Issue Spotlight: Marijuana
Throughout early American history, marijuana use was legal under both federal and individual state laws. In fact, from 1850 to 1941, cannabis was included in the United States Pharmacopoeia as a recognized medicinal. By the end of 1936, however, all 48 states had enacted laws to regulate marijuana.
The federal government's first attempt to regulate marijuana, the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, made possession or transfer of cannabis illegal throughout the US, but for medical and industrial uses. An excise tax was established for these permitted uses. In 1969, the Supreme Court held the Marijuana Tax Act to be unconstitutional. In 1970, with President Nixon's urging, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act placing marijuana in Schedule I—the most restrictive of five categories for substances with "no currently accepted medical use"—along with heroin, LSD, peyote and psilocybin (mushrooms). Drugs of abuse with recognized medical uses, including opium, cocaine and amphetamine, were assigned to Schedules II through V based on their potential for abuse. (Source: Congressional Research Service.)
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Issue Spotlight: Marijuana, Medical Marijuana and Hemp
Marijuana and the Law
- HR 2306 Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act limits the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marihuana.
- HR 6134 Truth in Trials Act provides an affirmative defense for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with the laws of the various States.
- HR 1983 States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act provides for the rescheduling of marijuana and for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with the laws of the various States.
- HR 6335 States' Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act amends the Controlled Substances Act so as to exempt real property from civil forfeiture due to medical-marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by State law.
- S 3368 Amends the Food and Nutrition Act to prohibit the provision of funds made available to carry out that Act in any State that allows income deductions for controlled substances, including medical marijuana.
- HR 1985 Small Business Tax Equity Act amends the tax code to allow a deduction for expenses in connection with the trade or business of selling marijuana intended for patients for medical purposes pursuant to State law.
- HR 1984 Small Business Banking Improvement Act allows States to certify a business as legitimate for purposes of a financial institution’s suspicious activity reporting requirements, facilitate unambiguous compliance of such businesses with State law, and provide regulatory relief for financial institutions.
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