013


Soccer was introduced to the Dominican Republic by the Spanish. Between 1936 and 1939, Spaniards who had been exiled to the Dominican Republic, would seek out open fields and play games of soccer. These improvised games would not meet present day FIFA standards, as they were put together with makeshift nets and balls. Dominican soccer was born in this period, as many Dominicans fell in love with the sport and the first two teams were founded, El Condor and El Pindu. The overwhelming majority of the participation in these squads was of European descent.

Historical lagging Dominican participation in soccer can be attributed to the popularity and domination of baseball by Dominicans. Baseball is engraved in the fabric of Dominican society and can be traced back to the late 19th century. Rafael Trujillo (Dominican dictator from 1930-1960) was also a great proponent of baseball. During this period, there wasn’t any investment into infrastructure or education in regards to soccer.

A major development in the rise of popularity of soccer for Dominicans came with the arrival of Bolivian coach, Prof. Fortunato Quispe Mendoza in 1965. His arrival marked a new era of Dominican soccer and helped expand the popularity of the sport beyond the capital city of Santo Domingo. The Football Association was created in 1970 in Santo Domingo (about 100 years after Euro leagues).

The continuous work of private institutions and soccer schools aim to to revive the popularity of soccer in the Dominican Republic, making it more than a novelty television event every four years. At this time FIFA is supporting the “Proyecto Gol” in the DR. The overall objective of Project Goal is to create headquarter offices here; to build natural and artificial soccer fields for practice and play, and aims to strengthen the country’s basic soccer infrastructure. The main problem that the Dominican Republic faces is the attraction and retention of talent.

Estadio Olympico Felix Sanchez

Estadio Olympico Felix Sanchez

The international ranking for the Dominican Republic in the past 10 years has been very encouraging. Although Dominican ranking has certainly fluctuated over the previous 10 years, there is a consistent positive trend. The Dominican golden years have been from 2008-2011, in which they were able to rise from a low of 190th ranking to a high of 78th. Statistically speaking, Dominican ranking should be consistently closer to the top 35% (hovering near 70th) worldwide by the time the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia. If the positive trends continue (or get better) over the next 8 years, the Dominican Republic could find itself in legitimate contention for one of the 32 slots for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar!


Data - FIFA, Graph- Ortiz

FIFA Global Ranking for The Dominican Republic


Image  —  Posted: July 16, 2014 in Sports & Entertainment
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FIFA, (The International Federation of Association Football) is an NGO and the international governing body for most of the soccer played on the planet. FIFA is responsible for organizing the setting, regulations and structure of most football matches on the globe, the most famous being the World Cup. FIFA is also one of the most corrupt and oldest NGO’s.

FIFA member association meeting.

FIFA member association meeting.


FIFA was created in 1904 when it served only seven member associations (France, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland). Prior to the inception of FIFA, the UK’s “Football Association” was the primary authority governing football affairs. FIFA is literally structured like a government: Congress (legislative body), Executive Committee (executive body) and General Secretariat (administrative body). As most governments, FIFA is very susceptible to corruption. The FIFA congress is composed of representatives from each of the member associations (209 countries). The FIFA President, currently Sepp Blatter, is appointed for four-year terms by the FIFA congress. The executive committee (composed of 24 members), is also elected by the FIFA congress.

Thou Shalt Not Tax…

FIFA is organized as a not-for-profit organization (NGO) under Swiss law and is headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland. As a result, FIFA pays absolutely no tax on revenue that it earns from events such as the world cup. In Brazil (World Cup 2014), for example, the countries lost revenue from exempting FIFA from tax laws will translate into about $250 million dollars. Brazil stands to gain about $575 million from taxing prize money distributed to all participating member teams, in additional to all the touristic revenue that it will gain from this World Cup. Still, I’m sure that Brazilian citizens would rather have $250 million dollars coming into the country as tax revenue from FIFA than from their own pockets.

Brazil welcoming FIFA for the 2014 World Cup.

Brazil welcoming FIFA for the 2014 World Cup.

