In November 2016, voters in Maine decided to legalize the sale and consumption of recreational marijuana across the state. The move is part of a larger national trend towards the…
U.S federal laws on Marijuana
Although marijuana may be legal in some states (for both recreation and medical use), there are laws that govern its usage. These are referred to as federal laws. The federal government work is to regulate drugs. This is in accordance with the controlled substances act. In this case, there is no distinction between marijuana that is used for recreational use and one used for medical use. The laws are applied to those who possess, cultivate or distribute huge amounts of marijuana. Marijuana is treated as any other controlled substances such as cocaine and heroin under the federal laws. We will look at some of the laws and how the environment is generally with the enforcement of these laws.
Under the federal laws, marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug. This means that it is highly addictive. It also means that it does not contain any medical value. In this case, medics are not allowed to prescribe cannabis under federal laws. However, under the first amendment, they can “recommend” its use. We, therefore, see that these laws are harsh, biased and out of place. Research has shown that marijuana compounds contain a lot of benefits to patients. It even may be the long-awaited cure for cancer.
The federal laws are dire, with individuals caught with marijuana facing harsh prosecutions. This is facilitated by the fact that under these laws, marijuana is an illegal drug. For instance, when taken to a court law after being found with marijuana, you cannot defend yourself by saying that it was for medical purposes.
Luckily, by 2016, guidelines were laid on the use of medical marijuana. These include
- Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors. These are people below the age of 21.
- Preventing the diversion of cannabis from the states that have legalized weed to those that have not.
- Preventing the use of armed tools such as guns during the cultivation and distribution of marijuana