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Are we close to federal marijuana legalization?

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer recently introduced a proposed law called the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, which would decriminalize marijuana under federal law if passed. As it stands, even though Colorado has legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, the 1970 Controlled Substances Act continues to classify marijuana as one of the most dangerous and highly addictive substances that exists. Federal law also claims that marijuana has no medical purpose even though countless states have allowed patients to take the drug as a medication to receive life-changing benefits.

If passed, individual states will still have the power to control and police marijuana possession as they see fit; however, under the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, the federal government will not fault people for possessing the substance.

Sen. Schumer described the proposed legislation as the appropriate thing to do. Given the current thoughts and perceptions regarding marijuana by the medical community and the public throughout the United States, it's clearly time to stop punishing individuals severely for possessing pot.

In addition to decriminalizing the drug, the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act would offer $500 million to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the purpose of researching and testing marijuana in a medical context and to learn more about the effect THC has on humans.

As it stands, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. As such, Colorado residents who are discovered traveling across state lines with the drug could be subject to arrest by federal authorities. If you find yourself in trouble with the law like this, make sure you investigate the most appropriate criminal defense to help you navigate your criminal court process.

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