Four states have completely legalized the use of cannabis for both recreational and medicinal uses, with 12 more states giving the go-ahead for medicinal purposes. But the United States Federal Government still classifies Marijuana as a Schedule-1 drug, which is defined as a psychoactive substance with no documented medicinal value. Cannabis is a notoriously tricky plant to study, but some of the most prestigious and respected scientific research institutions in the world have uncovered potential health benefits of marijuana.
Federal[ edit ] Alaskan cannabis extract Under federal law, it is illegal to possess, use, buy, sell, or cultivate marijuana in all United States jurisdictions, since the Controlled Substances Act of classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drugclaiming it has a high potential for abuse and has no acceptable medical use.
Despite this federal prohibition, some state and local governments have established laws attempting to decriminalize cannabis, which has reduced the number of "simple possession" offenders sent to jail, since federal enforcement agents rarely target individuals directly for such relatively minor offenses.
Other state and local governments ask law enforcement agencies to limit enforcement of drug laws with respect to cannabis. However, under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitutionfederal law preempts conflicting state and local laws. In most cases, the absence of a state law does not present a preemption conflict with a federal law.
The federal government has criminalized marijuana under the Interstate Commerce Clauseand the application of these laws to intrastate commerce were addressed squarely by the United States Supreme Court in Gonzales v.
In JanuaryPresident Barack Obama 's transition team organized a poll to clarify some of the top issues the American public wants to have his administration look into, and two of the top ten ideas were to legalize the use of cannabis.
The policy specified that commercial distribution of cannabis would be generally tolerated, except in certain circumstances, such as if violence or firearms are involved, the proceeds go to gangs and cartels, or if the cannabis is distributed to states where it is illegal. The policy will be implemented on a case-by-case basis and tribes must still follow federal guidelines.
The amendment became law in Decemberand must be renewed each year in order to remain in effect. This would allow states with medical cannabis laws to legally prescribe it, and allow for much easier research into its medical efficacy.
The bill would also allow grow sites besides the University of Mississippi, which has long been the sole supplier of cannabis for academic research, to supply cannabis for study. Surgeon General and the U. Many officials point to the difficulty of regulating dosage of cannabis a problem for treatment as well as researchdespite the availability in Canada and the United Kingdom of dosage-controlled Sativex.
The United States has also pressured other governments especially Canada and Mexicowith which it shares borders to retain restrictions on marijuana. On January 4,the Cole memo was rescinded by Attorney General Jeff Sessionsrestoring the ability of US Attorneys to enforce federal law in states that have legalized non-medical cannabis.
Virgin Islands are considered to have decriminalized cannabis.One of the most obvious, yet often overlooked, benefits of marijuana legalization is the boost in tax revenue it offers to states where it is legal. When California legalized it in January , it included a 15% statewide tax on recreational and medicinal weed products, along with extra local taxes and fees.
While cannabis is still federally illegal, a majority of states by this point either allow for medical cannabis or have completely legalized recreational use.
In , legal cannabis sales totaled $ billion in . In eight states, Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Washington, the sale and possession of cannabis is legal for both medical and recreational use; and Washington, D.C.
has legalized personal use but not commercial sale. Now in the times are definitely changing in regards to marijuana policy in the United States, something that would please Dylan and his ilk.
Four states have completely legalized the use of cannabis for both recreational and medicinal uses, with 12 more states giving the go . Legalized marijuana for recreational use is now a reality in states like Washington and Colorado.
Voters in those states passed ballot initiatives to legalize the drug for recreational use. Marijuana prohibition was universal across the United States through the s, and those convicted of growing, possessing, or selling marijuana could receive sentences of incarceration.