Legalizing any drug evokes strong emotions from people on both sides.
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This article is not intended to be an opinion piece, but rather an effort us look at some broad issues, facts, and financial concerns regarding the potential legalization of marijuana.
In the United States, marijuana is currently categorized as a Schedule 1 narcotic. That will category indicates it has no medicinal use and a high abuse possible. There have been attempts over the past 2 decades to shift it into a various category, but unsuccessful. It is obvious there is lack of a consensus as to whether it has medicinal properties, since 15 states as of 2011 have got legalized its usage for several medical conditions.
Is it reasonable for the ALL OF US to continue classifying marijuana as such whenever other addictive and cancerous substances like nicotine are allowed? This is a hot button topic. The link in between tobacco and various cancers is apparent, yet it is big business and yes it does produce tax monies. There are clear labels on these products, yet over 20% of the American open public smokes.
A 2002 Time mag poll showed an amazing 80% of Americans supported legalizing medical weed. In the early 20th Century, artists and intellectuals were frequent users of marijuana for the purpose of enhancing creativeness. By the mid 1920’s, the American media had latched on to the concept that there was a connection between marijuana and crime, both violent and sex-related. It is pretty clear at this point which is not true at all, but then even with no research to back up that fallacy all states had laws from the 1930’s regulating marijuana usage.
The Commissioner of Narcotics at the time, Harry Anslinger, crusaded against marijuana in front of congress, the medical establishment, as well as the media warning against its risks to society. As a result, in 1937, congressional hearings ensued with the outcome being the Marijuana Tax Work of 1937. This did not create marijuana illegal, but created a big tax structure around every part from the marijuana cycle (cultivation, distribution, sale). The onerous nature of the Behave pushed marijuana usage to a negligible status.
Finally in the 1940’s research began coming out showing marijuana to become relatively harmless compared to hard medicines like cocaine and heroin. The association with violence became negated and understood to be most likely from the alcoholic beverages being consumed in conjunction with marijuana. However , with the legal structure placed close to marijuana the general public saw it as dangerous despite an increasing body associated with research showing it to be relatively (not completely) harmless.
During the fifties and 60’s marijuana use increased, but research mostly focused on LSD and other hard drugs. By 1970, the National Institute of Mental Health reported that 20 mil Americans had used marijuana at least one time. In 1970, a Gallup election showed that 42% of college college students had smoked marijuana.
As more and more research shows that marijuana does not contribute to chaotic behavior, it seems only natural that people would feel they’ve been lied in order to by the government agencies who are responsible for interpreting these issues. Marijuana has to be acquired illegally for medicinal usage within 35 states to this day, and patients have to live in fear of federal prosecution. Should marijuana law and plan be re-considered? Should it basically be re-considered for medicinal utilization or for overall usage and be sold next to cigarettes, cigars, plus alcohol?
In the 1970’s, there was a push to de-criminalize small amounts associated with marijuana. For those supporting decriminalization, the general view was that the laws towards marijuana were more harmful compared to drug itself. President Jimmy Carter in 1977 called for the decriminalization of small amounts, so did the particular American Medical Association and American Bar Association. It didn’t take place.
The 1980’s saw a reverse of these efforts, and with President Reagan the War on Drugs ensued with tougher policies and penalties on pretty much every drug. Marijuana use went down during this decade while alcoholic beverages, cocaine, and crack skyrocketed. The 1990’s saw a reversal of usage trends. Between 1992 and 1994, marijuana usage doubled in adolescents.
Marijuana is not harmless. The cannabis plant has over 400 chemicals in it, and there’s a lot we don’t know about it. Should this be illegal though? Should this still be a Schedule 1 Narcotic? It is a big cash crop and regulating it could bring in significant tax monies along with eliminating the need to provide resources for so much prosecution. Numerous medical and scientific professionals have produced evidence about marijuana’s medicinal benefits, and 15 states have permitted for its usage for debilitating problems.
A recent study showed marijuana might have long lasting effects on adolescent minds, and it can affect coordination and psychological capacity while under its effects. So this needs to be weighed in the pros vs cons debate. The “illegal” label promotes a significant negative feeling in people’s minds, and the powerful debating has shown no evidence of allowing up.