Medical Marijuana Policies Complicated by Push for Recreational Use

In the past few years, medical marijuana use has gained momentum with widespread approval by voters, legislators, and lobbyists. For many of those who are passionate about medical usage, recreational use can be a distraction, potentially threatening medical marijuana legalization. The move towards legalization is facing resistance from medical marijuana users and caregivers who are concerned that the recreational use will significantly reduce income for those who have distributed marijuana for medical purposes. Widespread legalization could also create a host of issues related to driving under the influence, underage consumption and other problems that could compete with the greater good of medical marijuana.

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According to recent reports, medical marijuana users and distributors have already faced significant regulatory hurdles. Advocates of current medical marijuana policies do not want to see the regulatory system compromised by an overhaul for recreational use. For states such as California, Maine, Nevada, Alaska, and Oregon with longtime medical marijuana usage laws, the shift towards legalization will require the dismantling of the current medical use market and policies. Our Orange County medical marijuana law attorneys are dedicated to advocating for businesses and individuals in California regarding regulatory and criminal matters. We can provide strategic advocacy and help prevent liability in cases involving marijuana law.

Many advocates of medical marijuana usage see legalization as a threat to the current system. Legalization for recreational use could have a negative impact on the current marijuana programs and ultimately threaten their vitality in the long-run. In addition, the many caregivers who operate from dispensaries have successfully shifted from the black market towards a legal medical marijuana market. Growers and dispensary owners under the current policies are able to successfully make a profit in accordance with state medical marijuana policies.

Recreational marijuana that is eventually taxed and regulated statewide, could increase the costs for medical marijuana patients. After legalization and a tax hike, many medical users will be forced to pay the same amount as recreational users. In Colorado, medical marijuana is still taxed at a lower rate, a trend that would likely continue in other states that decide to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Some analysts project prices to go down overall to meet the demand of the market.

Whether pot is legalized for recreational use or not, there will continue to be a demand for medical use. Advocates for legalization also say that the shift would benefit medicinal users because they would not have to pay for the doctor’s authorization and many could have access for conditions that are not currently covered under the law. There is general agreement that in the shift from medical use towards total legalization, medical users should be taxed at a lower rate. The state of California is still shifting when it comes to marijuana policy. While many advocates are looking towards an overhaul of the medical marijuana policies, others are looking towards 2016, when legalization will likely be on the ballot.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

More Blog Entries:
D.C. Decriminalizes Marijuana, Federal Land Raises Legal Complications, July 16, 2014 Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
United States Marijuana Laws Influencing Other Countries, February 14, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog