Medical marijuana is no longer banned at the federal level. The near 2,000-page federal spending bill that was recently passed included a provision that lifts the medical marijuana ban. The war on medical marijuana is now nearly over.
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Before now, federal agents still had the legal authority to perform raids in states where medical marijuana is legal because federal law trumped state law. Now, legal medical marijuana users and dispensaries are safe from harassment by federal agents. This new change is a major turning point when it comes to the U.S. government’s views on marijuana. Representative Sam Farr weighed in on this historic move, saying that he is glad the federal government has finally respected the decisions made by the majority of states that passed medical marijuana laws. “This is a great day for common sense because now our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on prosecuting criminals and not sick patients.”
Dana Rohrabacher, co-author of the provision, also commented on this victory: “This is the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana.”
Since the start of the medical cannabis movement at the beginning of the 1990s, 32 out of 50 states and D.C. have adjusted their laws to make marijuana legal for medical purposed. Although the movement has won some major victories, marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug under federal law even though medical uses have been proven. Congress is still debating full legalization of the drug, but this is an important step that shows that it may happen in the future. Both Democrats and Republicans have shown support for this issue.