About the legalization of Marijuana

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Marijuana is the most widely used drug in the world today, especially in the United States. The government has stepped in to ban the drug's production, delivery, selling, and possession (Derrickson, and James). However, no substantial progress has been made in terms of reducing the drug's sale, delivery, and use. Any states have begun to deviate from the pattern as a result of their realization of the ineffectiveness of current drug-control strategies. The drug's changing status is about decriminalization laws, medicinal use, and recreational use (Derrickson, and James). The shift of steps has stirred controversies regarding the implication of the Federal government concerning law enforcement and the general drugs policies. The common question is the sustainability of legalizing the drug a total shift from the Federal government legislations and provisions. In our discussion, we would analyze the possibility of legalizing marijuana with considerations to various factors such as potential economic gains, medical use and crime reduction (Derrickson, and James).

A serious discussion and debate need to be in place if the war on marijuana is to succeed. People should stop addressing the issue from a limited point of perspective. A whole sum approach needs to get incorporated plus the inclusion of diverse viewpoints that would assist to resolve the matter fully (International Debate Education Association). The negatives and positives need to get weighed so that an ultimate solution can arrive. An example would be in Vermont where the legislature passed a law that required submission of a report on the legalization of marijuana. The RAND Corporation undertook the task and submitted significant findings from the results. The main outcome of the report was that the legalization policy of marijuana shouldn't only be a two-sided matter based on the choice of prohibition and for commercial purposes. On the contrary, four dimensions should be in place namely nature of product suitable for distribution, firms that can provide the drug and price.

Vermont was noted to consume 15 - 25 tons of marijuana and roughly spent $125-$225 million on the drug (Caulkins and Kilmer and Rand Corporation). There is the presence of many marijuana users in the outskirts than inside the state. In the event, the drug could be legalized, taxed appropriately, the consumption rate raised by 25-100 percent and the black market gets suppressed the revenues could hit a high of $20-$75 million annually (Caulkins and Kilmer and Rand Corporation). Due to change of marijuana policies, Vermont could also end up supplying the drug to a significant number of out-of-state users indirectly or through marijuana tourism increasing the state’s revenue. However, the profitability could get impacted if other jurisdictions adopted a similar policy and put in the necessary administrative measures. The state and local government spend rough $1 million in prohibiting the drug for those aged less than 21 years. That signifies a drop in cost by about $1 per resident per year (Caulkins and Kilmer and Rand Corporation). Nevertheless, the regulatory costs that could arise from legalizing production of the drug and sale would exceed the amount.

Contrary to the decriminalization of marijuana where policies are in place for violations of the provision, decriminalizing the drug gets rid of all the penalties for circumstances revolving around the drug. Until 2012, no state had provisions for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. However, after the period, states such as Colorado and Washington ratified to make it legal for recreation use but in small quantities. In 2014, other regions joined in such as Alaska, Oregon, and Columbia. The recreation was only allowed for persons over 21 years of age. Some states allow citizens to grow their marijuana plants while others don’t permit. Legalization of the drug points to increased support for the drug. Before passing of the CSA in 1970, 12% of individuals who were aged 18 and above felt the need of legalizing the drug. In a major turn of events, the number significantly rose to 52% of those who supported the legalization move (Derrickson, and James).

California was the first state to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal use in 1996 (Derrickson, and James). By the end of 2014, many jurisdictions ratified the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes but in diverse ways for its incorporation (Derrickson, and James). An example is how some areas shield authorized marijuana users from prosecution, other permit and regulate its medicinal purposes. The CSA provisions seem not to distinguish marijuana based on its recreational and medicinal use. The rules don't recognize the utilization of the drug, and therefore states that have legalized it are at odds with the Federal government. The Federal government has in some instances prosecuted those caught in possession of the drug regardless of its authorization in its state or not (Derrickson, and James).

In conclusion, the issues at hand seem to present a changing mindset on drug policies primarily marijuana. There is need to examine the matter in depth and from diverse opinions to realize the involved details precisely. Therefore, based on the arguments, marijuana usage seems to have more pros than cons as presented by various institutions thereby validating its legalization.

Works Cited

Caulkins, Jonathan P., et al. Considering marijuana legalization: insights for Vermont and other jurisdictions. Rand Corporation, 2015.

Derrickson, Jason, Lisa N. Sacco, Kristin Finklea, Todd Garvey, Brian T. Yeh, and James M. Cole. Marijuana Legalization: State Initiatives, Implications, and Issues. , 2014. Print

International Debate Education Association, ed. The debatabase book: a must-have guide for successful debate. Idea, 2004.

November 17, 2022

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