The legalization of cannabis in the United States is a subject that has most people extremely confused. Is cannabis legal? In which states is it legal? Can you legally buy, sell and/or grow cannabis? And what does the future hold for the legalization of cannabis?
Is Cannabis Legal In The United States?
Cannabis is currently classified as a schedule 1 controlled substance by the federal government. Schedule 1 substances are considered to have a high risk for abuse or addiction and have no recognized medical or medicinal value. The reason for this classification is due to the psychoactive properties associated with cannabis or the feeling of getting high. These psychoactive properties have been attributed to the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) contained in cannabis.
It is therefore important to distinguish between the two different species of cannabis – Cannabis Indica (marijuana) and Cannabis Sativa (hemp).
Marijuana is currently illegal at a federal level to produce, possess, distribute, sell or buy as it has a THC concentration of greater than 0.3%. This includes medical marijuana. Hemp, hemp products and CBD which have a THC concentration of less than 0.3% have recently been legalized at a federal level after the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018 and the new reformed bill in 2020.
So why is marijuana and cannabis legal in some states?
Is Cannabis Legal In Some States?
The Justice Department made the decision in 2013 that they would no longer enforce federal laws regarding marijuana in states where it has been made legal. These states do however need to regulate the production, sale and distribution of marijuana and its products at a state level. Underage sales are not allowed in these states and neither is the transport of the substance over state lines.
Some states have therefore legalized marijuana. Other states have decided not to legalize marijuana at all while some have applied strict restrictions and regulations to the production, sale, distribution and possession of the substance.
In Which States Is Marijuana Legal?
You can find a detailed map that depicts which states have legalized marijuana and the extent of the regulations that apply here https://disa.com/map-of-marijuana-legality-by-state.
Can You Grow Your Own Marijuana?
Every state has different rules when it comes to starting your own grow operation for personal use. It is important to research the laws in the state that you live in. https://cannabiz.media/which-states-allow-you-to-grow-your-own-recreational-or-medical-cannabis/ provides some useful information on which laws apply in which states and how to start your own grow operation.
What Does The Future Hold For The Legalization Of Marijuana In The U.S.?
While more and more states are legalizing cannabis and marijuana, the legalization at a federal level may be closer than we think. The UN, which has laid out one of the largest obstacles for legalization of cannabis in the United States, has recently voted to have cannabis removed from the dangerous narcotics list. This a huge step in the direction to legalize cannabis.