Is Marijuana Illegal?
In modern US history, this has to be one of the most commonly asked questions. So what’s the answer? Is marijuana illegal? Is marijuana legal? The common answer you’ll find is that it is illegal–but there are all kinds of caveats to this “law,” as it were.
I’d say the majority of people are asking this question because they want to know if they are breaking any laws, and if so, what the implications of breaking those laws might be. But right now, in 2011, there is so much gray area that even the most astute students of law can’t tell you which was is up entirely.
First, of course, you have the federal level, which for all intents and purposes would have any of its representatives tell you that marijuana is illegal and that failing a drug test positive for THC would–because of this federal law–mean you have committed a crime.
But then you have the “state by state” issue–even though technically marijuana has been made illegal by the highest courts in the land, each state has its own laws that govern the growth, distribution, and use of marijuana. So what’s fine in California is not fine in Arizona (neighbors!) and what may be considered permissible medical marijuana use in Hawaii isn’t in Iowa.
And then there’s my favorite issue: “If medical marijuana is legal where I live, and I have a medical marijuana card and a prescription from a doctor, how is it legal for my boss to fire me for smoking marijuana?!” Apparently, because businesses are allowed to have their own regulations that don’t conform to law, you can in fact, be terminated for smoking marijuana–even if you have cancer, even if your state allows it, and even if it’s the only thing that helps with your ongoing medical condition.
Many people liken the marijuana law to Prohibition, and if you’ve been watching Boardwalk Empire, you can see the intricacies of the lovely road that that leads down. Insidious crime, merciless money-grubbing, and finally, EVERYONE rubbing elbows with the right people to get what everyone wants… and the battle rages on.
Tell me what you think. Why should marijuana be illegal? Why should you have to pass a drug test to get a job–or welfare? Why shouldn’t you be able to ease discomforts of illness with medical grade marijuana? I want to hear from you, no matter what side of the fence you’re standing on.