As it stands, marijuana is still an illegal drug at the Federal level. But how long this can remain will have to be seen. In recent years, the stigma associated with marijuana has completely crumbled, and widespread acceptance is becoming the norm not just across the USA, but across most of the Western World. Many countries are now considering marijuana implementation, and next year Canada will become the first large scale industrialized nation to legalize recreational marijuana. As it is still illegal in the USA, though legal in many states, there is a problem with Canadian residents coming to visit the country. Many have been deported for smoking marijuana in their home country, after being questioned at the US border. The situations does not make any sense, and in the coming years there will be a complete deconstruction on the walls that have been built on marijuana prohibition.
Cory Feldman and Marijuana
Corey Feldman is trying to set the record straight about his recent run-in with the law in Louisiana. The star took to Twitter after multiple outlets reported that he was arrested for possession of illegal marijuana.The former child-star, aged 46, was on his way to a gig with his band when their bus was pulled over for speeding. According to The News Star, the officer searched the vehicle after detecting the smell of marijuana. Feldman and the rest of the people traveling with him were arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, driving under a suspension and speeding. Because the charges were not deemedfelonies, he was able to pay the $640 fine rather than posting bond. Feldmanrecently took to Tweeted in a series of all-caps tweets to explain what happened:
“HI #EVERYBODY & HAPPY 22ND! 4 THE RECORD, I WAS NOT ARRESTED OR PUT IN JAIL. I RECEIVED A MISDEMEANOR IN LOUISIANA, DUE 2 A MEMBER OF MY CREW HAVING MEDICAL MARIJUANA, WITH A LEGAL CA PRESCRIPTION, I HAD NOTHING ON ME, BUT WAS CHARGED BECAUSE ITS MY BUS. WE WERE PROMISED THAT THESE CHARGES COULD ALL B DROPPED WITH PROOF OF PROPER SCRIPTS! IT WAS A BIT OF A GOOD OL SHAKEDOWN! AFTER WE PAID THEM IN CASH, THEY ASKED 4 PICS & AUTOGRAPHS, & THEN CALLED THE LOCAL PAPER 2 DO INTERVIEWS! I DO FIND THE TIMING OF ALL THIS IRONIC.”
The reason that the timing is ironic is because Feldman ha recently seen national attention with the Harvey Weinstein scandal. He has spoken out about the disgraced mogul and has claimed for years to have been a victim of pedophiles in Hollywood.
Marijuana in Louisiana
In Louisiana, possession of less than 14 grams of marijuana will result in a fine of $300 and/or up to 15 days in jail. While this is quite mild, the fines and jail times get quite harsh the further up the ladder. Sellers and growers face much larger fines and longer jail sentences. Growers can get anywhere from 5 to 90 years in prison. Marijuana is still illegal in Louisiana(though decriminalized in New Orleans), as can be seen from the arrest of Feldman, but medical marijuana legalization is in the air in the Southern State.
It is still impossible to get medical marijuana anywhere in the State, as medical marijuana bill SB 271 has not yet come into force. The program has been criticised as being very slow to take shape and there does not seem to be any rush on part of the administrators to get medical marijuana in operation. While the state legislature allows for the lawful possession of medical marijuana by a qualified patient, it doesn’t contain provisions addressing the distribution or cultivation of cannabis, leaving qualified patients with no legal means to access it. In other words, the implementation of medical marijuana in Louisiana has been hall marked by huge incompetence thus far. In 2015, a bill failed to pass because it purported to allow physicians to prescribe cannabis. This is not possible as prescription is a Federal process and marijuana is illegal at the Federal level. It is not known whether such an ineptly written bill was created so by design. There is no other state that allows doctors to prescribe marijuana as this would be contrary to Federal law. This failed legislature led to Senate Bill 271 which will hopefully be seen soon. Senate Bill 271 corrected the prescription wording, however there are a number of other amendments that need to be made. It is a good bet that medical marijuana in Louisiana is at least 2 years away. They do not seem to be any great rush while eligible patients have no access to a lifesaving plant.
The Latest Arrest
Corey Felman is the latest in a string of high profile individuals to have been caught with marijuana, though none have faced serious consequences. Two former rock stars, Melissa Etheridge and Todd Rundgren, were recently arrested upon entry to North Dakota from Canada, and were charged with misdemeanors. These events serve to demonstrate what is wrong with marijuana criminalization in certain areas and can be a catalyst for positive change. Eventually the USA might see widespread acceptance of recreational marijuana due to these events. It would solve many pointless arrests and save lots of needed resources.