Marijuana Legalization: Is America losing the drug war? Essay Sample

9 September 2017

America is losing the war on drugs. The clip has come for a serious alteration in marijuana-related policy. Marijuana is the most normally used illicit drug. and is besides the least harmful. It is arguably less harmful than intoxicant or coffin nails. The federal legalisation of marihuana can be achieved by patterning policies that already exist in several provinces in this state. viz. California. The federal authorities bases to salvage one million millions in jurisprudence enforcement outgo. and besides to derive even more money in revenue enhancement gross. The statistics of marihuana usage are reeling. The authorities is sitting on a solution to the budget crisis that could alter the black mentality of the state about nightlong. It is clip for a alteration.

It is estimated that one in three people has. at some point. tried marihuana. It is further estimated that one in 10 people actively use marihuanas on an occasional footing. But. astoundingly. one in 20 American people are estimated to be heavy marihuana users. It is unbelievable to cognize that 33 per centum of the people in this state have engaged in marijuana-related behaviour. sing it is illegal. One in eight people incarcerated in U. S. A. are in prison for marijuana-related offenses. and this figure entirely costs American people over $ 1. 000. 000. 000 yearly in taxpayer money. In a recent issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. Tim Dickinson reported that “the White House leaked word that President Obama considers the four-decade-long crackdown [ on marihuana ] to be a failure” ( Dickinson. 2012 ) . The American authorities is contending a losing conflict against marihuana usage. and it is widely believed that we. as a people. have reached a point in our history in which it is clip to earnestly re-evaluate the legal stance on marihuana. and potentially legalize it wholly.

Marijuana Legalization: Is America losing the drug war? Essay Sample Essay Example

One should foremost hold a brief apprehension of the interior workings of the marihuana works and why it has the influence that it does on the human head. Marijuana is typically derived from the female works hemp sativa. The works contains many types of cannabinoids. but the most noteworthy psychotropic stimulation is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. besides known as THC. THC is a mild signifier of acid. and it is what produces the “high” feeling of utilizing the drug. The content of THC is highest at the blooming bud of the works. where it can run from 0. 5 % -5 % . It has many methods for consumption. The primary signifier is by smoking the works. which can be achieved through several agencies. the most noteworthy of these agencies being by smoking a “joint. ” in which marihuana is rolled up into paper and is typically rolled to the size of a coffin nail. It can besides be smoked in any of several glass implements. such as “bowls” or “bongs. ”

Less often. it is baked into bars or cookies. Rarely. it can besides be drunk in a liquid suspension. Furthermore. it has a long history of usage in this state ( Room. 2010 ) . United States federal jurisprudence presently schedules marihuanas as a non-medical banned substance. This was non ever the instance. In fact. prior to the 1930’s. marihuana was a wholly legal substance. It was used recreationally. medicinally. industrially. and sacredly. George Washington even grew several assortments of the works. including a few strains that were cultivated chiefly for smoking. However. the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 worked to alter this by going the first act on behalf of the U. S. authorities to criminalize the merchandise. About three decennaries subsequently. the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 repealed the Marijuana Tax Act and scheduled classs for all types of recreationally used drugs. which involves the hazard for maltreatment and the chance for medicative usage. Marijuana became a substance scheduled for non-medical usage. and was banned as an illegal substance. even though marihuana does hold limited proven medical usage ( Saieva. 2008 ) .

What is interesting is that two old ages subsequently. President Richard Nixon commissioned a panel of public policy experts. members of the justness section. and medical professionals to analyze the societal deductions of prohibition. It was determined that the social injury of criminalisation and imprisonment outweighed the physical hazards from smoking marihuana. However. the policies remained the same. and marijuana continued to be an illegal substance. For old ages into modern times. the province authoritiess took attentiveness of Nixon’s study and attempted to legalize it locally. sometimes making so outright and moving in complete rebelliousness of the federal jurisprudence. In the early 1980’s. nevertheless. President Ronald Reagan took a difficult stance against drug usage. He is known for making the “war on drugs” and passed stricter compulsory sentencing guidelines for drug discourtesies. known as the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 Saieva. 2008 ) . Billions of dollars have been wasted to maintain it an illegal substance and fight the war on drugs. Right now. it is estimated that approximately 45. 000 people are in province and federal prisons for marijuana-related offenses. Taxpayers foot the measure for their “accommodations. ”

In add-on to this. even more taxpayer money contributes in assorted countries of defence against marihuana. from the mundane constabulary officer to the boundary line patrol officers who attempt to forestall the trafficking of marihuana into our state. Many believe that in modern times. about $ 9. 000. 000. 000 is spent on marihuana prohibition as a whole. There is no known released existent figure on this. This. nevertheless. is non a parlous state of affairs for marihuana users in the United States of America. Peter H. Reuter late presented a paper on marijuana legalisation in other states. which outlined several positive alterations that have been made in other states. most notably The Netherlands. where marihuana is about wholly legal for recreational usage. The limitations are reasonably tight. but the Dutch are perfectly at the head of legalisation. In our ain state nevertheless. several provinces have made springs and bounds toward the complete decriminalisation of marihuana ( Reuter. 2010 ) . The biggest stairss have been made by California.

California has had medical marihuanas Torahs on the books since 1996. when the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 was signed into jurisprudence. Michelle Patton. in 2010. wrote a legal article sketching several plans that California attempted to subscribe into jurisprudence during the election of that twelvemonth ( Patton. 2010 ) . The first of these was The Tax. Regulate. and Control Cannabis Act of 2010 ( TRCCA ) . proposed by three Northern California condemnable defence lawyers. was the first legalisation enterprise certified for signature aggregation for 2010 ballot. This step would revoke all bing condemnable Torahs associating to cannabis activities except California Vehicle Code § 23152. driving piece impaired. and California Penal Code § 272. lending to the delinquency of a minor. It would allow the ownership. usage. cultivation. transit and sale of marihuana and marihuana merchandises for those over the age of 21. It would forbid supplying marihuanas to persons less than 21 old ages of age except for medical usage. and it would besides forbid smoking near schools. on a school coach. or by the operator of a motorised vehicle. vas. or aircraft. It besides prohibits the sale of marihuana to locations outside of California where such gross revenues are prohibited by federal or international jurisprudence.

The enterprise provides general guidelines for these prohibitions. but leaves most punishments for the legislative assembly to find ( Patton. 2010 ) . The TRCCA does non supply all of the inside informations of its execution. Alternatively. it requires the authorities “to adopt sensible Torahs to allow. licence. control and issue revenue enhancements for the commercial cultivation and sale of hemp. ” including everything from non-smoking regulations to environmental ordinances to concern licenses to labeling demands. This amounts to a great trade of complex and potentially extremely controversial ordinances that must be created and approved by the legislative assembly. province bureaus. and local authoritiess. These ordinances must be completed within one twelvemonth. It is besides retroactive. intending anyone presently prosecuted/sentenced for marihuana would be released and expunged ( Patton. 2010 ) . The Regulate. Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2009 ( RCTCA ) was inspired by Oakland’s revenue enhancement on medical marihuana dispensaries and sponsored by Richard Lee. Executive Director of Oaksterdam University. and Jeffrey Way Jones. former Director of Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative.

It besides has the backup of a outstanding province politician. former province Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata ( Patton. 2010 ) . The end of this enterprise is to make a legal regulative model for regulating marihuana. similar to the ordinance of intoxicant. but stricter. The theory behind the enterprise is that giving California control over marijuana-related activities will. among other things. guarantee entree and quality for those patients that need it. prevent entree by bush leagues. extinguish the unsafe black market for marihuana. let local authoritiess to forbid the sale within metropolis bounds. and generate one million millions of dollars to fund province and local authoritiess ( Patton. 2010 ) . Unlike the other marihuana steps. the RCTCA does non incorporate a cover abrogation of all marijuana commissariats. Alternatively. its intended consequence is to restrict the application and enforcement of current marihuana Torahs. It authorizes any individual twenty-one old ages old and older to personally possess. portion. or transport up to one ounce of marihuana that is non for sale. Adults may devour marijuana both in private premises and accredited premises open to the populace. However. the inaugural prohibits the ingestion while runing a motor vehicle. Smoking marihuana while bush leagues are present is besides prohibited.

The RCTCA permits cultivation on private belongings for personal usage. but land used for cultivation can non transcend an country of 25 square pess. In add-on. it explicitly leaves certain ordinances unaffected including. but non limited to. those related to ownership on school evidences. usage in the workplace. driving while under the influence. or lending to the delinquency of a minor. The RCTCA has a much broader list of such freedoms than the TRCCA. which merely exempts driving under the influence and contributing to the delinquency of a minor from its cover abrogation ( Patton. 2010 ) . In an interesting turn. the RCTCA delegates regulative determinations and control to local authoritiess instead than the province authorities. Local authoritiess would hold authorization over cultivation. distribution. revenue enhancement. sale. ownership for sale and. ingestion within accredited premises. They besides may increase the bounds on the sale. personal ownership and cultivation. and commercial cultivation and transit of marihuana.

