Cannabis and CBD - legal, or not?
The law can be a complicated matter, especially in the United States where federal and state law can be conflicting. This has been a significant issue in relation to CBD nasal spray, and more recently non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) products. Since the mid-1990s, American states have started to enact marijuana reform, starting with medical cannabis legislation. This has now extended to recreational marijuana, which is now legal in 11 US states as of 2019.
But with so many different cannabis products available, it’s a struggle for the average marijuana or CBD flower user to know what’s legal and what isn’t, and what their rights are. In this article, we’ve trawled through federal and state law so you don’t have to, painting a clearer picture of the legality of cannabis in CBD. Most of our focus is on the US, but we’ll also briefly cover the cannabis law in Uruguay, Canada, Europe and beyond.
We’re going to be answering the following questions, and more:
• Is cannabis oil legal in all 50 states?
• Where is cannabis legal?
• Can you travel with CBD cream, e-liquid and oil?
• Is CBD oil legal in all 50 states?
• Can anybody buy recreational marijuana in legal states?
Is cannabis oil legal in all 50 states?
No. While the term ‘cannabis oil’ can technically be used to describe hemp-derived CBD products, it overwhelming refers to cannabis with psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Federal law still classes marijuana as illegal. Indeed, cannabis is under the most restricted Schedule 1 grouping of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
However, several states have taken matters into their own hands, making recreational and medicinal cannabis legal. The first to do was California in 1996, when the electorate voted to pass a medical marijuana bill called Proposition 215. The West Coast state set the tone for others to follow, despite there being no change in stance at federal level. Medicinal use of cannabis for epilepsy, chronic pain, chemotherapy symptoms has become more widespread. As of July 2019, 33 states - or two-thirds of the country - has legalized medical marijuana, along with Washington D.C.
Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2014
In 2014, Colorado became the first state to approve recreational marijuana. This allowed anyone over the age of 21 to walk into a recreational dispensary and purchase cannabis flower, oil, vape juices and more. This was the first time that any American could legally use cannabis, without a prescription, since the effective prohibition of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Oregon, Washington, California, Vermont, Nevada and more soon followed, with Illinois the most recent state to legalize in June 2019. To cash in on the soaring demand for potent weed, cannabis plants have become stronger thanks to modern cultivation methods. Although this is not without controversy, as some argue that this disruption of cannabinoids makes pot more dangerous, even more so with the production of high-strength concentrates.
The laws on marijuana vary from state to state. In Colorado, for instance, medicinal users are permitted to have up to 2 ounces of cannabis at any one time. Other states set limits on the amount of THC that is allowed. In Virginia, a medical cannabis dose must have no more than 10mg of THC. Critics say that this restricts the benefits that MMJ can offer to patients. Furthermore, many states limit the conditions where medical cannabis can be offered. This is in contrast to California, where patients can quite easily get hold of an MMJ card. They can then walk into a dispensary and purchase the products that they are entitled to.
Even in some places where recreational marijuana is legalized, people cannot always access it easily. In Washington D.C., for example, while possession of cannabis is legal, the sale of it is not.
Benefits of cannabis legalization
Cannabis legalization is ultimately proving to be a great victory for the American people, in terms of freedom and health. More clinical trials are now vital because of the increased use. This is almost certain to throw up further medicinal uses, which for some conditions, could replace prescription drugs. Cannabis is popular as it causes fewer side effects. Many also report getting benefits from marijuana they weren’t expecting. This could be down to the unique effect that cannabinoids have on the body, by reacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Moreover, while the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has always had the power to override state law and raid dispensaries, attitudes are changing. The US public is now overwhelming supportive of legal marijuana. The social battle for cannabis has been won thanks to states legalization, and the clear medicinal benefits that is bringing. The DEA increasingly has bigger issues to handle, with the opioid crisis, and also the increasing presence of harmful, synthetic drugs.
Federal legalization of cannabis containing THC may still be a way off. Much depends on political circumstances. Although this would likely be a bipartisan issue that Democrats and Republicans could work together on. If cannabis is legalized soon, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would likely want to have a role in product regulation.
Photo by Tree of Life Seeds from Pexels