The Legal Status Of Marijuana In The United States
Now about ten states are considering the legalization of the medical marijuana use in their states. So far, only 19 states have gone ahead with the legalization of medical marijuana. The patients from the other states often find themselves asking the question: where is marijuana legal?
The conflicting laws
The federal laws clearly define marijuana as a harmful drug under the Controlled Substances Act. The drug is classified under the Schedule 1 list of drugs alongside heroin and cocaine. This means that the federal officials can continue to crack down on the marijuana growers and the users citing the federal laws. These conflicting laws have confused the patients who desperately need the drug.
In a state where medical marijuana is legal as per the state laws – as it is in about 19 states – the patients and the marijuana producers should be allowed to produce the necessary drug to meet the demand for the medicine. However, in the last few months, the federal officials have started cracking down on a lot of marijuana farms in such states.
The rationale given for setting up these special task forces was that there is a proliferation of criminal gangs and Mexican drug cartels in those states trying to benefit from the lax marijuana laws. Albeit this is the case, the federal officials should restrain themselves from raiding all the farms in these areas under the garb of such excuses.
The growers who provide the medical marijuana and the patients who use them are protected under the state law. So are the medical marijuana dispensaries, the banks, and other financial institutions who lend financial support to such businesses. It is time, the federal government passed a law recognizing the state medical marijuana laws and decriminalizing its use in those states.
For now, the federal agencies continue with their raids, destroying marijuana plants and putting behind bars thousands of young men, when they should have been spending their resources properly on curbing serious drug trafficking and other criminal activities.
Where is marijuana legal for recreational use?
So far, Washington and Colorado are the only states where marijuana is legal for recreational use. The Obama administration should take cue from the voters’ approval after putting the matter to a poll. A legal marijuana industry will all set to come up in these states.
It seems that the states are taking the lead when it comes to marijuana legal reforms, while the federal government tries to enforce obsolete laws.