Changing Status Of Marijuana In America
There was a time when marijuana was considered as illegal and wasn’t among the topics under hot debate. The situation is quite different today. We see frequent discussions regarding legalizing marijuana for medical as well as recreational use. We see campaigns that demand the legalization of marijuana. The fact that marijuana is illegal in certain states, even creates a sort of amazement in some.
The present move towards legalization of medical marijuana can be said to have built up since the 1970s. There have been a series of laws, amendments, debates and discussion on the subject since then. As of now, there are 18 states in America which legitimize the medical use of marijuana. These states are Alaska, Maryland, Washington, Vermont, Rhode Island, Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana, Maine, Hawaii, Colorado, California and Alaska. As per the laws that exist in Maryland, patients can have their medical marijuana; however they are not permitted to grow their own marijuana, and can be imposed with a fine in case they get caught by the officials in the act.
However, the supreme law of America – the Federal Law does not permit the use of marijuana either for medical or recreational use. Given that laws in certain states permit the use and supply of marijuana for medical use, getting caught under the Federal Law can lead to arrest and prosecution. Although state laws legalize marijuana for medical use, they do not hold a clear stance on the buying and selling of marijuana. In many reported cases, the state legal institutions have made the judgments on the basis of Federal Laws.
Possession of medical marijuana is restricted to certain people such as designated caregivers (they can either be the friends of the sick person, or family members). Most of the medical marijuana laws by state obviously put forward certain conditions to use marijuana for medical marijuana.
The conflict between State marijuana laws and Federal marijuana laws has created tension among the people and the authorities. Even in states where medical marijuana is legal, doctors are allowed to prescribe marijuana to the patients, but where do they get it from? Due to the restrictions existing, pharmacies are can’t supply it.
In spite of the legalized status of marijuana, the free use, supply and growth of it is still out of the question. Marijuana laws by state are superseded by the more powerful Federal Law. Let us hope for a harmony between State Governments and the Federal Government on the subject of marijuana.