Thursday, December 24, 2015

In practice, and now, on paper...

In the last couple years, there've been changes to the headlines regarding marijuana.  We're hearing less and less about federal authorities raiding farms, businesses or homes in search of weed.  Most of the time, there's one of two things happening.  One is, they're raiding a place for something different and find the marijuana. ("Dude rolled up to grab Tommy for stealin' Social Security checks and found his stash.")  The other possibility is that the quantity of marijuana just can NOT be ignored.  ("They busted that fucker with $25,000 cash, a new car and 14 pounds of Kush, but he works at Burger Sling!  That fucker's going down for dealing!" or "DEA agents in Miami confirmed that Pablo Ortiguez was apprehended last night by federal agents, and charged with trafficking more than 17 tons of  marijuana from a port in Mexico...")

One other headline we don't see much of, recently, is the local dispensary getting raided and all of their inventory, their computer records, their real estate and their money seized.  

It's been common knowledge for a while that the federal government has bigger things to worry about, when it comes to drugs, than marijuana.  
Graphic by
 Since 1996, 23 states have legalized medicinal use of marijuana in one form or another, and three states have legalized recreational use for adults.  In the beginning, there were headlines about the DEA's raids on several (state-legal) dispensaries in California, and on outdoor grow operations.  Farmers in Northern California were used to the sight of DEA helicopters flying in the hills, looking for enterprising people getting back to the land.  

In December of 2014, Congress and President Barack Obama ended the federal prohibition on medical marijuana very non-dramatically.  And, just a few days ago, Congress passed a spending bill that now prohibits the feds from messing with states that have enacted their own marijuana laws.  

But, I'm not planning on buying a sea going vessel and a map of the Colombian coast, either.  It is still illegal to import it.  It is still against the law for businesses hoping to cash in on marijuana to use banks to transfer moneys for their business.  You still can't use the interstate highway system to transport it from one state to another.  

One other thing to consider.  Marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug.  This means that in the eyes of the federal government, marijuana has NO medical benefits and does NOT treat chronic ailments or acute illness.  Veterans of our armed forces cannot take advantage of medical marijuana and VA doctors can't even mention the term.  

There's more work to be done...

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