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The clash of state and federal marijuana laws

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | benefits of legalizing marijuana

In California, marijuana, use has long been legal, at least for medical purposes. It is also legal for recreational purposes in 2024, in a trend that is spreading across the United States. More and more states are legalizing marijuana for recreational use, and you can find them as far away as Colorado, Michigan, Illinois and even Maine.

One thing that is interesting about these changes, though, is that the federal government still bans the sale and use of marijuana. It has been restricted along with other drugs, such as cocaine and heroin. The federal government has had this stance for decades, thanks to drug law reforms from the 1970s. 

This has created what some call a “complex clash“of legal regulations. In many states, people think of marijuana similarly to alcohol. They know that you have to buy it from specific locations and that you need to be 21 to make that purchase, but they certainly don’t think of it like other illegal drugs. However, things like transporting marijuana over state lines remain illegal due to federal restrictions.

Is this going to change?

Whether the federal government will change the law remains unknown. There are certainly proponents of marijuana legalization within the federal government, but the movement also has its opponents.

It is worth noting that having more and more states legalize marijuana, puts pressure on the federal government. If it becomes clear that the majority of states support legalization, perhaps then the federal regulations will be changed to match. But either way, it’s very important for those working in this industry to keep their eyes on this complex legal system as it continues to evolve.