Marihuana Should Be Legalized In The United States Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Sports - Drugs Type: Essay Paper: #2113027 Related Topics: Overpopulation, Marijuana Legalization, Medical Marijuana, Marijuana
Excerpt from Essay :


Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is the most widely used illegal drug worldwide (Caulkins et al.). However, the legal status of marijuana is slowly changing. Uruguay recently became the first nation in the world to fully decriminalize and federally regulate marijuana. Several other countries in Western Europe have liberal laws related to marijuana that amount to practical decriminalization. The United States, which until fairly recently remained stuck to its "war on drugs" policy, has finally begun to understand that not only is marijuana safe, but it is also a valuable medical resource. Thus, several states in the union have started to allow for the prescription of cannabis for medical use. Given the fact that decriminalization also presents several net benefits to society including reducing prison overpopulation and reducing the stranglehold organized crime holds over some communities, a few states have begun to decriminalize the drug entirely. Colorado and Washington State became the first to decriminalize marijuana, and Alaska and Washington, D.C. followed soon thereafter. According to Becker, there are seven more states poised to legalize marijuana within their borders as well, including Massachusetts, California, Missouri, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, and Arizona. The reasons why marijuana should be legalized at the federal level are obvious, including the need for standardized and consistent public policy; the need for intelligent approaches to drug use rather than diverting users to the...


The complex political landscape of the United States ensures that states have some rights vs. The rights of the federal government, which is why Colorado and Washington can decriminalize pot while the drug remains illegal nationwide. The problem with state-by-state initiatives is inconsistency, and a lack of coordination. Federal drug agents still have the power to intervene in state law, in spite of the sovereignty of each state, leading to costly conflicts and jurisdictional disputes in the criminal justice system. The legal status of Washington State residents using pot, for example, is nebulous. Far more sensible would be a federal drug policy that decriminalizes marijuana. Decriminalization is, as Caulkins et al. put it, an "exercise in policy design," because the substance will remain controlled just as alcohol is, but legal all the same. A federal policy would also allow for more efficient monitoring of marijuana distribution networks, quality control, information dissemination, and even rehabilitation efforts.

Marijuana should be legalized also because the drug is safe, and legalization would ensure that drug dependent individuals would get help instead of a criminal record. There is "no known fatal dose"…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Becker, Sam. "7 States Ready to Legalize Marijuana." Politics Cheat Sheet. 28 Mar, 2015. Retrieved online:

Caulkins, Jonathan P., et al. Marijuana Legalization. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Drug Policy Alliance. "Marijuana legalization and regulation." Retrieved online:

Khatapoush, Shereen and Halifors, Denise. "Sending the Wrong Message.'" Journal of Drug Issues. Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 751-770.

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