Legalization of Marijuana Within the Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

For example, in the state of Montana, initiative organizers and supporters "face much opposition from local law enforcement and youth substance abuse prevention groups" that claim legalizing marijuana will lead to a great increase in the number of users. However, as the organizers of the low police priority initiative point out, the evidence to support this assertion does not exist; in fact, "We know that liberalizing drug laws in other places has not led to an increase in drug use. This assertion has also been equated with the "Reefer Madness mentality," a reference to the film "Reefer Madness" of the 1930's which depicted marijuana smokers as deranged criminals ("Lowest Law Enforcement Priority," 2006, Internet).

According to statistics provided by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, voters in the city of Oakland, just north of San Francisco, "overwhelmingly approved the nation's first-ever business tax on retail marijuana sales," imposing $18 for every $1,000 of gross receipts beginning January 1, 2010. As to Oakland's legal medicinal marijuana dispensaries, the figure stands at $60 for every $50,000 of gross receipts, plus an extra $1.20 for amounts over $100,000 ("California: Oakland Voters," 2009, Internet).

Thus, NORML predicts that the current prohibition against marijuana is doomed because "eventually, the possession and sale of (marijuana) will be decriminalized" ("Ban with the Bull," 2009, Internet), most probably through some type of national referendum wherein American

voters will determine whether or not to decriminalize/legalize marijuana, therefore overturning draconian laws and allowing law enforcement officials to focus on more serious and violent crimes, not to mention saving billions of dollars currently allocated for fighting the losing battle against marijuana use and possession.

In addition, many state and city-based governments across the United States are slowing coming to realize that the legalization of marijuana has added benefits related to economics and social welfare. For instance, the city council of Oakland, California, and the California Nurses Association openly advocated in 2008 for legitimized cannabis-based businesses, where a legal adult could purchase a specified amount of marijuana without having to rely upon black market sources or so-called "drug dealers." Also, due to the on-going economic downturn in the U.S. with many municipalities "strapped for tax revenues" and forced to cut back on important public services, many states and cities are now considering to either substantially relax current marijuana prohibition laws or outright legalize the purchase and use of marijuana by legal adults ("California: Oakland Voters," 2009, Internet).

In conclusion, the question as to whether or not to legalize marijuana in the United States should be left up to the American people via a national referendum, rather than to law enforcement officials, the DEA and the FDA, due to the fact that these entities are simply doing their jobs in accordance with federal laws that now prohibit the use and sale of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes. Ironically, the only legal source of medicinal marijuana is the federal government which in essence makes it an illegal partner in a dispute that surely is not going to end anytime in the near future.

REFERENCES

"Ban with the Bull, Chill with the Bear: The Coming Collapse of Marijuana

Prohibition." (2009). NORML. Internet. Accessed July 22, 2009 from http://norml.org.

"California: Oakland Voters Approve Nation's First Marijuana Business Tax." (2009).

NORML. Internet. Accessed July 22, 2009 from http://norml.org.

"Lowest Law Enforcement Priority Marijuana Initiatives Face the Voters in Five Cities." (2006).

Stop…

Sources Used in Document:

REFERENCES

"Ban with the Bull, Chill with the Bear: The Coming Collapse of Marijuana

Prohibition." (2009). NORML. Internet. Accessed July 22, 2009 from http://norml.org.

"California: Oakland Voters Approve Nation's First Marijuana Business Tax." (2009).

NORML. Internet. Accessed July 22, 2009 from http://norml.org.

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