When 420 comes to mind a good portion would think of the current date, then there are those who treat themselves to a controversial tree and declare April 20th as their holiday to ‘light up’. Marijuana has been a widely debated topic the past- oh I would say for- the past decade after state policies had been changed and altered to allow medical, and the rare few that allow recreational use, to practice their business. Those who reside in these states would like to consider distribution and consumption legal, federal law stubbornly declines, and has not changed. This creates a lot of confusion across the board and many questions arise with patients or users like: Where can I buy weed legally? Do I have to be a medical patient? Could there be raids on cannabis businesses? Could the federal government shut down these individuals using their fixed address and fixed assets?
Well to answer most of these let’s start with the raids and shutting down dispensaries which has happened frequently, and the most known case for this was in 2011-2012 in California. After passing an ordinance in 2008 on the states use of medical marijuana, detailing how the drug could be grown and sold, Humboldt Medical supply in Humboldt County became the first to obtain a permit in 2010. Unfortunately for Humboldt, they had to quickly close their door after federal prosecutors began shuttering a multitude of dispensaries in one of the biggest marijuana crackdowns since its legalization. Shutting down hundreds of dispensaries made is extremely difficult for qualified Californians to obtain marijuana for medical use and pushed more toward the black market; yet these notions were denied by the prosecutors. To read more about this click here (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/us/hundreds-of-california-medical-marijuana-shops-close.html)
Federal laws consider all possession and distribution illegal, and because of this dispensaries that operate legally within state laws could be shut down merely by letters of warning to operators, landlords, and local officials entailing criminal charges and seizure of assets; and city officials that advocate for these dispensaries are also threatened to be prosecuted. United States attorneys clearly state that by allowing recreational marijuana, these dispensaries violate both state and federal law which “requires distribution for medical purposes only”. Obviously their concern is focused toward large commercial operations that are or would be generating huge amounts of profit by selling marijuana in an unregulated manner.
Because of the lack of federal regulation in general, the highly beneficial dispensaries that many patients rely on are taking the penalty, and being shut down statistically before the lesser- poorly run dispensaries are removed as well.
So where does the new kids on the block (recently legalized states for medical) stand, particularly Florida, among this conflict? I mean, could they help over turn the current federal stigma and transition law makers in the United States for a more balanced stance toward marijuana legal states? Well sorry to disappoint, but Florida is also knotted up in this messy situation.
After Amendment 2 was passed last year allowing terminally ill patients to purchase fully strength marijuana strains, not reduced strains allowed in 2014’s bill “Charlotte Web”(http://www.orlandoweekly.com/orlando/florida-has-new-complex-marijuana-laws-heres-what-they-really-mean/Content?oid=3889964), 71 percent of voters passed in favor to allow strains for patients with ‘debilitating medical conditions’. I know sounds pretty generic and not-surprisingly that particular segment is under extreme heat from Florida Health Officials and Advocates for these conditions can vary and the State Department of Health along with the Florida Board of Medicine are deciding on what conditions could qualify a patient for medical cannabis. The opposing advocates argue that doctors can make that decision for their patients, but many officials warn that if doctors make these decisions they would be swimming in very unstable legal territory and could be heavily penalized like the dispensaries mentioned earlier. In all, Amendment 2 does not change Florida’s recreational drug possession laws or the federal laws concerning the possession and distribution of marijuana. Not even a slight-so any stories about recreational marijuana being legal in Orlando is most definitely wrong, and probably made up by some stoner who lives in a van down by the ocean.
To answer the question do I have to be a medical patient to buy some weed? What about in Florida? Again, sorry to disappoint, but the only place that is legally selling is the Knox Dispensary because recreation is still considered illegal. Now that’s for Florida though and other states that have passed laws much earlier have more leeway, but doesn’t change the fear that the federal government poses. If say, you were from my state (Denver, Colorado) you have more freedom to buy recreationally, but there is still a underlying concern that rights can be taken away, and it is much more beneficial buying on the medical end. Medical patients have in a sense more legal rights to participate in their consumption once they are registered, but the legality of weed will remain an issue until the federal laws change…so for anyone who wants to purchase marijuana should get think about getting a medical card; if not, recreational locations is limited and the chances you’ll be away for facing the court system is slimming.
There has been no further resolution to these complications so far, but when we find out you’ll be the first to know.
Want to know more from many other experts click here to read more. (http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/03/07/federal-marijuana-enforcement-trump-administration-experts-questions/74933/)