Marijuana revolution is swiping the territory of the United States.
At a federal level, cannabis is listed as a Schedule I substance. This provision can be easily found in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and is the highest classification under the legislation.
However, at state level, things stand differently. Arguing that it can be a flourishing business, a great therapy and a super tax revenue source, the states of Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon legalized the use of cannabis for both recreational and medical uses.
Additionally, the cities of Portland and South Portland followed in the same line.
Guam and other nine states legalized cannabis just for medical use. The U.S. Virgin Islands and four states decriminalized personal possession.
This leaves us with a number of twenty-two states and three U.S. territories where cannabis is illegal under any form.
The problems stem mainly not from the passing of legislation that decriminalizes marijuana, but from the fact that such legislation usually comes empty-handed without a suit of provisions carefully thought through. The situation leaves law-makers to the risk of improvising on the way and of creating loopholes that make the entire affair more criminal.
Oregon only recently disclosed proposed retail sales tax from cannabis. This is to replace the harvest tax that was previously approved by voters. The proposal comes after November saw the overwhelming vote to legalize marijuana across the state. The Oregon proposed sales tax is a major provision completing the legalization legislation, included in a 104 page amendment to the implementation manner.
Ohio is following behind as well. The state aims to be the first to legalize both recreational and medical marijuana at the same time and to do it smartly. Jan James who is the exec of ResponsibleOhio hopes that the issue will feature on the November ballot. In reference, he stated:
“This is sweeping the nation; it’s inevitable”.
Colorado is looking into ways to better understand what’s working, what’s not and how best to navigate through the new world of legal weed. Colorado Amendment 64 legalized the sale and possession of marijuana for non-medical uses on November 6, 2012, including private cultivation of up to six marijuana plants, out of which just three are allowed to be mature.
Washington voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative that made it legal to possess and grow marijuana also in November last year. The following month, Congress passed a spending prohibition that became an obstacle for the city to properly creat a system through which cannabis could be bought, sold and taxed lawfully.
In effect, many called the November result ‚the dealer protection act of 2015’.
And rightfully so as it created loopholes through which the black market is tipping off. Those looking for marijuana and who aren’t growing it at home have three possibilities. Someone can hand it to them, but without the police forces witnessing money for product exchange. Residents of Washington can each grow as many as three plants to maturity at one time. The process is complicated, expensive and mostly time-consuming. Or, with the approval of a doctor, people can get medical-marijuana cards, though supply remains dismal.
Establishing a balance has become pretty difficult for people in D.C. particularly with rapidly growing demand and absence of sources of supply. Consequently, the situation instigates dealings in the black market and new illegal behavior among consumers of pot, dealers and buyers.
Image Source: publicbroadcasting.net
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