Marijuana Law Reforms In California

Marijuana Law Reforms In California

Around 12 percent of the public agreed with the move to legalize cannabis in the country in the earlier days. However, the support on the same topic has grown to more than 60 percent in the past few months. Though the argument has not yet achieved its final verdict, the public support is growing immense day by day.

The attitude of the people towards the drug is becoming casual, and the public do not consider marijuana as illegal anymore. Californian legislation proposed two laws, the Compassionate Use Act, and the Medical Marijuana Program, nearly a decade ago to allow medical pot use to the residents. The Compassionate Use Act was enacted through the ballot initiative process, while the MMP is a companion piece of legislation.

However, the California Supreme Court recently ruled out that cities and countries can ban the functioning of medical marijuana dispensaries, finding that both the earlier laws in the state do not restrict the local authorities from banning the pot shops. The court highlighted the ‘police power’ of the local authorities, which can legislate for the health, safety, and welfare of their jurisdictions. The court also said that under those rights, they have the consent to either allow or ban pot dispensaries.

If the Compassionate Use Act had included a sentence that the local authorities would not have any power over their laws, the court decision would have been the other way around. But now, there are possibilities of new marijuana laws to be introduced in the state, which can be either through ballot process, or legislative process. The state legislature can also allow the recreational use of cannabis as well, following the examples of Washington and Colorado, or simply ban the use of marijuana in the state completely.

An option for the public remains, to propose a ballot initiative to be taken, while another possibility is that the people in local level could circulate initiatives on the ban on local marijuana dispensaries that would overturn those bans.

Whatever the fate of cannabis in California is, the substance is still considered illegal under the federal laws. Federal government is still strong on the amendment passed in the earlier 70’s, which classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

Whether you avail the drug from an authorized dispensary, on a valid medical marijuana prescription from a doctor, or in a state where pot is legalized, marijuana remains as dangerous as LSD or Heroin in the eyes of the federal authorities.