FIFA is ugly and people need to know it. FIFA today is a multinational that is eating up the ball. Countries can’t do anything against them.” Former Argentina player, Diego Maradona, The Sunday Times


World Cup host country auction

The host cities for the World Cup are determined by a bidding process, this process is highly secretive and  fair (according to FIFA). In 2009, FIFA received 11 bids from countries aspiring to host one of the biggest events known to man. For 2018, the bidding countries included: England, Russia, Portugal and Spain. For 2022, the bidding countries included: Japan, Australia, Qatar, South-Korea and the United States. The bidding process is incredibly profitable for FIFA, as they are able to collect millions of dollars on bid money and ultimately choose only one host nation. Australia, for example, paid close to $50 million dollars just to submit a bid. The 24 executive committee members vote on which nation will host the World Cup (only 22 members eligible to vote in 2010 because 2 members were suspended for accepting bribes). A FIFA executive committee member and Qatari national, Bin Hammam, was banned by FIFA for bribery. Apparently Mr. Hammam had lavished millions of dollars worth of gifts, cash and trips towards FIFA’s executive committee in hopes of securing Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid. Most people who are familiar with FIFA antics are not surprised by the fact that Qatar will be the setting for the 2022 World Cup.


These [corruption] allegations are baseless and riddled with innuendo designed to tarnish the reputation of Qatar’s 2022 Bid Committee.” Qatar 2022 Bid Committee statement,


Match Fixing

Ibrahim Chaibou, a Nigerien referee during the 2010 World Cup is currently retired and wealthy. He deposited $100K cash into his bank account in South African hours before refereeing a match between Guatemala and South Africa. The false penalties (multiple) called were blatant even to the untrained eye. Football 4U, is the name of a match fixing syndicate that sources and appoints referees for soccer matches all around the globe. They make money by providing legitimate referees, bribing them and controlling the outcome of games for gambling purposes. The leaders of Football 4U stand to gain millions of dollars by manipulating the outcome of games.The South African federation, troubled by financial difficulties and administrative dysfunction, was a ripe target. Once Football 4U had insinuated itself, the syndicate was able to switch referees at the last moment, and it had access to dressing areas and the sidelines. Match fixing has been plaguing FIFA for decades, yet they’ve never taken a serious stance against it. I’m sure that there have been a few of FIFA’s own to indulge in some fixed gambling.



Ibrahim Chaibou


Build me a Football kingdom worthy of FIFA

The host nation for the World Cup is driven by FIFA to build new stadiums and infrastructure that is “FIFA-Quality”. The demands to develop these soccer worlds at break-neck speeds usually means construction deaths and wasted money. Additionally, natives also end up losing their homes (about 250K displaced in Brazil 2014). I’m assuming that when the smoke clears from the World Cup in Brazil, the empty stadiums will be used as homeless shelters. Protestors are powerless against FIFA, as they are powerless against their own governments who seek to exploit them instead of protect them. Organizations like the World Bank that have noble mission statements will also see the World Cup as a way of preying on developing nations. The World Bank will provide loans (funding mainly by US banks) in order to fund for major infrastructure projects (roads, electricity) that they know the borrowing nations will never be able to pay back.

nino-futbol-espiritu santo


Doing some good!

FIFA’s Football for Hope program provides funding for NGOs and community-based organizations that use football as an instrument for social development. FIFA aimed to build 20 centers across Africa, run by local best-practice partner organizations, to promote football and educational programs on topics including HIV/AIDS awareness, literacy, and gender equality. However, FIFA donates only 0.7% of its revenue towards charitable programs. Macy’s donated about 8% of its profits in 2010. In 2012, Target contributed 4.7 percent of its profit and combined that sum with a promise to donate $1 billion to public education. FIFA should be held to a higher standard considering the amount of wealth, power and international influence that it exudes. That’s cute though, 0.7%…. that’s enough money for “Football for Hope” to by three things: a soccer ball, a hammock and one condom that can be shared by an entire village. The FIFA organization is similar to any organization that has power; it wants more. It’s incredible how FIFA exerts gargantuan influence over most of the world by simply showcasing a group of men running around in circles kicking a ball.

