Many people who advocate the legalization of marijuana at the federal level were hopeful that the government would be more amenable to making medical marijuana legally accessible to all. With states across the nation enacting their own laws regarding medical marijuana, it made sense that hopes were raised. Unfortunately, those hopes were dashed last Thursday when the Drug Enforcement Administration refused to make marijuana legal for any purpose, including medicinal.

As far as the DEA is concerned, marijuana will remain under the umbrella of the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule 1 substance. These are the substances on the list that are determined to have no medical use. The states that have passed laws that allow recreational and medical marijuana are doing so despite federal law. The DEA did, however, relax the rules it had previously set forth regarding the number of institutions that could legally grow marijuana for research purposes. Currently, there is only one facility permitted to grow marijuana legally and it is in Mississippi.

The DEA, in reaching its decision, stated that there is no acceptable medical use for the drug, essentially because the way the drug effects each individual may differ. It was also explained that marijuana has not been part of an adequate safety study and evidence is not there to support its use. The DEA said, in part, “At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by the specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.”

In November, eight or more states will have issues surrounding marijuana on the ballot. Full legalization will be considered in Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, California and Nevada. Florida and Arizona will be considering medicinal use of the drug, and Montana will be looking to restore its medicinal marijuana law. The DEA has not interfered with states that have passed laws that legalize marijuana in some form, but the Justice Department has reserved the right to do so if the public health and safety is put in jeopardy.

If you have been arrested for a drug crime in Orlando, call our office. We will provide you with a free initial case evaluation and advise you of your options. Call now or browse our website for more information about our team and the types of cases we handle.

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