Feds Catch Up With State Weed Laws  Research Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Sports - Drugs Type: Research Paper Paper: #33072092 Related Topics: Medical Marijuana, Sports Law, Patient Protection, Marijuana Legalization
Excerpt from Research Paper :

¶ … law was the States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act. This was a part of the 113th Congress which ran from 2013 to 2014. The law itself will be analyzed. The stakeholders of the law will be looked at based on the points-of-view that they possess. The factors contributing to the creation of the law will be looked at. The types of data that the author of this report gathered to analyze the healthcare and the gaps in the data will be assessed. The cost, quality, access of healthcare on diverse populations and ethical principles will be assessed as it relates to the law. A total of four the following, those being Saint Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, Aristotle, Thomas Buber, Lawrence Kohlberg and Viktor Frankl, will be selected and this law will be assessed from their perspectives. The analysis will end up with a personal viewpoint on the law and whether the author of this report would have voted for it.

Analysis

An analysis of the law is seen on the Congress website, namely the webpage for the bill in question. The law deigns to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services, within six months of the passage of the law, to submit to the Drug Enforcement Agency a recommendation as to whether marijuana should be listed as a Schedule I or Schedule II substance as it relates to the Controlled Substances Act. It would also require the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency to, within one year of the act, to issue such a notice as to the answer for the Department of Health and Human Services director to the prior-asked Controlled Substances Act question (Congress, 2013).

The law goes onto say that there will be a provision that says that there will be no provision in the Controlled Substances Act or the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, at least in a state where medical marijuana is legal, prohibit or restrict the prescription or recommendation of marijuana as a subscribed substance. Lastly, there is a requirement for the attorney general to delegate responsibility for control over access to marijuana for research into its potential therapeutic and medicine-based uses to an entity of the executive branch that is not focused on researching the addictive properties that may or may not exist with marijuana (Congress, 2013).

There are a number of factors that are causing this law and laws like it to be pushed and advocated:

Marijuana being treated on par with heroin, cocaine and crack when it comes to seizure of property

Marijuana being treated on par with heroin, crack and cocaine when it comes to breaking in via police raids in the middle of the night and possible hurting people inside

Federal law still says that marijuana is illegal and cannot legally be sold, grown, manufactured and processed. This runs afoul of many states that say the opposite. Normally, the Supremacy Clause in the United States Constitution would be invoked and the states would lose. However, that is happening sometimes and not happening other times

Laws like this could become more apparent in light of the fact that even recreational use of marijuana is legal and regulated as a business in Washington State and Colorado.

For what it is worth, websites like Pop Vox tracked approval and the possibilities of this law until the end of the Congressional year and there was a strong majority of support for the law with nearly nine in ten (89%) supporting the law (Pop Vox, 2013).

Stakeholders

Actual or potential stakeholders around the country, in medical weed states or not, are pretty mixed. They are as follow and their general feelings are included

Police: It would seem that many agree that crime will probably not go up if/when such a law is passed. Indeed, there should not be much change at all as it relates to the enforcement of the...

...

It would make their lives easier if there was a single over-arching standard rather than the feds technically banning it and the states each making their own rules, albeit quite similar when comparing them side by side.

The Public: The public seems fairly evenly divided at times at recreational marijuana use but they are generally on board with the use of medical marijuana as a means to treat diseases and ease pain for people like cancer patients (Porche, 2013).

Types of Data Gathered & Gaps

The data gathered was reputable data on the internet. The details about the law came straight from the Congressional website so there is no gap there. It was not assessed whether the bill came up for a vote or whether it passed because the author of this report knows that this did not happen. Gaps include what the true opinion of the American people would be. A ballot box vote would be good thing but a full-on scientific poll would be even better. Even so, this law basically pushes medical marijuana responsibility to the states in that the federal government would clearly get out of the way of the states that wish to do medical marijuana. Those states that do not wish to do so are not really affected all that much by this law except for perhaps the sort of trouble that people would get in for having weed. If the law only applies to states where the medical marijuana is legal, then it would be a non-change for them (Congress, 2015).

Needs Addressed

Really, the law would seem to address something that laws in states have decriminalized and allowed to happen as they probably would anyway. It does not force non-medical marijuana states to do anything in particular. It just bridges a gap for those that are already there. That being said, getting marijuana covered under insurance and making it affordable to the common man or woman that would benefit from or that would need marijuana might be easier said than done. The author of this report personally looked up what "legal" weed sells for in Colorado and the answer is actually two to three times what it would normally sell for on the street. Also easy to point out is how much "medical marijuana" were rubber stamp prescriptions in Colorado before the smoking of recreational weed became legal there (Ferner, 2014). However, that is a topic for a different paper. The point is that the poor, disadvantaged and so forth are probably going to get horned out of getting marijuana even if it would definitely and greatly help them. (Ferner, 2014).

St. Thomas Aquinas, given his strong Catholic and Christian background, would almost certainly say "no" to medical marijuana or any laws that support or condone it. This is due to the ostensible dim view that the Catholic Church has taken on drugs, especially in the actual days that Aquinas lived. The one reason he might say otherwise is the mercy and pain-related factors involved. Indeed, drugs are widespread nowadays in legal and illegal forms and that is all marijuana is, a plant at that. Then again, the same could be said of heroin to a lesser degree (poppies) and cocaine (coca) (UGA, 2013). John Rawls would also probably take a hard line because of the crime it might cause when people try to "feed their habit" and otherwise do illegal or unethical things while high (e.g. driving) and so forth. Kant would surely be on board under the "greater good" and utilitarian viewpoint. Finally, Aristotle would probably be open to it if he knew the full effects and benefits for the ones that would need it. He was very science- and society-minded…not to mention he had a focus on virtue over all (Austin, 2013).

As for personal ruminations on the law, there is one thing that has to be done and that is the fact that marijuana should be legalized, regulated and given the stamp of approval…for medical use. There is a strong possibility that recreational use could lead to more carelessness with children and cars and that should be paid attention to before legalizing for regular use. However, the benefits of medicinal marijuana are not really in debate…it is just an issue of limits, regulations and who should have access. The fact that the federal government and all weed-legal states (of any form) are off-kilter like they are needs to be fixed because its puts many people in very uncomfortable situations from a legal, ethical and other standpoints.

Even throwing aside the recreational use caveats, the fact that nurses, doctors, ethicists and so forth have qualms about prescribing marijuana probably centers a lot on the law more than anything.…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Austin, M. (2015). Marijuana and Virtue. Psychology Today. Retrieved 9 May 2015, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ethics-everyone/201304/marijuana-and-virtue

Congress. (2015). H.R.689-113th Congress (2013-2014): States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress. Congress.gov. Retrieved 9 May 2015, from https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/689

Ferner, M. (2015). Here's How Much It Costs To Buy Weed In Colorado Now. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 May 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/02/marijuana-prices-colorado_n_4532463.html

Pop Vox. (2015). HR 689 THE STATES' MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENT PROTECTION ACT. Pop Vox. Retrieved 9 May 2015, from https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/hr689
UGA. (2013). Ecoview | WHAT IS THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF COCAINE AND MARIJUANA?. Retrieved 9 May 2015, from http://srel.uga.edu/outreach/ecoviews/ecoview131208.htm


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