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"…
There is much more to the issue and how it is addressed than that (Seamon, 2007). These states are: Alaska California Colorado Hawaii Maine Maryland Michigan Montana Nevada New Mexico Oregon Rhode Island Vermont Washington (Seamon, 2007) Criticisms of Decriminalization Gateway Drug The war on drugs has been in the news for some time now, and marijuana has been included in that war. It continues to be listed as important in the speeches of many politicians, and it continues to be at the forefront of a
The Arguments for and against the Legalization of Marijuana • Issue Identification Today, more than half of the states have already legalized marijuana in some form for various purposes and several more are slated to follow suit this year (see Figure 1 below). The reasons for this trend are multiple, but include fundamental changes in social attitudes about marijuana, the recognition that the federal government’s so-called “war on drugs” has been an
With the exception of Washington and Colorado, U.S. laws forbid the possession of even small amounts of marijuana, whereas Netherlands has been entertaining a liberal policy for two decades. In this light, Americans would be expected to have a small rate of marijuana usage, while the Dutch due to their expanded availability of cannabis, should have an increased rate of usage. The empirical evidence to support these conclusions, though,
Legalization of Marijuana in Washington State The legalization of Marijuana would allow for the government to have more regulation over the drug and its users. This of course does not come without rules and blankets like how cigarettes and alcohol come with warnings when purchased. If Marijuana were to be legalized, it can be sold with a list of active ingredients, purity levels and warnings like those of pharmaceutical drugs;
Marijuana Legalization Marijuana, also known as marihuana, is a drug that is taken from Cannabis sativa, a hemp plant. It is one of the most frequently used and popular drugs in the world along with caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. The United States of America is one of the world's leading producers of marijuana where it is generally smoked and is also referred to as weed or reefer by the citizens ("marijuana"). Marijuana
Criminalisation, legalization and the mixed blessing of medicalisation in the U.S.A." Reinarman discusses the issues related to the use of Marihuana. Marijuana or Marihuana has long been used to in America for recreational and medicinal purposes. As Manderson stated, "Debates on the reasons and rationalizations behind drug laws, their cost-effectiveness and their possible moral justification, have for a long time and will continue to rage" (Manderson, 1995, p. 800).