The U.S. House of Representatives voted recently to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
However, the vote means nothing if the Republicans maintain control of the Senate under a Biden Administration.
In the U.S. cannabis was officially outlawed for any use (medical included) with the passage of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Since then, multiple efforts to reschedule cannabis under the CSA have failed, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative and Gonzales v. Raich that the federal government has a right to regulate and criminalize cannabis, even for medical purposes.
Despite this, states and other jurisdictions have continued to implement policies that conflict with federal law, beginning with the passage of California’s Proposition 215 in 1996.
By 2016 a majority of states had legalized medical cannabis, and in 2012 the first two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized recreational use.
U.S. cannabis sales hit record levels over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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