Finally, the world is seeing FIFA for what it is: a stateless conglomerate that takes bribes while acting as a battering ram for world leaders who want to use the majesty of the World Cup to push through their development agendas at great human cost.” Dave Zirin, New York Times


What is a Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a worldwide digital currency that was created in 2009 by an entity using the alias – Satoshi Nakamoto. It is a peer to peer, decentralized, non-regulated currency. Bitcoin is not controlled by banks, governments or other authoritative entity. The supply of Bitcoins is regulated by a process called mining, which makes this digital currency resistant to dramatic inflation (supposedly). Bitcoins can be stored digital wallets, or in cloud servers. In short, Bitcoins are mediums of exchanges much like any other “real” currencies. The US Government maintains the circulation of Dollars, but there is no central agency that controls Bitcoin. Owners of Bitcoins are able to maintain anonymity, which is very appealing to a certain percentage of each population. Owners of Bitcoins are able to avoid taxes when paying for transactions over the internet. Bitcoin is the first mainstream peer to peer cyber currency, much like Napster was the first mainstream peer to peer file sharing software.

Physical Bitcoin - Storage device for encrypted digital key

Physical Bitcoin – Storage device for encrypted digital key

How are Bitcoins created?

Much like gold is excavated from a mine, Bitcoins are excavated by digging through data. It takes computers with brute processing abilities to mine for Bitcoins. Individuals such as you and I, are incentivized (mining rewards) to contribute our computing resources and joining as “nodes” on the Bitcoin network. Every single time any transaction happens in the Bitcoin network, it needs to flow through every user’s software. It is almost like blood cells flowing through your veins. This increases the integrity of each transaction and hopes to battle fraud and hacking attempts. Mining is more akin to rolling dice than solving problems. To understand mining, one needs to understand what a hash function is. Put simple, a hash function takes an input and creates an output based on a criterion. The output is consistent every time you perform the function on a given input. It is very difficult to determine an input, given only the output. For example, the square root of 3 is: 1.73205080756887729352744634150. Now take the digits from the 6th place from the decimal all the way to the 10th place: 08075. The square root of 3 is the input (1.73205080756887729352744634150) and output is 08075 (6th place from the decimal all the way to the 10th place). Pretty simple right? Input – Output. Now imagine, given the output of 08075, that I have asked you to provide me with the correct (unknown) input. You would need to try out billions upon billions of inputs; this is what is referred to as mining. An excruciatingly difficult task, which must be solved with the processing power of computers. The process of mining is regulated by Bitcoin software. Every single time a user “cracks the code”, they are awarded with 25 Bitcoins. This is how the supply of Bitcoins is regulated in cyberspace. The algorithm built into the mining software adjusts itself accordingly in order to stay on pace for 21 million Bitcoins by 2140. 

Who’s mining?

Whenever there is serious money to be made, there will be serious competition. Mining requires massive electrical and computational resources, so naturally, the affluent and tech savvy will be the first to “strike gold”. However, your average Joe is able to engage in a strategy called pooling. Pooling simply means linking up with a bunch of “friends” via network in order to create a massive processing force (imagine 100,000 computers in a warehouse). The aforementioned “shared” processing force is able to compete with the few supercomputers that the affluent have working towards mining. Whenever a pooled community strikes gold, the dividend is shared among the pool members. The process of mining is cumbersome and can be as random as winning a mini-lottery. It’s all about which computer gets lucky and deciphers a code first. Darwin’s theory is applicable in cyberspace as well as real space.

Supercomputers used for mining Bitcoins.

Supercomputers used for mining Bitcoins.

What are Bitcoins worth?

The price of Bitcoins started at around $0.05 per Bitcoin in 2008 to as high as $1,116 in late 2013. The price of a Bitcoin is currently about $690. Bitcoin pricing has been pretty volatile lately. The cyber-currency is not insured by agencies such as the FDIC and has proved to be quite volatile as of late. Similar to financial instruments, there are institutions that allow consumers to buy Bitcoins at fair market values (for a fee). Unlike financial instruments (stocks, bonds), Bitcoins intrinsic value is derived purely from speculation. Traditional financial instruments are valued by their collateral (a company or country).   The real question is: Are you willing to invest your resources into an unregulated, decentralized, uninsured, volatile, cyber currency?

