In recent times many states have legalized CBD for medical use. There are chances that CBD legalization may get a nod from Trump administration. Some of the public statements by president Trump suggest that he is looking forward to a bipartisan proposal. This is only possible with the help of a joint effort by both Republican and Democratic members of the Congress to relax prohibition on CBD derived from marijuana. If the bipartisan proposal for easing restrictions on CBD’s recreational as well as therapeutic use goes through, it’d pave the way for redefining and restructuring the laws governing marijuana cultivation, both for commercial gains and private use.
The federal government of the US prohibits marijuana or cannabis, listing it with heroin, LSD, peyote, methaqualone, and ecstasy as a Schedule 1 drug. This federal prohibition has for long been a bone of contention in nearly 30 states whose CBD laws permit limited use of ‘cannabidiol’ (one of the psychoactive compounds of cannabis). The discrepancy surrounding CBD legalization has led to the development of a dual statutory layer-one at the state level and another at the federal.
If the draft proposal is passed by the Congress, giving it legal enforcement, then the US states would have considerable leeway on dealing with marijuana (within their respective borders), regarding its licit use. However, a few restrictions will still be in force in all the states. For instance, sale of cannabis for recreational purposes will not be permitted to individuals less than 21 years old.
The proposal which was laid in both houses of the Congress on 7th June 2018 has the overwhelming support of Congressmen from both Democratic and Republican parties. Significantly enough, the plan enjoys the support of no less than the US President. However, Trump endorsing the proposal has put him on a warpath with the Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, who is vehemently against legalizing marijuana as well as the ‘Department of Justice’.
But first let us delve into what exactly is CBD, its sources, the aspect of CBD legalization in different states et al.
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is one of the several cannabinoids naturally found in hemp and marijuana plants, both of which are different species of plants belonging to the same ‘cannabis’ genus. The CBD extracted from the hemp plant contains a very miniscule percentage (0.3%) of the main psychoactive compound THC, and is therefore incapable of giving you an intense stone. However, the CBD derived from marijuana plants can give you a psychoactive high as well as can be effectively used for treating several disorders and diseases as the THC concentration exceeds 28% in many indica and sativa varieties.
No wonder, then that the CBD obtained from marijuana plants enjoys a much higher level of demand than the hemp-based CBD throughout the US. So, you’d be tempted to ask-‘is the use of CBD legal’?
The answer to the above question can both be ‘yes’ and ‘no’, depending upon whether you’re talking about the CBD derived from marijuana or from the hemp plant. Sale of CBD or CBD-based products sourced from hemp is licit in all the 50 US states, owing to its minimal or negligible psychoactive effects. Conversely, CBD processed from sativa and indica strains of marijuana plants has a higher psychoactive and psychedelic potential.
Therefore, its sale is banned in many states while some states allow it to be used for recreationally and medicinally, based upon state-specific CBD laws.
A total of 8 US states allow growing of both hemp and marijuana plants for commercial as well as personal use. These states include Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Massachussetts, Maine, Colorado, California, and Alaska. So, as long as you inhabit in any of the aforementioned states, you’re at liberty to use weed in any way you want to without having to worry about transgressing CBD laws. You won’t even a need a prescription from a medical practitioner to purchase cannabis.
Alternatively, a whopping 46 states permit CBD to be exclusively used as medical marijuana, and that includes the aforementioned states. But you’ll have to obtain a prescription before you proceed to buy the stuff online or offline. Nevertheless, these states have distinct CBD laws that differ with each other on the level of THC that the CBD should contain as well as on the specific syndromes that can be treated using CBD.
17 particular states including but not limited to Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Oklahoma have their own particular laws pertaining to THC content in cannabidiol and the diseases the latter can be used to treat. That leaves us with 29 states that allow CBD sourced from hemp and marijuana for medicinal use.
Some of these states include West Virginia, Washington, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Colorado, California, Alaska, Arkansas, and Arizona.
The remaining 4 states where CBD derived from marijuana is considered to be absolutely illegal are Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. However, commercial and private breeders as well as the medical marijuana communities continue to make hay while the sun shines, thanks to the ambiguity enveloping the CBD laws of these states.
The proposal if it becomes a federal bill would define marijuana in a new way, keeping the hemp plant out of the purview of CBD laws. However, the Trump for CBD line is emitting contradictory signals. The president has on one hand pledged his support for the states that have allowed the legal use of marijuana while on the other he has scathingly criticized its legalization.
Now, it remains to be seen what will be the fallout if the proposal becomes a law or if at all it’ll see the light of the day.