As many know, state and federal policies don’t seem to match up when it comes to cannabis. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. This fire ignited and medical marijuana laws began to pass in states like Washington and Colorado, now those flames reach as far as Arkansas and Mississippi. Mississippi approved Initiative 65 in 2020 with 67.9% of votes. State policies are set up to have a doctor recommend, not prescribe, cannabis and the state will then issue a MMJ identification card. You then take this card to a dispensary where you can purchase an allotted amount. Federal policy is DEA scheduling, the DEA has cannabis on the schedule 1 drug list. This scheduling puts cannabis on the same list as heroin and meth.
This means that the DEA sees cannabis as having no medicinal use and a high potential for abuse. The DEA’s stance on scheduling means that doctors can not prescribe cannabinoids. This muddy climate makes it difficult for Veterinarians to discuss the use of cannabinoids for their patients, as well as limiting the amount of research that can be performed and published. California took the driver's seat again when they became the first state to recognize the use of cannabis in veterinary medicine, and provide protection to Veterinarians that discussed its uses.