Medical Marijuana is a controversial subject across the United States. There are federal laws about marijuana. The federal government has ruled all marijuana illegal, and does not recognize any medical uses of it. However, there have been many studies done on the subject, and it appears that using marijuana can help people who have certain diseases in certain circumstances.
Currently 14 states and the District of Columbia allow Medical Marijuana. Since possession of marijuana for medical purposes is still possession of marijuana according to the federal laws, the states have to be very careful about it. Most states that medical marijuana laws very strictly regulate who can and who cannot have it and how they can get it. In all states the person needs to have a prescription form a doctor for it. They also need to have a confirmed diagnosis of one of the recognized ailments which might be helped by medicinal use of marijuana.
Once a person has a prescription for Medical Marijuana they can’t just go out and buy it on the street, or in most cases grow their own. In most of the states the law is that the medicinal marijuana has to be gotten from a dispensary. This is like a pharmacy. The dispensary is in charge of growing and distributing the product. Dispensaries are very strictly regulated. To run a dispensary a person will need to have a criminal background run, and they may not have any drug charges in their history. Each state has further regulations about the use of marijuana for medical use in the workplace.
Each patient needs to be knowledgeable about the regulations in their state. They also need to make sure that they have documentation about their use of marijuana for medical purposes with them at all times.
Essentially new economic growth is appearing in these states with the new regulations. Lawyers, Doctors, supply houses and education centers like dispensary are benefiting and contributing to a new market that was once suppressed underground by legislation. Many people are still weary of the changes due to the fact that the legislation only protect them as far as state law will stand in court.
In the 14 states where Medical Marijuana is legal the users are still at risk of arrest by the DEA since it is still against federal law. In those 14 states each year bills are taken up to further regulate marijuana for medical use or to make it illegal again. The battle to decriminalize or legalize marijuana rages on in the other 36 states and at the federal level.