The Future of Cannabis: Predicting the Timeline for Federal Marijuana Legalization

by DigiRocket Technologies on Apr 18, 2024

The Future of Cannabis: Predicting the Timeline for Federal Marijuana Legalization
As the aroma of cannabis permeates the legislatures of states and public debate, the biggest issue on everyone's mind is when marijuana will be nationally legal. Buckle up, fellow enthusiasts, as we take our journey through the murky maze of legislation, political movements, and social attitudes. 

1. The Current Landscape

 Before we gaze into our crystal bong (pun intended), let's examine where we are now: 

1.1 The Odd Legal Limbo

Marijuana exists in an intriguing twilight zone in the United States. While some states have embraced its green attractions, others cling to prohibition like a tenacious sticky buildup. And then there's the federal government, which maintains a strict "technically illegal everywhere" policy. Who is the culprit? The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the gatekeeper to this green enigma. 

1.2 The DEA’s Curious Categorization

Picture this: Marijuana, like heroin, LSD, and ecstasy, is classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration. This rating indicates that it has "high potential for abuse" and "no currently accepted medical use." But wait, there is a twist! Cocaine, morphine, and methamphetamines—the party drugs—are on Schedule II, implying that they have some medical use. It's like ranking a relaxing backyard cookout ahead of a chaotic rave. Strange, right? 

1.3 The Research Roadblock 

Putting marijuana in Schedule I creates a Catch-420 situation. Researchers face more hurdles than a stoned squirrel navigating a maze. Why? Because Uncle Sam insists it has no medical merit. But how can we proven its worth when the very system obstructs meaningful studies? It’s like asking a blindfolded chef to whip up a gourmet meal—challenging, to say the least.

2. The Winds of Change

Fear not, fellow tokers! The winds are shifting, and here’s why:

2.1 President Biden’s Green Nod

President Joe Biden, a self-proclaimed cannabis doubtful questioned the DEA's attitude. In 2022, he requested a review—a governmental process that might change the current situation. Imagine Biden as the DJ at a cannabis-themed party, spinning songs branded "Progress."

2.2 The 2024 Presidential Election

Fasten your hemp seatbelts! The 2024 presidential election in the United States has the potential to change everything. Candidates will make pledges, and cannabis legalization could be the ace in their sleeves. Imagine talks about strains rather than trade deals. A pleasant twist, certainly!

2.3 The Odds and Predictions 

Let us play the odds game

2030: 95% possibility of federal legalization. 2025: A coin toss at 50%—the nervousness grows. 2023: Just 5%—but stranger things have happened.

3. Conclusion: A Green Horizon

As we roll out predictions like tightly packed joints, keep in mind that the future of federal marijuana legalization is in the hands of members of parliament, voters, and maybe a cosmic alignment of stardust. So, dear reader, keep an eye on the smoke signals, and may the cannabis gods provide us a greener tomorrow. 


The 2024 Federal Marijuana Bill:

In 2022, President Biden signed the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act into law. This groundbreaking legislation streamlined marijuana research and removed certain bureaucratic hurdles. Notably, it remains the only standalone federal marijuana bill to ever be signed into law  

Status of the Federal Marijuana Law: 

Currently, there are several marijuana-related bills active in the United States Senate and House of Representatives. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of significant ones: 

The MORE Act: Proposed by Representative Jerrold Nadler (D), this bill aims to decriminalize marijuana by removing it from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act. If passed, it would eliminate criminal penalties for individuals involved in manufacturing, distributing, or possessing marijuana. Additionally, the MORE Act includes provisions to protect marijuana consumers, such as preventing denial of public benefits and allowing expungement of marijuana convictions  

The SAFE / SAFER Banking Acts: These bills seek to provide explicit legal protections to banks and financial institutions that serve state-legal marijuana businesses. The SAFE Banking Act was filed in the House in April, followed by an updated Senate version called the SAFER Banking Act in September. The latter received approval from the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. It enjoys bipartisan support and aims to address banking challenges faced by the cannabis industry 

Marijuana’s Federal Legalization Timeline: 

1937: Marihuana Tax Act 

Correct! The Marihuana Tax Act was indeed enacted in 1937, imposing strict regulations on cannabis. It introduced fees and requirements that significantly limited cannabis use. However, it’s essential to clarify that this act effectively prohibited cannabis at the federal level, even though medical use was still allowed under certain conditions. 

1970: Controlled Substances Act 

Accurate! The Controlled Substances Act did classify marijuana as a Schedule I substance in 1970. This classification meant that marijuana was determined to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Consequently, it made marijuana federally illegal for any purpose. 

2018: Farm Bill and Hemp-Derived CBD 

Correct! The Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD products with low THC content at the federal level in 2018. This was a significant step in recognizing the potential benefits of CBD without the psychoactive effects of THC. 

2022: Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act 

Accurate! President Biden signed the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act in 2022. This act aims to facilitate research on cannabis for medical purposes. It represents the first standalone cannabis reform bill enacted at the federal level. 

2024: MORE Act and Ongoing Conversation 

Correct! The MORE Act and other bills continue to shape the conversation around marijuana legalization in 2024.

Also Read: Your Ultimate Guide on How to Detox from Marijuana