Bitcoin values from Jan. 1 2013 through Mar. 3 2014, via Coinbase.

Bitcoin values from Jan. 1 2013 through Mar. 3 2014, via Coinbase.


The present and future of Bitcoins

Mt Gox, an online exchange for people to buy and sell their virtual money, filed for bankruptcy in a Tokyo district court last week. Mt Gox was a poorly run venture that has been hacked for Bitcoins since 2011. The most recent hack caused the company to lose about $500 million worth of Bitcoins. After Mt Gox crashed on Feb 24, the value of Bitcoin fell to $440 after reaching highs above $1,000 in November. A wild 50% decrease in about 3 months.

Flexcoin, a provider of “cold storage” for client Bitcoins, announced last Tuesday that it has closed on the aftermath of being hacked of some $600,000 worth of the cyber currency. On Wednesday, Flexcoin announced, “Flexcoin does not have the resources, assets, or otherwise to come back from this loss, we are closing our doors immediately.” This sucks for anyone who was using Flexcoin as a virtual bank instead of stuffing their Bitcoins (hard drive) under their mattress. Remember, Bitcoins are not insured.

Supporters of Bitcoin say that the anonymous, decentralized Bitcoin is a way to evade large banks, payment processors and governments that make billions of dollars each year as financial intermediaries among consumers. The Winklevoss Twins (guys that fought Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook), are heavily vested in Bitcoins and are attempting to create an ETF (exchange traded fund) for Bitcoins. An ETF would be taxed and riddled with many fees. This is an excellent way to get rich from fees that are derived from people trading a digital currency that has no intrinsic value. 

I believe that the price of Bitcoins are heavily inflated and lack any collateral whatsoever. I also believe that the Bitcoin is a scheme that has been orchestrated by a group of individuals who are attempting a “get rich quick scheme” and succeeding. Bitcoins have a market capitalization of $8.5 billion dollars so far. Consumers who are leveraging themselves heavily on Bitcoins are rolling the dice.  When the housing bubble burst in 2008, there were a handful of individuals that were rolling on the floor laughing with very large sums of money. The rest of us suffered the consequences of a crippled economic system, foreclosures, unemployment, ect. The individuals that created the Bitcoin are waiting for their turn to roll on the floor laughing. Stay tuned.

Seven Leadership Roles

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women are merely players:
They have their exits and entrances;
And one man in his life plays many parts.
William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 2

The “Seven Leadership Roles”, by Dr. Farid A. Muna, is an article that everyone in a leadership capacity should read.

Link  —  Posted: February 22, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Hugo Chavez took the Venezuelan Presidential office in 1999. During his tenure as President, he was able to use Venezuela’s abundance of natural resources (oil) as a means of securing the financial stability of his people. Chavez’s socialist policies, aimed at redistributing wealth, have never been perfect and have always been blatantly corrupt. Nevertheless, during his tenure as President, Chavez was able to reduce poverty and inequality substantially while also cutting the unemployment rate by half (according to The World Bank).

Chavez’s heroics are short lived. The socialist engine of production in Venezuela merely enables its citizens to receive slices (small slices) of the economic pie. The problem is that it doesn’t empower the citizens to cook the pie.

Enter Nicholas Maduro. The bus driver, who managed to rise to the ranks of a political leader. Maduro was eventually handpicked by Chavez to succeed him as President. Maduro won a 2013 Presidential election against Henrique Capriles by a 1.49% margin. Capriles demanded an audit of all the votes in the closest election since 1968, which of course was impossible according to the “election council”. Capriles (Governor of Miranda) defines himself as, ” A center-left ‘progressive’ follower of the business-friendly but socially-conscious Brazilian economic model”. Were the 2013 elections in Venezuela rigged? It’s hard to say when the Venezuelan extreme leftist socially run media was portraying Capriles as a neo-liberal Zionist.

