A Look Back at the Legalization of Medical Marijuana in the United States
In ancient China, people reportedly consumed cannabis (popularly known as marijuana) to achieve “a feeling of great happiness and well-being”. The United States was not so welcoming of the use of this substance, however. In fact, President Franklin Roosevelt made the ban official on August 2, 1937 when he signed into law federal legislation that prohibited the use, production, and sales of marijuana.
Things changed in 1988 when Francis Young of the Drug Enforcement Administration granted a request from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws to permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes, such as pain relief. Ten years later, the states of Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona allowed the use of medical marijuana. After that, 15 more states followed suit, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
While medical marijuana is legal in the aforementioned states, patients still need to acquire a prescription from a qualified medical practitioner before they can access this substance. Patients need to buy from a dispensary that demonstrates full compliance with all laws pertaining to medical cannabis. In addition, only personnel who are trained to provide information and advice are authorized to dispense medical marijuana.