Five Facts You Need to Know About Legal Marijuana

Marijuana
via Bob Doran / CC-BY-2.0

In a real testament to how far the US has come, marijuana use was illegal nine years ago. Fast-forward to the present day, and 17 states have given recreational marijuana the green light, with the rest legalizing its medical use at least. Except for Idaho and Nebraska, that is.

That calls for going out and taking a celebratory drag, right? Wrong! Just because it’s legal does not mean there are no rules. If you want to stay on the right side of the law, here are five facts you need to keep in mind about legal marijuana.

Marijuana for medical use

At least 35 states have legalized medical marijuana, and for a good reason. The FDA has approved some man-made cannabinoids (CBD) to help relieve medical issues such as anxiety, nausea, and seizures.

The caveat is you must get a permit before you’re allowed to access medical marijuana (mmj). For that, you need to learn how to talk to a medical marijuana doctor to acquire a medical marijuana card. Once the doctor has approved you for mmj, you are eligible to get your mmj card to start purchasing medical marijuana.

CBD contains little to no THC, which is the chemical that causes marijuana high. You should expect a more relaxed experience when using CBD, which is perfect for medical purposes.

Most Americans use it for pain relief, although it’s not powerful enough for severe pain such as post-surgery. It also comes in handy for managing eating disorders.

Can I be fired for using marijuana?

Sure, a company cannot refuse to hire you based on cannabis usage or because you use it during your free time. However, your boss has the right to discipline or even fire you if you show up at work intoxicated.

Cannabis laws offer scant protection for cannabis users. Recent trends show that courts side with employers who fire employees for using marijuana off-duty even when that state has legalized marijuana. Unless your state expressly bars employers from doing so, you should tread carefully.

Depending on your state, the law may allow pre-employment drug screening and workplace testing.

Recreational marijuana use

This type of usage has taken off, with marijuana sales witnessing record sales throughout the holiday season 2020. However, that doesn’t mean you can go out smoking in public, even in the states where it is legal.

You can possess at least an ounce of recreational marijuana in the states that have legalized it. That said, recreational marijuana is more expensive than medical marijuana as the government has set higher taxes for it. Growers, processors, retailers, and the final users pay tax on the same product.

Where can you get legal marijuana?

Anyone above 21 years can buy recreational marijuana in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.

As for medical marijuana, once you acquire the mmj card, you can match into any marijuana store and buy your prescription.

Most of the states where marijuana is legal allow growing at least five plants for personal recreational use. The same rules apply to mmj growing. However, some states allow mmj users to grow more plants, but others don’t allow mmj growing altogether.

Can I take it with me everywhere?

Under federal law, marijuana is still illegal, so you cannot take it everywhere.

Even if two neighboring states have legalized marijuana, you can’t take it across state lines as that would be breaking federal laws. That rule extends to mmj as well. Additionally, you cannot mail it or bring it with you on a plane. Each state has its own rules on moving and handling marijuana, have a quick look at the laws before deciding to move around with marijuana.