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Home » Drug Offenses » Federal Prohibition Of Medical Marijuana Ends

Federal Prohibition Of Medical Marijuana Ends

federal-ban-on-medical-marijuana-liftedAcross the nation, patients suffering from conditions treatable by medical marijuana have scored a landmark victory — especially those who live in the states that haven’t legalized marijuana (which is most of them).

It happened pretty quietly, all things considered. Somewhere in the 1,600 pages of Congress’ 2016 omnibus spending bill is a discrete passage that, for many pro-marijuana Americans, completely changes the game:

“Sec. 538.  None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

It is deeply, deeply buried… but if you’re willing to go on a lil’ spelunking trip, you’ll eventually crawl down some dim tunnel where Congressional cavemen scratched this game-changing piece of legislation.

What Does This Even Mean?

For one thing, people who are jumping up and down about this might want to chill out a bit. This isn’t exactly “new” news. The provisions laid out in ole’ Sec. 538. are really just an extension of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment that was passed in December of 2014 — the historic-ness of our current situation is actually one year old this month.

In other words, Congress has basically decided to celebrate the first anniversary of a ceasefire they’ve already been implementing. The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment defunded the federal government’s crusade against medical marijuana, and Sec. 538. of next year’s spending bill keeps the ball rolling.

So… What’s Next?

The importance of Congress’ decision to uphold the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment is all about the implications. Right now, all those states mentioned in Sec. 538. are okay with the use of medical marijuana, but only a few of them have actually legalized it. You know the ones — California, Colorado, Washington, etc.

Now, states like Tennessee, for instance, can securely proceed with full legalization of marijuana without fear of federal consequences.

The federal government has effectively demonstrated that America is ready to embrace medical marijuana. By extending their ceasefire, the symbolic door leading to marijuana legalization stands wide open… and lawmakers are already plotting the best way to enter.

Tennessee And Medical Marijuana: Where Are We Now?

As previously mentioned, Tennessee is among the states protected by the provisions within Sec. 538. If you live in Tennessee, you might be wondering about why — state laws don’t really seem to be pro-marijuana by any stretch of the imagination.

But it is! Kind of. Well, barely. The only legislation in Tennessee state law that supports medical marijuana was passed in May of 2014. And to be completely honest, it’s constrictive to the point of ineffectiveness. Tennessee residents can only use medical marijuana legally if they’re diagnosed with certain serious seizure disorders.

The tiny fraction of Tennessee’s population who qualifies for medical marijuana is further restricted as far as how much THC they’re permitted to use: 0.9% THC is the max — and did I mention that the law applies exclusively to cannibis oil? No smoking. No edibles. No lotions, or whatever else stoner science has on the market these days.

Finally, Tennessee’s medical marijuana provisions are rendered nearly useless simply due to the lack of accessibility. The only place in Tennessee where cannabis oil can be legally produced is some university in Putnam County. If you can’t convince the folks over there to hook you up, the only way to get legal medical marijuana is to bring it in from another state… illegally. Make sense? Shhhhh. Yes it does.

And hey, you know what? Whatever. Maybe Tennessee’s “acceptance” of medical marijuana seems like a big deal to you! But to many residents, most all of them, it is decidedly unhelpful.

Tennessee Stoners: You’re Still Breaking The Law.

Even if a future with legal cannabis is just over the horizon, the laws of tomorrow don’t apply to the world of today. If Tennessee law enforcement sees you sparking a J, smells the bong in your trunk, or even suspects your seizure meds contain a liiittle too much THC (0.9% is the max, folks), then you could be looking at some undesirable consequences. Expensive fines and jail time aside, it’s bad enough have the words “drug offense” on your criminal record.

The good news is that we’ve come a long way since the darker days of America’s war on drugs. Reefer Madness is far less of an epidemic than it once was. Drug crimes involving marijuana are easier to challenge than ever.

At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team of attorneys has years of experience working with clients across a wide range of cases related to marijuana. If you or a loved one is facing charges for a drug offense, then it’s time to seek legal representation.

Call today, or go online to set up your Free Initial Consultation with one of our skilled lawyers who’s ready and waiting to hear your case and get you on track toward the justice you deserve.

(615) 259-2660

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