Jasmine Patel is a cannabis chef and writer. She has been cooking with cannabis for over five years and has a passion for creating delicious and healthy cannabis-infused dishes. When she's not in the kitchen, you can find her writing about her experiences and sharing her recipes with others.
Hey there! I totally get why this can be confusing, so let me break it down for you. The reason marijuana is legal in California but illegal under federal law has to do with the differences between state and federal legislation.
In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana with the passing of Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act. This allowed patients with certain medical conditions to use cannabis for medicinal purposes. Then, in 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which legalized recreational cannabis for adults aged 21 and older.
So, in California, both medical and recreational marijuana are legal under state law. However, under federal law, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. This means that the federal government considers it to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.
Now, you might be wondering why there's this conflict between state and federal laws. Well, the United States operates under a system called federalism, which means that power is divided between the federal government and individual states. While states have the authority to create and enforce their own laws, federal law still holds supremacy over state law.
The federal government's stance on marijuana is primarily influenced by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970, which classifies drugs into different schedules based on their potential for abuse and medical use. Unfortunately, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I substance, alongside drugs like heroin and LSD.
However, it's important to note that the federal government has chosen not to actively enforce federal marijuana laws in states where it is legal. This is known as the "Cole Memo," which was issued by the Department of Justice in 2013. The memo essentially directs federal prosecutors to focus their efforts on preventing certain activities related to marijuana, such as distribution to minors, interstate trafficking, and involvement in criminal enterprises.
So, while marijuana is legal in California under state law, it's still technically illegal under federal law. This can create some challenges, especially for businesses operating in the cannabis industry. It's crucial to understand and comply with both state and federal regulations to avoid any legal issues.
I hope this clears things up for you! If you have any more questions about cannabis laws, strains, products, or cooking, feel free to ask. I'm here to help you become a cannabis connoisseur!