Federal Government Lifts Ban on Medical Marijuana
December 17th, 2014
Policy, Top Story
The U.S. federal government quietly ended its war on medical marijuana last weekend, after tucking a provision into the 1,600-page federal spending measure. After 11 year of lobbying for such a change, Congress finally passed a measure that would prohibit the U.S. Justice Department – including the Drug Enforcement Administration – from interfering with state-level medical marijuana laws.
The amendment is positioned to become law through September 30th and would then need to be renewed each Fall, which means that medical marijuana will remain on the table for debate on a regular basis. Among marijuana advocates, there is hope that these debates will spark larger conversations about the drug’s status as a Schedule I Controlled Substance considered to be as dangerous as heroin.
Interestingly, the most also comes after the same spending bill was amended to contain a provision that would block local legalization of marijuana in Washington D.C., despite widespread support from voters. The D.C. Mayor and Council will no longer be able to tax marijuana like alcohol following the voters’ decision, which would have put its programs on the same footing as Colorado or Washington’s.
The politics of marijuana have been shifting either way. Surprisingly, many Republicans are taking the state’s rights viewpoint rather than the anti-pot viewpoint, upholding traditional constitutional rights. Democrats have been a bit more divided with many open to the idea of legalization, but nervous about the potential ramifications of federal-level actions.
So far, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington have been success stories, with very few adverse incidents and significant tax revenue. Many of the concerns voiced by the opposition have been disproved thus far, such as the belief that teen use would rise (it has fallen in Colorado) and the roads would become far more dangerous (accidents have declined since legalization in Colorado).
In the end, the move by Congress marks a win for marijuana advocates, but there’s a long road ahead before full legalization on a federal level takes place.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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