21 USC §844 makes simple possession of marijuana without a prescription a FEDERAL CRIME.
Aye, the rub of that is, because marijuana is illegal on a Federal level, doctors aren’t legally allowed to write a prescription for it. Now there are many States with some sort of legislation in place that “legalizes” marijuana in some way. Doctors can usually write a “recommendation” for pot, which those States will recognize.
But having it be illegal on a Federal level still causes numerous issues – even with the legalization of it in individual States. It makes it difficult or even impossible for some patients to cross state lines with their required medicine. It makes it hard for some patients to even procure it in legalized States. And because of the Federal laws, the LEGAL providers of the medicine aren’t able to open up bank accounts, so everything is done in cash. Any business that sells weed and has to keep stacks of cash on hand is opening themselves up to violent crimes (so I guess, in a way, marijuana is a gateway to a life of crime. Just not for the actual user). And even though it’s illegal on a Federal level, these businesses still get the luxury of paying Federal taxes (in cash of course).
The hilarious John Oliver can explain some of this in much better and funnier detail (https://youtu.be/BcR_Wg42dv8).
Here’s the thing, having one level of government say something’s illegal while another says it’s legal is like having one parent say they support your need of oxygen to live, while the other parent is choking the life out of you. It’s a Jekyll and Hyde situation.
So I’m going to discuss some of the inane laws, horrible mindsets, and outdated thought processes in the U.S., as well as educating you on some of the actual benefits marijuana has.
DISCLAIMER: Just like love, sex, food, and guns, MODERATION is key. Apparently, overuse of marijuana can mess with your emotions and memories. And that makes me sad because I don’t remember any of that happening…
So, there are no Federal laws that prevent someone from owning a flamethrower. A FUCKING FLAMETHROWER.
Also, “garage guns” are legal. Homemade guns. People are free to build guns out of scrap metal and pipes and tubing and I don’t know, a confederate flag, I guess, without worrying about breaking the law.
But people that want to treat severe seizures ARE breaking the law. Now, unless you can throw flames at your seizures or shoot your epilepsy with a damn pipe gun, I don’t see how those things are acceptable while marijuana is still (on a Federal level) considered to be as bad as heroin.
There are at least two active chemicals in marijuana that have medicinal applications. CBD (Cannabidiol), which can impact the brain without a high, and THC (which is not a 90s pop band, but rather, stands for tetrahydrocannabinol), which can have pain relieving and other beneficial properties.
According to a study WAY back in 2003 (http://www.news.vcu.edu/article/Marijuana_and_its_receptor_protein_in_brain_control_epilepsy) it can help with most epileptic seizures. And speaking of seizures and marijuana, there was a family (the Figi family) that was treating their 5 year old daughter, Charlotte (who suffers from Dravet’ Syndrome – a SEVERE seizure disorder) with a medicinal strain of marijuana high in cannabidiol and low in THC. Charlotte was having up to 300 seizures A WEEK. And using marijuana, they were able to cut that down to usually just one small episode a month (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharda-sekaran/sanjay-gupta-medical-marijuana_b_3733143.html).
Charlotte’s seizures (as you can imagine) were crippling her development and would usually leave her in a catatonic state (300 times A WEEK). Her parents were constantly taking her to the emergency room and they would receive Do Not Resuscitate orders from the doctor. They tried every treatment available, saw numerous specialists (to no avail), and exhausted every avenue. Marijuana is the ONLY thing that helped.
But maybe they should have tried to give her a flamethrower instead.