Over the past two decades, many states have liberalized their policies toward medical marijuana. As of 2015, 23 states plus Washington, D.C. had legalized access to marijuana to treat various health ailments, while 16 others permit cannabidiol oil only for the treatment of epilepsy and other seizure disorders. Here is the current layout of where Americans can access medical marijuana and its compounds:
However, the map above doesn’t tell the entire story. While states are rapidly changing their policy, the federal government continues to list marijuana as illegal and one of the most dangerous drugs under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
In the new Brookings Essay,
The Medical Marijuana Mess
, John Hudak shines a light on these contradictory state and federal policies, which create risky and unnecessary obstacles for millions of patients and small business owners. The essay highlights the Collins family from Virginia, who were faced with the choice between moving their thirteen-year-old daughter across the country or violating the law. Read their story, and the ways the U.S. can work toward a more sensible marijuana policy, in the essay here.
The Duque government’s drug policy in Colombia is taking on a progressively ominous and counterproductive direction. It threatens to undermine the incomplete and struggling peace process, misdirect law enforcement resources, augment the alienation of coca farmers from the state and undermine human rights and drug users’ access to health services in Colombia. With their emphasis on criminalization of even drug possession for personal use and forced eradication, the announced policies clearly cater to the Trump administration’s doctrinaire and discredited drug policy preferences that harken back to the 1980s. But without sustainable livelihoods already in place, forced eradication will not sustainably reduce coca cultivation and cocaine production. The dominance of zero-coca thinking in Colombia whereby a community has to eradicate all coca first before it starts receiving even meager assistance from the state never produced positive results in Colombia.