US Moves Ahead

By Cori Petersen

This week Alaska and Washington D.C. added their names to the list of jurisdictions in the United States wherein residents can legally possess and consume Cannabis. To show their ability to be contemporary, the television show “Person of Interest” aired an episode titled “Blunt” which included a map of the states reflecting their legal or medical Cannabis status.

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The popular television show highlighted one of the many challenges facing the newly minted Cannabis industry. New York became the 23rd state to legalize the medicinal use of Cannabis in 2014. The restricted number of producers and dispensaries as well as provisions for smoking leaves a bit to be desired. The main struggle in the fictional story was that daily cash amounts and the ability to deposit them created a liability and even dark influences to launder the money.

Each state that legalizes faces it’s own unique challenges. In the District of Columbia for instance a cacophony of red tape and contention has swirled around the issue of legalized Cannabis. Like the dissection of the term “hanging chad” haunts those in Florida, the term “enact” will haunt D.C.. Congress insisted that no money be spent on enacting the pot bill, even instructing city officials that if any discussion of the legislation took place during business hours that they could face jail time.

Regardless of Congressional restriction, at 12:01 am Friday morning Cannabis is now legal to cultivate, consume and even gift up to an ounce to a fellow resident, (half of one’s personal allowance of Cannabis) in the District of Columbia. In the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress, the Constitution affords a federal district making it not party to any state in the union.

Implications of a federal district legalizing Cannabis in the U.S. is astounding.

Beating them to the punch a few days earlier, Alaska became the third state to legalize the use of Cannabis to all residents. Restrictions in Alaska run closer to Colorado’s standard, allowing up to an ounce in your possession and up to four ounces cultivation in the home. Consuming in public as well as driving will not be tolerated.

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