GUNS, WEED, AND STATE’S RIGHTS

IS GREEN THE NEW FDE? BY ADAM KRAUT AND LARS SMITH PHO­TOS BY LARS SMITH IN­TRO­DUC­TION BY ADAM KRAUT, ESQ.

Recoil - - Contents -

Is Green the New FDE?

Pot. Grass. Dope. Weed. Reefer. Ganja. Mar­i­juana. What­ever you call it, Cannabis has been sub­ject to reg­u­la­tion since the early 1900s. It wasn’t un­til the 1930s that mar­i­juana was ad­dressed at the fed­eral level — around the same time the fed­eral gov­ern­ment im­posed re­stric­tions on in­di­vid­ual’s Sec­ond Amend­ment rights.

The 1970s brought a num­ber of changes to the United States, in­clud­ing a sig­nif­i­cant event for mar­i­juana. Ore­gon be­came the first state to de­crim­i­nal­ize cannabis in 1973. Other states quickly fol­lowed. Nearly two decades later, Cal­i­for­nia be­came the first state to le­gal­ize med­i­cal mar­i­juana. Over the past 20 years, 29 states and the Dis­trict of Columbia have fol­lowed Cal­i­for­nia’s foot­steps, le­gal­iz­ing mar­i­juana for medic­i­nal pur­poses.

Lately, mar­i­juana, par­tic­u­larly the medic­i­nal va­ri­ety, has been thrust into the same lime­light as firearms. Mar­i­juana is cur­rently clas­si­fied as a Sched­ule I nar­cotic, mean­ing that the Drug En­force­ment Agency be­lieves the drug has no cur­rently ac­cepted med­i­cal use (although the ma­jor­ity of states dis­agree) and has a high po­ten­tial for abuse. As fed­eral law pro­hibits an un­law­ful user of a con­trolled sub­stance from pos­sess­ing firearms or am­mu­ni­tion, peo­ple who may ben­e­fit from med­i­cal mar­i­juana are forced to choose be­tween their medicine and an enu­mer­ated con­sti­tu­tional right.

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