The US laws regarding cannabis
Federal laws of the United States prohibit the use and possession of cannabis. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classifies cannabis as a Schedule I substance which means that it has a high potential of abuse. Thus, cannabis is prohibited at the federal level. However, state policies conflict significantly with federal ones. Laws regarding cannabis use vary greatly from state to state. AskGrowers have a few informative articles about this on their website.
Cannabis is legalized in 33 states as a medical remedy that can be used for treatment purposes. At the same time, 14 states limit the content of THC in cannabis that can be used. These states allow access to marijuana with high CBD levels as it is not a psychoactive component of weed. Cannabis consumption for recreational use is legalized in 11 states. They are Colorado, California, Maine, Alaska, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada, Michigan, Washington, and Vermont. Regarding commercial distribution, it is allowed in all jurisdictions that legalize cannabis, except the District of Columbia and Vermont.
Cannabis use is still federally illegal, but some of its compounds are approved for medical use by the Food and Drug Administration. Cannabis medicines that are allowed by the FDA are Epidiolex, Marino, Syndros, and Cesamet, so they are commonly used by people who need this kind of drug.
European policies regarding cannabis
Possession of cannabis for personal use is treated as an offense in the EU. Some countries view it as a minor offense, whereas some allow imprisonment for personal possession of weed.
Most European governments do not support the sale and legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Moreover, all European countries impose prison sentences for illegal cannabis supply. However, during the last few years, some parliaments proposed draft laws regarding personal weed distribution which were rejected.
It is possible to get cannabis in the Netherlands, where so-called coffeeshops sell it for on-site consumption. Dutch coffeeshops are licensed by the municipalities which make them legal. They are tolerated by the government as they adhere to strict criteria formed by a public prosecutor. At the same time, sale and personal possession of weed can be punished with imprisonment in the Netherlands. The Dutch government doesn’t tolerate illegal production of a pot which is also called ‘back door problem’.
Recent law changes made in Europe to legalize cannabis
Recently European countries have made a big shift concerning cannabis legalization and trade for medical use. In 2017 Germany legalized marijuana for medical purposes that probably influenced other EU states. Moreover, Germany granted some cultivation licenses and increased the amount of medical marijuana that can be imported. After that, Poland, Denmark, and the UK also considered changes in their legal regulations regarding cannabis. Moreover, France which was quite conservative about legalizing cannabis is starting an experiment that will allow medical cannabis. The government is going to observe the progress of using marijuana for medical purposes and based on the result, it will proceed with further decisions on regulations. Besides, Luxembourg has recently confirmed cannabis legalization not only for medical use but also for recreational purposes.
Now EU member states have different regulations concerning marijuana use, which causes some difficulties with licensing. Marijuana legalization in the EU currently needs legal harmonization. After harmonizing legal frameworks of medical marijuana in European countries, more patients will be able to get cannabis treatment.
Last legal alterations regarding marijuana legalization in the USA
In 2020 a lot of states across the country introduced reform bills concerning cannabis policy. However, due to the Covid19, most of the bills haven’t passed as some states, including Connecticut, needed to pause their legislative process.
Despite that, some changes in the law have been made. Particularly, in Virginia, a bill that decriminalized up to an ounce of weed was signed. Also, the Senate of Vermont approved a bill that legalizes marijuana sales. Moreover, Alabama’s Senate as well as Kentucky’s House of Representatives approved bills regarding medical marijuana use.
The US polls discovered that 67% of Americans support federal legalization of cannabis and nearly 90% of the population want medical marijuana to be allowed.
Violations of cannabis use
According to the statistics, 4 in 10 drug arrests in 2018 were for weed possession. The police made nearly 663,000 marijuana arrests in 50 states for cannabis-related offenses. Up to 40% of total drug arrests in the US were made in the District of Columbia in 2018.
These figures are based on the information that was submitted to the FBI by local enforcement agencies. This makes assessing changes in the number of arrests over the US difficult because the number of agencies submitting data to the FBI varies from year to year. But it’s possible to count a share of marijuana arrests of all drug arrests. Data shows that marijuana offenses have significantly decreased in the last decade, so now that are at their lowest level during the last 20 years.
This year Orlando police confiscated 124 pounds of marijuana and nearly $100,000 from a drug trafficking organization. Marijuana criminals were trying to transport cannabis from California to Orlando but were arrested at the airport.
The EU report says that cannabis users rushed to darknet because of lockdown. According to some reviews, the quarantine increased the activity on darknet websites up to 25% between January and March. Buyers were actively seeking weed for personal use, so darknet shop Cannazon sold cannabis for an estimated 4.3 million euros worth. It means that nearly 1.6 metric tonnes of marijuana was sold on this market between January and March. Most sales originated from Germany and the UK, but the Netherlands was also in the list of top sellers.