Well the election is over and now 18 States and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws on the books! Even better, two States, Washington and Colorado have legalized marijuana possession and use by adults for recreational purposes! Federal drug officials wasted no time in bummering out the celebrants by reminding them that marijuana is still illegal under Federal law.
What will happen next is anybody’s guess. We seem to be in a perfect storm of marijuana law reform. The Federal Appeals Court recently completed taking testimony in a case that challenges the scheduling of marijuana, countering the Government’s stated position that marijuana is ’dangerous and has no medical value’. The Government’s case is weak and the court could decide to reschedule marijuana. Any rating lower than marijuana’s current rating as schedule I, would allow it to be prescribed by a doctor.
Maybe it’s time Congress listens to the people and takes a serious look at reforming Federal marijuana laws. There have been several laws to end marijuana prohibition proposed recently in Congress and maybe it’s time to take one of them up and pass it! The people favor medical marijuana by a whopping 80% and full legalization polls at 56%. House Resolution 2306, proposed by retiring Congressman Barney Frank would amend the Controlled Substances Act so marijuana, like alcohol and nicotine, would no longer be a scheduled drug. It allows the States to establish their own laws and regulations. All federal penalties for production, possession, and distribution would be repealed.
Financially, ending the Federal prohibition of marijuana would take the cloud of uncertainty from this huge market and allow it to thrive like any other commodity. From growers, to wholesalers to retailers, marijuana whether for medical, recreational or industrial use is estimated , on the low side to exceed 14 billion dollars a year and definitely would not slow the pace of the economic recovery we are in. Thousands of jobs in the industry itself and thousands more in the support industries will be created as the income from those jobs spreads thru the economy.
Time to start writing our legislators and demand they end the Federal prohibition of marijuana. Time to get back to work.