Decriminalization of Marijuana Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Decriminalization of Marijuana

The recent war against drugs in United States is causing much debate and discussion. In many cases the apparent result is a defeat for United States. Marijuana is known to be probably the drug that is used in maximum numbers in United States. However the method of prohibition for Marijuana is intrusive, divisive and very expensive. As a result the country is finally left with a drug problem that is worse than any other country that is afflicted by similar problems. (Decriminalization of marijuana in the United States) There is an urgent need to decriminalize Marijuana by the Federal government. This would permit society to transfer resources from the investigation, prosecution, and punishment, of drug offenders and enable the usage of these resources for more productive needs. Further such a course of action would eliminate the overcrowding of the jails, decrease the profits gained by organized crime from illegal drug sales, decrease drug-related crime, permit research and development of medicinal values of marijuana and ultimately end in a standardized product which is less likely to contain undesirable side effects as a result of contaminants. (Policy Debate: Should marijuana be decriminalized?) The federal government ought to decriminalize Marijuana in this way: possession of one ounce or less should be penalized with a maximum of a $200 fine, possession of one ounce or more should be penalized with a minimum $500 fine and/or jail time. Also, the government should place a tax on marijuana sales to medical patients.


The usage of Marijuana is leading to increasing arrests though the usage rates have been stable. According to information received from National Institute on Drug Abuse there are 11 million Americans over the age of 12 who regularly use marijuana at least once a month. (Decriminalization of Marijuana) Comparatively, "there are more than 16,000 deaths among the Americans due to their usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, and this has not led to a call on banning items like Advil in the Congress." (The U.S. war on pot is a huge waste of money) Another very dangerous item is alcohol which is used widely and it is even used by people at least three or four times a week. This is very dangerous and poisonous and can even result in deaths due to only consumption in high quantities. Alcohol can be directly related to 50% of the cases of violent crime, and 67% of the cases of suicides and domestic abuse. It is also known that the use of alcohol is far more than Marijuana. As per the figures from the Department of Justice, the chances of children in America drinking alcohol are four times as much as smoking pot. (The U.S. war on pot is a huge waste of money)

At the same time, this is not an effort to reduce the implications of marijuana usage -- it remains a powerful and mind altering drug. It should not be used by young individuals, schizophrenics, pregnant women and those affected by heart disease. At the same time it is not toxic and has been used for 5,000 years without any known instance of deaths due to over dosage. (The U.S. war on pot is a huge waste of money) The current policy of the federal government regarding marijuana still reflects a crack down through the law enforcement officials against users of the drug who are non-violent. This puts a great and unnecessary burden on the criminal justice system and brings citizens who are otherwise law abiding to face the same system. (Marijuana Decriminalization: What does it mean in the United States?) As per the federal laws, the possession of marijuana anywhere in United States is illegal. "The possible penalties for even the first offense of having marijuana can range from probation to a life sentence without parole." (The U.S. war on pot is a huge waste of money) It is suggested that the legal status of marijuana be changed and Decriminalization of the item will reduce the burden on the criminal justice system while not affecting the demand for the product. (Marijuana Decriminalization: What does it mean in the United States?)

The National Commission on marijuana and Drug Abuse, which is otherwise known as 'Shaffer Commission' provided the first definition of 'decriminalization' in United States in 1972. Decriminalization was defined as the…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Decriminalization Of Marijuana" (2005, June 27) Retrieved December 8, 2016, from

"Decriminalization Of Marijuana" 27 June 2005. Web.8 December. 2016. <>

"Decriminalization Of Marijuana", 27 June 2005, Accessed.8 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Decriminalization of Marijuana

    Decriminalization of Marijuana Ever since marijuana was declared an illegal drug in the U.S.A. By the passing of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937 under dubious circumstances, there has been a realization among various groups of people that it was a mistake. However, almost 70 years on, and despite a watertight case in support of its decriminalization, marijuana -- a drug which is arguably less harmful than tobacco and alcohol --

  • Marijuana the Practical and Economic

    Already, "lawmakers in at least three states are considering joining the 13 states that have legalized pot for medical purposes. Massachusetts voters last fall decided to decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of pot; there are now a dozen states that have taken such steps." (Crary, 1) And as demonstrated by the Appendix B contained below, there is a clear penetration of legalization in every region of the U.S.,

  • Marijuana in the 21st Century

    The state currently spends a great deal of money on detaining people on marijuana related offenses. Legalization could help to free up some of these resources which could then be used on more important programs throughout the state. When examining the economic benefits of marijuana legalization it is important to weigh the social costs related to outlawing access to goods, because such restrictions create black markets. Black markets are associated

  • Marijuana Use in the USA

    Marijuana Studies According to a 2001 survey published in the Economist, America's Illegal-Drugs policy is a dismal re-run of it's attempt to prohibit the sale of alcohol. One of the government's most controversial targets is marijuana. Although marijuana is generally disapproved of for causing lethargy and memory loss and shares tobacco's propensity for causing lung cancer, it is widely and safely used by a significant percentage of America's population. In several

  • Marijuana Legalization

    Marijuana Legalization The reason as to why people believe that Marijuana is illegal is wrong and attempts should be made to legalize it. There are a lot of studies that state that by using drugs lot of medical problems may be caused. But studies have proved that this is not true and not as harmful as junk food, tobacco and alcohol. (Bowman 8a). Also individuals feel that Marijuana is addictive in nature

  • Marijuana Alcohol Prohibition Enforced Through

    Since 1998, medical authorities including the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences have documented marijuana's unique ability to relieve both intractable pain and nausea." We're in the Money The prohibition of marijuana costs American taxpayers a fortune, in the tens of billions per year, much of which is channeled toward the cost of law enforcement and incarceration (Beatty, Holman & Schiraldi). Prominent economists

  • Marijuana Is a Common Name

    Marijuana became accused of being a "gateway" drug that led to the use of harder and more dangerous substances. The Rastafarian movement in Jamaica also re-introduced the role of marijuana as an aid to spiritual growth. Marijuana has been and still is considered to be a spiritual drug in India, which also fueled hippie interest in the drug. The Beatles and other famous rock bands championed its use, and

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved