Cannabis is illegal for possession, cultivation, use, trade and transfer in the majority of the world’s countries. Although, there is not such country that has entirely legalized marijuana for personal employment, there are more than ten countries that have decriminalized its cultivation and use in limited quantities. Medical marijuana is now legal in a growing number of countries, which involve Belgium, Canada, Australia, Netherlands and 14 states of the USA.
Even though there are these 14 US states, which have decriminalized personal use and possession of cannabis, it is still illegal according to the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, where the plant is defined as a Schedule I drug, meaning that is has a high potential for abuse. The Act prohibits the employment, buying, cultivation, sale, and possession of marijuana. This dispute between state and federal law has induced the raids of medical cannabis dispensaries in California by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In consequence, the United States Supreme Court has established that the federal government has a full right to adjust and criminalize marijuana, even when it’s meant for medical purposes.
Back in 1996, California passed Proposition 215 that has been later named a Compassionate Use Act. It protects anyone from punitive prosecutions, if they are medically recommended to use marijuana for treatment of certain diseases, including cancer, AIDS, anorexia, and glaucoma. Tom Ammiano, the California state’s representative, has introduced a bill with a “Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act” title in the beginning of 2009. It was designed to legalize, tax, and control the use of cannabis in California. The Californian ballot that is going to be issued in November 2010 will involve AB 2254. According to the Wall Street Journal, Tom Amminano expects that marijuana legalization will bring more than $1 billion every year for the exhausted state. Currently, marijuana is the biggest source of cash with the yearly sales reaching 14 billions of dollars. The bill induces a $50 tax for 1 ounce of cannabis, which is sold for several hundreds of bucks on the streets.
On January 16th, 2009, House Bill 2929 and Senate Bill 1801 were introduced into the laws of Massachusetts. Its settled objectives are the decrease of abuse of cannabis, the elimination of crimes and the augmenting national earnings associated with cannabis. The bill as well offers a tax on all marijuana sold, which will vary from $150 to $250 for 1 ounce, depending on the current amount of THC.
A lot of attempts at regulating marijuana at a federal level have failed. In June of 2009, Barney Frank and four other congressmen, has introduced the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2009 in the US House of Representatives. In case this act will be induced into legislation of the USA, it will eliminate federal penalties for the personal possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana. This will efficiently leave the marijuana possession law for states to decide.
An article issued in a September 2009 number of Fortune Magazine reports that Obama’s position towards marijuana has all but decriminalized its use in the United States, as it was introduced by the US Attorney General’s Office. The US Attorney General, Eric Holder, has corroborated that his Office will not expose people, who were following the stated medical cannabis laws to federal drug raids and victimization anymore. This article collates Obama’s attitude towards marijuana – in its probable result – to the 21st Amendment of the US Constitution, which removed the federal ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages.
Anyway, there are still the 14 states, which have already legitimated medical marijuana use and possession. These states are: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Prior to proceeding with card registration, you should verify with your state regulations regarding medical marijuana possession and use.