Cannabis 101, Law & Politics

IS WEED LEGAL?
Cannabis 101
By: Nicolle Callier

IS WEED LEGAL? - Cannabis 101

The question of whether weed is legal or not may very well depend on your location. For instance, in Washington state it’s not unusual to drive down the highway and see a billboard advertising legal weed for adults 21 and older, but don’t expect to see a similar sight in Alabama anytime soon.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has yet to loosen its stronghold over cannabis by maintaining its classification as a Schedule I substance, claiming marijuana is highly addictive and has no medicinal benefits. Since the DEA won’t fairly re-examine cannabis, it remains a federally illegal substance.

While medical marijuana is legal in more than half the states across the U.S., only eight have challenged the federal government by passing initiatives to legalize recreational cannabis. Colorado paved the way when their measure for the legalization of cannabis, Colorado Amendment 64, passed in 2012. This past November, California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine joined the slowly growing number of states to have successfully legalized cannabis. While there’s been much excitement surrounding the future of the cannabis industry as more states legalize marijuana, there’s been equal anxiety as a new president enters office.

The Senate recently confirmed President Trump’s nominee for the 84th Attorney General of the United States and head of the Department of Justice, Jeff Sessions. In this role, Sessions will provide legal advice and counsel to President Trump. Sessions has quite vocally opposed legalized cannabis in the past, stating that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” It’s clear why cannabis industry leaders and advocates are concerned about Sessions’ appointment, and what it will mean for the war on drugs.

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