Marijuana has been legal in parts of the United States for the better part of the last 30 years. However, the permissive attitude that the government has today is a fairly recent development. As recently as the 2000s, the federal government was still arguing in court that they should have the right to restrict marijuana use at the state level. A lot of us don’t realize how complicated the marijuana industry’s past has been, especially those who have grown up without a prohibition on cannabis. If you’re interested, read on for more about the history of the marijuana industry.
What is the history of the marijuana industry?
Marijuana legalization has been gaining momentum in recent years, but the marijuana industry has a long history in the United States. Due to the amount of misinformation out there, it can be difficult to find reliable places to learn about marijuana. Fortunately, you can find some trustworthy resources that are dedicated to providing accurate information, like American Marijuana. Whether your curiosity is about the past or present, you’re likely to be able to find answers on their website.
The legal marijuana industry in the U.S. began in earnest in 1996, after a century of regulations being tightened considerably over time. California was able to pass Proposition 215, which allowed for the sale of marijuana for medical use. Initially, medical marijuana was only available to patients with serious illnesses like AIDS and cancer. This led to the approval of similar laws in four other states (Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Nevada), as well as the District of Columbia.
The Supreme Court case of Conant vs. McCaffrey in 2000 was another important milestone, which gave physicians permission to recommend, but not prescribe, medical marijuana. This created the system that still exists in states where medical use is permitted today. In 2009, the Justice Department released the Ogden memo, which suggested only prosecuting marijuana use at the state level when state law is violated. Over time, restrictions continued to loosen, until finally two ballot measures passed in 2012 making Colorado and Washington the first two states to allow recreational use of marijuana.
What is the current legal status of marijuana in the United States?
Marijuana policy in the United States can be complicated to understand, due to the combination of federal and state laws governing its use. Currently, marijuana is considered illegal on the federal level, but the government has left the enforcement of restrictions to the states. That means each state is responsible for setting its own individual policies with regard to the legality of the use of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. Whether or not you’re able to use marijuana legally depends entirely on where you are in the country.
As of right now, medical marijuana is legal in 36 states in the U.S., while recreational use is legal in 18. Even in states where some type of marijuana use is allowed, there are varying restrictions on what products can be sold and whether or not individuals can cultivate their own cannabis plants at home. In Illinois, for example, medical marijuana patients are allowed to cultivate up to five marijuana plants. Other states like New Jersey permit medical use but don’t allow for cultivation. It’s always best to check your local laws before purchasing or using marijuana products.
There’s a lot to learn about marijuana and what benefits it may have, but consumers have already made the industry massively popular and profitable. It’s a good idea to check with your doctor before using marijuana products for the first time. Your doctor can tell you how marijuana is likely to impact any health conditions you have or interact with medications you’re taking. If you live in a state where medical or recreational use is legal, it can be worth a try as long as you do so responsibly. Marijuana has become a valuable part of a holistic wellness routine for many people.