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LIVING: Common issues medical marijuana still encounters despite legalization

William Levy
CEO, PotValet (California)

After a long struggle in the United States, advocates for reforms on the use of medical marijuana have attained significant developments in the recent past. Legalization of marijuana has been realized in a number of states and the trend is on the increase. The United States’ legal system is gradually dealing with decriminalization of weed in more than half of the states in America following the formulation of laws governing medical marijuana.

Even after attaining such a great development on legalization, the issue of marijuana use is an area that is slowly developing. There still are some issues tied to legalization that are not yet addressed fully. Professionals dealing with medical cannabis are better placed in finding these solutions that have kept this drug in a number of controversial debates.

Top issues involving the use of medical marijuana
There are quite a number of challenges facing medical weed today and here are some of the main ones. They range from meeting the needs of the users and controlling the use and distribution of marijuana.

1. Distribution concerns
Who is liable for the distribution of medical weed? The debate has been between commercial business outlets and entities operated by the state. As of now, the commercial entities are highly favored.

2. Licensing for operations
For any business to run smoothly, there are basic requirements needed. However, requirements for a medical marijuana dispensary are still a big subject of debate. Guidelines on whether to manufacture consumables with medical pot are still in progress.

3. Bankruptcy protection by the federal government
Looking at the state of things, medical marijuana is not fully acceptable across the United States. Therefore, medical marijuana outlets cannot claim any bankruptcy protection by the federal government. This is based on the fact that, no federal law supports it.

4. Marijuana versus the use of guns
There is a conflict between state laws and federal laws on the use of guns. Based on the Federal Firearms Transaction Record Form 4473, the issue of “illegal” weed and the use of drugs are very vital. Courts have been seen to uphold requirements for permits on gun use.

5. Banking for medical marijuana outlets by federal banks.
Anything touching on the federal government seems to put a break on any dealings with medical cannabis. Apparently, federal banks are reluctant to take in any medical pot sales proceeds. The fear lies in matters to do with prosecution and the need for a definitive legislation that guarantees a safe harbor. To address this situation, there may be a need to start financial institutions at the state level in order to offer financial help to the medical cannabis industry.

6. Challenges on prescription
As the medical malpractice law firm Chicago stipulates, since legalization, medical marijuana prescription has still remained a grey area amongst medical professionals. The question of the standards to be used still remains unanswered because what amounts to a malpractice liable for punishment by the law is not yet fully defined.

7. Medical pot within reach of children
It will be important to state what happens should there be a reckless storage that would make children access medical marijuana. Who should be punished, how and for what? Apparently, courts seem to use the child endangerment standard in protecting children from the reckless use and storage of marijuana. So, there needs to be clear laws that narrow down to cannabis medical products. For the courts, minor children should be taken away from homes where medical marijuana is in use.

This is a non-exhaustive list of some of the challenges affecting the swift and effective use of medical marijuana despite its continued legalization trend. However, some of the issues are being addressed and it is believed that with federal decriminalization anticipated in the near future, all will be well in the industry.

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