Federal Law Versus Medical Marijuana
In the United States, Marijuana or Medical Marijuana remains illegal. However, states such as Colorado, Washington, Montana and California do approve and control its medicinal use. In 1996, California state adopted a law that legalized medical cannabis. Multiple states later passed an initiative that allowed the same. The most recent ones to give a nod to this initiative are Connecticut,Washington and New Jersey states .In most of these states, it’s legal to posses ,cultivate and use cannabis by patients holding valid medical certificate. This must be from a doctor or physician who recommends that these patients could benefit from its use. Conditions such as cancer, epilepsy and HIV/AIDS are eligible for medical marijuana.
Legal discrepancies between the Federal and State level with regard to medical marijuana in the United Sates Exist and despite assurances by the Governing bodies that Any State Laws in regards to Medical Marijuana would be respected it appears that this is indeed not the case.The federal government continues to enforce its prohibition on marijuana.In fact,cannabis still is a federally regulated substance hence its possession and distribution is illegal.
Research shows that about 70 percent of Americans are of the view that medical cannabis should be legalized throughout the country including those interested in the potential tax take of a more controlled industry.The majority want the federal government to let the states act independently on this issue and decide what is good for them.Even though 18 states laws allow for medicinal use of cannabis,the supreme court ruled that the federal government reserves the right to control and criminalise marijuana in these regions.
Washington and Colorado, States that have now completely decriminalise Marijuana.
Despite this,as recently as july 2013 there have been numerous raids by the Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA) on a number of medical marijuana dispensaries
.Federal crackdowns is not new in states where medical marijuana is legal.In 2011,dispensaries in Montana were targets.Recently,dispensaries in Seattle Washington did receive shutdown letters,even after these dispensaries seemed to comply with the laws.Not long ago,DEA raided four dispensaries in Washington even after medical and recreational cannabis had been legalized. The explanations given was that those targeted were deemed to have violated the marijuana state laws and were also suspected for drug dealing on a commercial scale.
It is clear the Obama administration is more concerned with federal enforcement on distributors rather than individuals.
Medical marijuana in the United States continues to be contested.Majority of the Americans are of the belief that legalizing cannabis throughout the United States could just be the much needed replacement for the failed war on the drug.They remain convinced that the federal government should let individual states act independently and decide for themselves with regard to this issue.There are also those who oppose medicinal use of cannabis,and simply prefer cannabis to be illegal and the Status quo remain.
What are your thoughts? What message do you want to send to the Federal Government? Are you for or against a Nationalised policy in regards to Medical Marijuana, Have your say here…