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In 1996, California made history as voters passed the Compassionate Use Act, exempting medical marijuana patients and caregivers from criminal prosecution. In the years following, a total of 29 states and the District of Columbia, passed favorable medical marijuana legislation. More and more states are allowing recreational use, and public opinion is rapidly changing.  Unfortunately, at the federal level, cannabis remains classified as a Schedule 1 drug. The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) was established in 1970 to classify narcotic and psychotropic drugs. Until the side effects and potential of marijuana could be properly studied, it was temporarily given the most restrictive classification, created for those drugs with severe potential for abuse and no apparent medical benefits. Despite the abundance of researching supporting cannabis as a safe and effective medicine, the federal government refuses to make a change.  Never in recorded history has there been a single overdose-related death caused by cannabis. Prescription opiates and cocaine are widely abused. They kill more than 25,000 people in this country each year, and yet are listed under the less restrictive Schedule 2 classification. Fortunately, there has been some progress. The Cole Memo, created by Deputy Attorney General James M Cole in August of 2013 calls for an end to federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).  As long as state and local laws are being observed, there is no need for federal interference.  In May of 2014, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to prevent the Department of Justice from applying federal funds to prosecute medical marijuana patients or providers who respect their state’s laws.  We now hoping Congress will takes the necessary and long-awaited steps to end the federal prohibition of cannabis.

recreational marijuana