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What's the status of federal marijuana decriminalization?

After years of different states legalizing same-sex marriage, the federal government finally legalized same-sex marriage for all across the entire United States. Could the same thing happen for marijuana? Not exactly, but many more states would likely come on board if the federal government decided to legalize the substance.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer recently introduced a new piece of law that -- if passed -- would decriminalize marijuana under federal law and remove the drug from the federal government's controlled substances list. The proposed law is dubbed the "Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act."

According to Schumer, "The time to decriminalize marijuana is now." the senator described the legislation as "the right thing to do." He said that he hopes the legislation offers an approach that is sufficiently balanced to gain bipartisan support, not only in Congress, but also throughout the nation.

Currently, federal drug schedules categorized as a Schedule 1 narcotic -- a category for drugs that don't have any accepted medical use and hold a high likelihood for abuse. However, after new medical marijuana laws passed in numerous states, patients can legally buy the drug for medical purposes in approximately have of the United States. This begs the question: Aren't federal drug laws pertaining to marijuana grossly out of date?

In the meantime, anyone who uses or possesses marijuana could find themselves in serious trouble with the federal government. If you have been accused of marijuana possession crimes, you may want to consider the facts surrounding your case -- and the potential punishments -- to identify the most appropriate criminal defense strategies you should employ.

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