This deputation of regulative power would probably ensue in “wet” and “dry” counties. However. the RCTCA does allow province ordinance if the legislative assembly passes an act amending the enterprise ( Patton. 2010 ) . Under this inaugural condemnable punishments affecting marihuanas are maintained but used merely when bush leagues are involved. The RCTCA prohibits a host of Acts of the Apostless affecting bush leagues with punishments dependent on the age of the wrongdoer and the child. For case. it forbids persons over the age of 18 to offer. furnish. administer or give marihuana to a child. The penalty for a misdemeanor is a province prison term of three. five. or seven old ages. if the child is under 14 old ages old. and three. four. or five old ages. if the child is between 14 and 18 old ages old. In add-on. the RCTCA punishes anyone twenty-one old ages or older who offers. furnishes. administers. or gives marihuanas to a individual between the ages of 18 and 21 with up to six months in gaol and a $ 1. 000 mulct.

It besides proscribes the sale of marihuana to a minor. bring oning a child to utilize marihuana. and the usage of a child in the transit. readying. gift. or sale of marihuana by any person over the age of 18 old ages. punishable by a province prison term of three. five. or seven old ages. There are extra punishments for those authorized to sell marihuanas under the Act who negligently offer. furnish. administer. or give marihuana to a individual under twenty-one old ages old. If the authorized marketer does so. he or she can non have. operate. be employed by. aid. or enter any accredited premises for one twelvemonth. These commissariats are much stricter than the corresponding ordinances for intoxicant ; penalizing the person who really commits the act. non merely the licence holder. and supplying more punishment options. Simply put. this Act is much more comprehensive. and presents all Torahs related to the production and ownership of marihuana ( Patton. 2010 ) . Finally. The Common Sense Act of 2010 ( CS ) was sponsored by John Donohue of Long Beach. California and is really simple in its attack to legalisation.

Effective instantly upon transition. it repeals bing prohibitions on marihuana usage. cultivation. ownership. transit. and sale. It prohibits all authorities entities in California from passing any financess implementing any jurisprudence that prohibits these marijuana-related activities. Under this step. all degrees of the authorities. including federal. would be authorized to revenue enhancement the industry. sale. and usage of marihuana. The act explicitly instructs the province legislative assembly to ordain revenue enhancements and ordinances within one twelvemonth. utilizing the vino industry as a theoretical account. It besides instructs all United States Congress members from California to work actively to take marihuana from the agenda of controlled substances under the CSA and ballot against any support that would be used to implement Torahs forbiding marihuana or hemp merchandises ( Patton. 2010 ) . While this step would travel into consequence instantly upon elector blessing. the authorities would hold up to a twelvemonth to ordain ordinances refering the cultivation. transit. sale. ownership. and ingestion of marihuana.

It could practicably take the Legislature the full twelvemonth to develop. negotiate. and pass ordinances and during that period of clip. marihuanas would be decriminalized. but non regulated. This would be the instance with all of three proposed steps. but would hold more terrible deductions for this one. The CS’s abrogation does non incorporate any of the exclusions for Torahs refering vehicles or bush leagues like the other steps do. It does non forbid the sale. ownership. or usage of marihuana by or around kids. Possibly this is because it envisions the Legislature ordaining new commissariats of this nature. merely as it has for baccy and intoxicant. However. until the Legislature enacts ordinances. these activities would be considered legal ( Patton. 2010 ) . California is non the lone province trying to do stairss toward legalising marihuana.

Alaska. Arizona. Colorado. Conneticut. District of Columbia. Delaware. Hawaii. Maine. Michigan. Montana. Nevada. New Jersey. New Mexico. Oregon. Rhode Island. Vermont. and Washington all either have Torahs on the books or have attempted plans legalizing the usage of medical-related marihuana usage. The blessing rate for the legalisation has gone up well since prohibition in 1969. In fact. In 1969. the blessing rate for legal marihuana was merely approximately 12 % . but in 2003. that figure rose to 34 % . Today. it is by and large believed to be approximately 44 % . Besides. in 2003. 46 % of the state believed that little sum ownership should non be treated as a condemnable offense ( Millhorn. Monaghan. Montero. Reyes. Roman. Tollasken. Walls. 2009 ) . The budgetary deductions could be really favourable if marihuana is legalized. Jeffrey A. Miron wrote a paper on the budgetary deductions of legalisation in Massachusetts in 2003.

