Marijuana Legalization Pros and Cons
A Quick Look: Marijuana Legalization Pros and Cons
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Understanding Medical Marijuana vs. Marijuana
Before you get involved in the medical marijuana industry, it’s important to note the legal differences (as California sees it) between marijuana and medical marijuana. Medical marijuana (or medical cannabis) “refers to the parts of the herb cannabis used as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy, or to synthetic forms of specific cannabinoids such as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) as a physician-recommended form of medicine.” (source: wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis). With this in mind, marijuana used for purposes other than medicinal uses and that not prescribed by a physician, remains illegal in the state of California and can result in fines, misdemeanors, or jail time. Understanding this is paramount to understanding marijuana legalization pros and cons.
California’s Medical Marijuana Industry
The California medical marijuana industry has been around for a little more than 15 years so when it comes to marijuana legalization pros and cons, it’s a good state to look into.. It’s safe to say that within this time period the fight for marijuana reformation has been anything but a smooth process. While many laws have been set in place to protect medical marijuana patients, growers, and other stakeholders in the industry, these laws often times have different interpretations depending on which county the operation resides in. Because of this, it is imperative that any participants in the medical marijuana industry stay informed and up-to-date on the ever-evolving legal landscape of the industry. Furthermore, it is highly encouraged (and a benefit to all) that all stakeholders in the industry to be mindful of the Three P’s for the purposes of marijuana legalization pros and cons:
1. Be politically active towards medical marijuana advocacy in particular and marijuana reformation in general
2. Be professional in all of your endeavors within the industry
3. Be positive and help promote a high quality of ethics and understanding towards your patients and other stakeholders within the industry
Overview of Laws that have Helped to Shape California’s Medical Marijuana Industry
Established in November of 1996, the Compassionate Use Act (otherwise known as Proposition 215) was passed by California voters to decriminalize the cultivation and use of marijuana by seriously ill individuals upon a physician’s recommendation.
2. Senate Bill 420:
Also known colloquially as The Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMP), this act passed in January of 2004 by California voters helped to establish a statewide identification card system for medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers. Furthermore, it also authorized the Attorney General to set forth and clarify details concerning the possession and cultivation limits, and other regulations.
Overview of Federal Law Concerning Medical Marijuana
It should be noted that, although California has come along way in decriminalizing marijuana for proper medicinal purposes, the United Stated federal government still considers marijuana to be a Schedule 1 narcotic. This law was enacted in 1970 and is known as the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). “The CSA is the federal U.S. drug policy which regulates the manufacturing, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain substances.
Understanding Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Grow Operations, and Delivery Services
Though we cover the specifics of the legal structures of medical marijuana dispensaries, grow operations, and delivery services in other courses, it’s good to understand early on that these operations are not for-profit entities but instead are non-profit entities that are often times complex in nature. While many of these operations appear to be for-profit operations on the surface, all of these organizations are legally required to be not-for-profit entities and thus are scrutinized and taxed as such. Though many operations within the medical marijuana industry generate millions of dollars of revenue from their collective members, the stakeholders are legally required to only pay themselves “reasonable” compensation due to their not-for-profit status. For example a budtender salary could be whatever they deemed to be reasonable. While not apparent when understanding marijuana legalization pros and cons, it is something to consider.
Should You Become Involved in the Medical Marijuana Industry?
Like many questions in life, the answer to whether or not you should become involved in the medical marijuana industry depends on many variables including your expectations, goals, and personal capabilities. To date, there are thousands upon thousands of people throughout the state of California who have chosen to become a part of the medical marijuana movement for a variety of reasons.
Types of People Involved in the Industry:
Activists, Business Men and Women, Dispensary Operators, Dispensary Workers, Delivery Workers, Growers and/or farmers, Politicians, Physicians, Patients