What you need to know about the law

Laws restricting and regulating the sale of marijuana (cannabis) were first enacted in the 1700 century AD. The possession, sale or use of preparations of cannabis containing THC is illegal in most of the world. 

According to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug. Under federal law it’s illegal to manufacture it, distribute it, or dispense it, or possess it with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense. 

In 1996 California enacted Proposition 215. It allows patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation to grow and use marijuana for personal medical use. There are now 20 states that have enacted similar initiatives. The states of Colorado and Washington have also enacted initiatives legalizing the use of marijuana for any purpose whatsoever (recreationally) for adults 21 and over, within a tightly regulated and controlled market.  

• the distribution of marijuana to minors

• revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels

• the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states

• state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity

• violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana

• drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use

• growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands

• preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.

Since marijuana possession is still a federal crime, the laws allowing its recreational use could have faced federal challenges. 

But on August 29th, 2013 the Justice Department announced that it will not attempt to challenge state laws that allow for the medical and recreational use of marijuana, as long as the states enforce their own narcotics laws and they don't violate eight new federal enforcement priorities:

U.S. Atty. General Eric Holder
Marijuana Laws
Copyright: 2013 Imaginary Enterprises

​​We do not condone or encourage the illegal use of marijuana.  

The information provided here is only intended for those who can legally buy and consume marijuana. 


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