Feds need to mellow out over marijuana laws | Editorial

Feds need to mellow out over marijuana laws | Editorial

Marijuana plants at a nursery in Oklahoma City. [ SUE OGROCKI | AP ] It’s far past time that federal marijuana laws caught up to reality. Among so many other repercussions, federal foot-dragging also appears to jeopardize the gun rights of medical marijuana users. Do you like to drink a few beers? You can still own a gun. Do you take legally prescribed opioids? Here’s a Glock 19. But obtain a medical marijuana card and your Second Amendment rights get shaky. That’s unfair and just another in a long list of reasons for the federal government to finally correct its puritanical view of marijuana. Florida and 36 other states have legalized medical marijuana, and 15 states now allow adults to use marijuana recreationally, similar to how they treat alcohol. But cannabis remains a federally controlled substance on par with heroin, a head-spinning decision similar to pretending that bicyclists somehow kill as many pedestrians as motorists. The disparity between state and federal laws sows legal confusion, which helps no one other than lawyers. The controlled substance designation also makes it harder for researchers to study the health risks and potential benefits for consumers. And fearing federal pushback, many banks and other financial institutions have shied away from engaging with companies that legally grow and sell marijuana, leaving fewer options to help the industry expand. And then there is the gun rights issue. Earlier this month, Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried filed suit against the federal government, including the Bureau of […]

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