He discovered that legalisation would salvage the province of Massachusetts $ 120. 6 million a twelvemonth in authorities disbursal to prosecute and implement marihuana jurisprudence. However. non merely would this money be saved. an extra $ 16. 9 million yearly would be gained from revenue enhancement gross ( Miron. 2003 ) . Multiplied on the graduated table of the full state. legalisation stands to profit the state rather to a great extent. both salvaging one million millions on enforcement and deriving even more in revenue enhancement gross. Not everyone believes that marihuana is good. Many still hold the sentiment that the drug is still damaging to our civilization. and that it is worth the one million millions spent to implement its alleged maltreatment. The federal authorities late released a papers which made some powerful statements in its defence of the drug war against marihuana. They stated that marihuana usage is harmful and should be discouraged.

They besides continued on to state that legalisation would take down the monetary value of the drug. thereby increasing its usage. Furthermore. it is stated that revenue enhancement gross would be offset by higher societal costs. It is besides stated that legalisation would farther burthen the condemnable justness system by lending to under-the-influence related accidents. Finally. they province that legalisation would make little. if anything. to control drug force ( ONDCP. U. S. Dept. of Justice. 2010 ) . These statements are valid statements to the pro-legalization argument. However. there are by and large accepted statements within the marijuana legalisation community. They are heard frequently. but they are of all time so true. Marijuana users contribute minimally to under-the-influence accidents and this tendency would go on with legalisation. The effects of marihuana deeply affect one’s province of head. loosen uping one to the point that it is likely they wouldn’t even head out to go by automotive vehicle. hence defusing the load of the condemnable justness system.

The higher societal costs would be profoundly offset by the saved gross of implementing marijuana Torahs. Drug force would diminish in a immense manner. It is good known that marihuana is the most normally used illicit drug. Mexico is the main exporter of illicit drugs into the United States. The “harder” drugs aren’t the large concern for trusts. though. Many homicidal deceases in Mexico can be attributed to marijuana ( “Are we losing. ” 2009 ) . By extinguishing the demand for marijuana sellers to be illicit. that would control a serious sum of drug force. To sum up. the benefits of marihuana legalisation far outweigh the negative effects.

As a physical substance. it is far less harmful to the human organic structure than coffin nails and intoxicant. both of these substances being absolutely legal in nature. In decision. there are great stairss being made to legalise marihuana. There is a huge resistance. but boosters of marijuana legalisation believe that the battle will shortly stop. After all. this is a land where freedom can be gained by merely banding together. allowing voices be heard. and proactively forcing their respective cause. President Obama. if re-elected. programs to reform the drug war. and he may potentially make so in favour of marihuana. This will be the greatest leap toward legalisation in about 20 old ages. It is clip for a alteration. and hopefully. that clip is now.


Are We Losing the War on Drugs? . ( 2009 ) . Virginia Quarterly Review. 85 ( 4 ) . 1-2. Dickinson. T. ( 2012. August 16 ) . Are electors traveling to pot? . Rolling Stone. ( 1163 ) . 44. Millhorn. M. . Monaghan. M. . Montero. D. . Reyes. M. . Roman. T. . Tollasken. R. . Walls. B. ( 2009 ) North Americans’ attitudes toward illegal drugs. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. 19. 125-141 Miron. J. A. ( 2003 ) . The budgetary deductions of marijuana legalisation in Massachusetts. Office of National Drug Control Policy. U. S. Department of Justice. Office of National Drug Control Policy. ( 2010 ) . Marijuana legalisation: A bad thought ( NCJ 235719 ) . Retrieved from NCJRS Photocopy Services web site: hypertext transfer protocol: //www. ncjrs. gov/App/Publications/abstract. aspx? ID=257700 Patton. M. ( 2010 ) . The legalisation of marihuana: A dead-end or the high route to financial solvency? . Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law. 15. 163-204. Reuter. P. H. ( 2010 ) . Marijuana legalisation: What can be learned from other states? . Room. R. ( 2010 ) . Cannabis policy: Traveling beyond deadlock. New York City:
Oxford University Press. Saieva. A. P. ( 2008 ) . Marijuana legalisation: Americans’ attitudes over four decennaries. 1-52.

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