Despite the fact that it has been illegal in the country for most part of the twentieth century, marijuana is slowly starting to gain ground again as more and more people become in favor of it being used for medical purposes every single day. The people in charge could only ignore the facts for so long, and so numerous laws were adopted in regards to the medical usage of cannabis in the United States of America… however, very few people actually know about them.
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The Beginning of Regulation
In 1996, as many of you surely remember, Proposition 215 was passed in California, making the usage of marijuana legal for medicinal purposes, and as a result an entire industry was born around the phenomenon. With a doctor’s recommendation, patients were allowed to grow marijuana and possess it, but only for personal consumption of course. Instead of getting it from street dealers as they used to, most people started getting their marijuana from special dispensaries. In the year 2003, a bill was passed in which it was specifically stated that for medical purposes, a person is allowed to grow up to six plants and possess up to fourteen grams of marijuana. Certain individual counties made their regulations even more relaxed.
The Government’s Incursion
Over the past few years the DEA has conducted countless raids on various dispensaries and known marijuana suppliers, even though they rarely made any arrests. Unfortunately, it would seem as if the government has taken a very hard stance against cannabis, particularly the FDA and the DEA. The former of them actually classified marijuana alongside other drugs such as heroin, ecstasy and LSD, implying that it’s just as harmful, and as many can testify from personal experience, that’s a bit of a stretch, to say the least.
How exactly does the FDA justify such a blatant miscategorization?
According to their official statement, not only is it highly likely for users to abuse marijuana, but it “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States”. The FDA basically sent out the message that smoking marijuana is harmful, that it isn’t recognized as medicine, that the conditions it is supposed to treat already have other viable alternatives, and that providing people with limited medical marijuana goes against their regulatory process which was put in place in order to ensure the customer’s safety.
The Medical Marijuana Laws of Today
Though the FDA and DEA are still battling hard against the legalization of cannabis (and still refuse to look at facts), the medical marijuana laws are becoming increasingly lax, especially in the cases of Washington and Colorado. The precise laws really vary from state to state, with each one of them putting their own modifications in place. Though growth and possession is still illegal in more than half the states, most of the ones that have decriminalized (or the ones that have legalized it) allow a certain number of plants to be grown, usually four to six, and a certain amount to be kept for personal consumption, ranging from fourteen grams to two ounces.
We, the people, could very well be on the verge of witnessing a historical wave of reforms in regards to medical marijuana laws, one that could ripple through the entire world and perhaps even change it for the best.