Venezuela experienced 56% inflation in 2013, the highest in the world. Maduro has continued enforcing Chavez’s futile monetary policies that were enacted in 2003. The official exchange rate in Venezuela is overvaluing the Bolivar (Venezuelan currency) vs. the dollar. The high demand for the dollar, coupled with the shortage of the dollar, has created a black market that is further devaluing the Bolivar. The dollar is valued at 10 times the Bolivar’s official exchange rate in the black market- this is a prime factor in the extreme inflation Venezuela is currently experiencing.

People are rioting in Venezuela because every day their salaries (if they even exist) are worth less, they can’t buy basic items (toilet paper, milk, sugar), an astronomical murder rate (1 person murdered every minute in 2013), the list continues. Production of food in the country is decreasing and foreign investors are reluctant to invest in a country with such high political and economic volatility.

One of my former professors at Suffolk University is Venezuelan. I remember him explaining the economic situation in Venezuela and how difficult (almost impossible) it is to expatriate money from the country. The Maduro regime is continuing Chavez’s currency controls which may eventually cause hyperinflation (inflation of over 50% month to month). Maduro actually forced an electronics store to sell all of its products at rock bottom prices in order to swing positive opinion his way before elections. He also banned a Columbian TV station because they are encouraging the protests. It’s amazing how a country with the largest oil reserves experienced 56% annual inflation in 2013! ExxonMobil left in 2007 because this socialist government doesn’t understand that they can’t call the shots when they do not own the technology and/or means of production, which are in dire need in order to extract and refine oil from the complicated terrain.

Venezuela should be a global Latin American powerhouse much like Brazil at this point. One can only wonder what state Venezuela would be in today if Henrique Capriles had won the 2013 election. Venezuelan leadership will eventually need to move from the far left to at least the middle in order to allow businesses to invest and create jobs and sustainable lives for its citizens. If the Venezuelan socialist leadership is not competent enough to create jobs with an ocean of oil in its back yard, then at least provide a comfortable atmosphere for foreign expertise to come to the “rescue”.


Marijuana has had quite the stigma attached to it in the United States for the last century. It is important to know how, why and when stereotypes are formed. The following is a historical summary of Cannabis and its many uses. The reasons behind Marijuana’s illegitimacy in the United States will also be examined. I have also provided a brief financial and social analysis with regard to Marijuana in the U.S.

Blue pill or red pill?

Blue pill or red pill?

Many currently illegal drugs in the United States, such as Marijuana, Opium, Coca and Psychedelics have been used by various ethnicities and cultures for thousands of years. Marijuana was described in a Chinese medical compendium traditionally considered to be dated from around 2730 BC. In 2008, the ancient tomb of a Chinese shaman was unearthed to reveal a large wooden bowl with about 800g of cannabis (amazingly preserved due to conditions). The cannabis is thought to have been administered by the shaman as a medicinal or psychoactive agent, or an aid to divination.  Further evidence of ancient Cannabis usage is evident in the Indian “Hindu Vedas”, between 2000 and 1400 BC. Ancient Persian settlements of Bactria and Margiana (2200BC) have historically engaged in elaborate rituals with modern day narcotics, such as opium and cannabis. Aside from Psychedelic usage, Hemp (fiber from Cannabis stem) has been used for the past 12,000 years by many societies around the globe. The practical usage of hemp ranges from clothing (stronger than cotton) to construction material.

Tomb of Medieval Chinese Shaman.

Tomb of Medieval Chinese Shaman.

Cannabis was introduced to the American hemisphere via Spanish colonization in 1492. The Columbian Exchange was the diversified exchange of animals, plants (including hemp), culture, humans and ideas between the Afro-Eurasian and American hemispheres in the aftermath of Columbus’ famous voyage. Hemp fibers provided the ropes and cords to rig the ship’s sails, providing the amusing observation that Cannabis, not Columbus, enabled the conquest of the Americas. The first people to “Smoke weed” in the Americas were a small percentage of sailors, settlers and slaves. Cannabis had already been common around the Mediterranean and in Western and Central Africa for thousands of years. Indigenous societies across the Americas didn’t adopt the herb into their socials and cultural practices at first. Coca and Tobacco, along with other herbs were already integrated into the culture of modern day Latin America. The use of Cannabis, however, slowly started becoming part of indigenous culture in the Americas. By the 19th century, Marijuana usage had increased substantially in the Americas, especially three areas- Brazil, Mexico and the West Indies.

