Medical Marijuana in the U.S.

Nationwide, the use or possession for use, sales or trafficking, growing or transporting marijuana is still illegal. This is in direct opposition to those states across the country that have decriminalized medical marijuana, and/or made it a legal substance, available by prescription, and grown by citizens who are given permission to do so in that state.

Marijuana laws vary regarding both recreational marijuana and medical marijuana. Since the early 1970s, states have revised laws to reflect popular demand for legalization of marijuanaa. Some states began to decriminalize marijuana if possessed in small amounts, usually less than one ounce. The first to do so was Oregon in 1973. In 1975, California, Ohio, and other states followed suit. Some cities across the nation attempted to pass laws regarding marijuana, but most were unsuccessful to maintain, due to political pressure and state laws that overrode their statutes.

Times Are Changing

Today, there are even stronger challenges to federal marijuana laws. In groundbreaking voting this past election (2012), two states legalized marijuana, Washington and Colorado. Today, the laws of these states are undergoing revision for those who grow, market and traffic in legal marijuana. More states across the country are allowing legal medical marijuana usage and some have decriminalized recreational marijuana as well with more expected to follow suit.

Justified Usage

The shift toward accepting and prescribing medical marijuana as a legitimate means of reduce paining and increasing appetite in persons suffering from debilitating rounds of chemotherapy and other illnesses has been seen by reputable doctors. It remains, however, illegal in the US to use, possess or sell marijuana for any purpose, despite state laws that conflict. The enforcement of those said laws are questionable. However, those who use medical marijuana run the risk of exposing themselves to prosecution for violating these laws, whether or not they benefit from the use, whether or not they agree with the laws, and whether or not it is legal in their community to do so.

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updated: August 2013

 
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