Marijuana Laws, Missouri, Kansas, And Federal

Marijuana Laws

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Depending on where you live in the United States will determine your access to both recreational and
medicinal marijuana. Currently, 10 states and the District of Columbia allow adult recreational use while
33 states permit medical usage of marijuana. Further, each state has its own restrictions concerning the
amount of ounces of marijuana a person can have in his or her possession, to the type of cannabis that
is permissible such as concentrates. Some states have even gone as far as regulating the consumption of
edibles and granting grower’s licenses to those living outside the area of a marijuana dispensary. These
divergent state laws are a cause of confusion to citizens and the courts have remained inconsistent in its
Despite state laws and even ballot referendums making marijuana legal, these laws are contradictory to
how federal marijuana is regulated. Under federal law, marijuana is classified as controlled substance
and it is illegal to distribute, cultivate, possess or use it. The United States Supreme Court in the 2005
case, Gonzales v. Raich, allows for the federal prosecution of violations concerning marijuana even if it is
legalized in the state where it is seeking prosecution. In that 6-3 decision, the Court indicated that the
commerce clause of the Constitution allows Congress to regulate interstate drug markets and the only
way to do it effectively is to regulate this market at the state level.
Currently, there is talk amongst representatives and senators in the United States Congress of
introducing a law that would allow states to supersede federal law. Unless the Controlled Substances
Act is revisited by the legislative branch, which classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug along with
heroin and LSD, state law must always adhere to federal law because of the Supremacy Clause of the
Constitution. This preemption allows federal law to prevail when there are state laws in contradiction
with it.