Columbian Exchange, 15th Century.

Columbian Exchange, 15th Century.

Fast forward about 400 years after Spanish colonization to early 20th century United States. A period dominated by World War I, The Second Industrial Revolution and Prohibition. The Mexican revolution in 1910 caused an influx of Mexicans into the United States. Cannabis usage was popular in Mexico and slowly made its way up into Texas and other southern states. Marijuana usage in the United States was becoming popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The early black jazz musicians of the 1930’s broke through the color barrier by producing music that was enjoyed by both white and black audiences. This cultural mix of Marijuana, white people enjoying jazz music and interracial relationships all conflicted with the morality of prohibitionists in the 1930s. The fear, ignorance, and conservative/nationalistic sentiment of the period enticed the Nation’s leaders to generate propaganda to control the minds of their loyal citizens. However, the main reason that Marijuana was made illegal in the United States was because of corporate interests. The YouTube video below is comical, concise and accurate. I have provided for your viewing pleasure.

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”  – Harry J. Anslinger, 1st Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics

Marijuana Boogyman seducing an innocent woman.

Marijuana Boogeyman seducing an innocent woman in 1930s.

DuPont chemical company and various pharmaceutical companies used political and media connections in the effort to outlaw cannabis. DuPont had patented nylon, and wanted hemp removed as competition. The pharmaceutical companies could neither identify nor standardize cannabis dosages, and besides, with cannabis, consumers could grow their own medicine and not have to purchase it from large companies. William Randolph Hearst’s media company generated racist taboo like the one pictured above in order to sell newspapers and to further Harry Anslinger’s political career.

Alcohol prohibition of the 1930’s didn’t work (obviously), created a black market for alcohol and enabled Al Capone to become the most powerful crime boss the United States had ever seen. Prohibition was repealed quickly and corporations soon started benefiting from the revenues of alcohol sales while the U.S. Government started benefiting from taxation. Why didn’t the prohibition of Marijuana follow this same pattern?


You already know.

U.S. citizens are apparently immune to the effects of: alcohol, tobacco, guns, high fructose corn syrup, prescription medication, OTC medication, obesity, Justin Beiber, falling educational standards, social media and electronic devices aiding human zombification. Why aren’t some (or all) of the aforementioned illegal?

The United States Federal Government currently spends about $40 Billion dollars per year towards the “war on drugs”. Since its expansion by President Nixon in the 1970’s, it has cost about $1 Trillion dollars. The Federal Government collects about $16 billion dollars in taxes from tobacco product sales. The Fed also collects about $6 billion dollars in taxes from alcohol product sales. The laws of supply and demand function in the illegal drug business as in any other. If Marijuana was legalized and regulated, the Federal Government would save a huge chunk of the $40 Billion being spent on the “war on drugs” and create a multi-billion dollar revenue stream in the form of cannabis taxation. Ridiculous anti- Marijuana propaganda has done its damage and created corporate billionaires along with “terrorists”, gangs and drug lords. With the new legislative reform and tax proceeds, the U.S. could re-invest in the countries education and infrastructure, instead of creating a black market and cartels for this historically legal product.

Jose Mujica, the President of Uruguay, is an advocate for “peace and understanding” in today’s popular topic of Marijuana legalization.  Despite an uproar of global criticism, last December Uruguay made history by becoming the first country in the world to fully legalize Marijuana. The United States has focused on criminalizing Marijuana usage and has, to no avail, spent billions of dollars in efforts to eliminate the supply of the popular herb. The U.S. has recently taken considerable strides towards legalizing and controlling Marijuana. Colorado and Washington are examples of two states that have legalized Marijuana and taken the lead in this ubiquitous topic. Hopefully, the rest of the country will follow suit expediently.