Marijuana is illegal under federal law

The article of Aug. 9 about the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries is incorrect in saying that marijuana is now legal. Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by U.S. law and is illegal to posses, grow, sell or transport.

The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution makes federal law overrule state law, so even though Hawaii has legalized marijuana for medical use, it is still illegal under federal law.

The fact that federal law is not enforced is only because the Department of Justice under Obama implemented a do-not-enforce policy unless guns are involved. President Trump has shown a determination to undo everything Obama did and the current attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is very conservative and is opposed to relaxing marijuana laws.

It is indeterminate what they will do.

If federal law is enforced, businesses will be subject to federal criminal-enterprise seizure laws — the whole business can be confiscated, without a trial, for selling a Schedule I controlled substance. Owners and employees can be prosecuted for trafficking.

If TSA finds marijuana products in your luggage, you will be subject to arrest.

It is not a pretty situation. Federal law needs to be changed. Hawaii and other states that have legalized medical marijuana are filling the role that the Federal Drug Administration normally assumes in assuring quality of product, but each state does it differently.

If you move to another state, you will not likely get the same product or quality that you got in Hawaii.

Scott Werden

Haiku

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