Topic
Marijuana Legislation
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Masters
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12
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5780
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Marijuana in America Essay

Marijuana is ever been witnessed as the most commonly used unlawful drug in the United States. According to the survey report of Department of Health and Human Services 2013, it was estimated that almost 20 million of Americans from the age of 12 years or older are the common users of marijuana in the nation. Despite the strictest in availability and consumption of marijuana in the nation, a major shift in attitudes of the Americans toward the sustenance has been critically observed during the past few decades. In relation to the survey results of Pew Research Center for the People & the Press (2013; 2014), there is a 12% of Americans supported legalization of using marijuana in the nation in the year 1969. Nevertheless, from the survey reports conducted in the recent days, it has been estimated that more than half of the American population support legalizing of consuming and availability of marijuana in the US. In this regard, the increasing notion of using marijuana has been highly observed to be legalized in the US. However, currently, marijuana has been registered as the ‚ÄėSchedule I‚Äô in the form of unlawful substance under the provision in Controlled Substances Act (CSA) due to its wide range of negative implications on the users.

The key purpose of this paper is to provide a clear understanding about the common ground, problem statement and a claim or resolution by reflecting on the Congress’ hearings on the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act. Throughout the discussion, the main focus of this paper is to critically examine the testimony of the hearing made by the Congress on behalf of Marihuana Tax Act. In this context, the discussion tends to consider an argument and an exhibit source in order to clearly represent the common ground and claim or resolution made by the Congress on behalf of Marihuana Act 1937.

Common Ground of the Marihuana Act 1937

Legal regulations on sales of cannabis or marijuana have been striving in the US since the early stage of the year 1860s. Until the end of the year 1937, consumption or use and growth of marijuana was legally protected by the Federal Law. The Federal Government along with the agreement of the Congress had regulated an unofficial ban of marijuana under the Marihuana Tax Act, (MTA; P.L. 75-238), 1937. The striving effort of Harry Jacob Anslinger, the head of Federal Bureau Narcotics (FBN) argued regarding the increasing use of smoking marijuana in the year 1930s can be considered as the initial step behind the formation of MTA. Moreover, perceiving strong support from the Federal Government in the year 1935 invoked an establishment of Uniform State Narcotic Act (USNA), which had been initially recognized to set regulations of using or dealings of cannabis in the US. Therefore, the striving effort to reduce the consumption of cannabis by Anslinger in 1930 along with a strong support of Federal Government with the formation of USNA in 1935 can be duly considered as few of the major steps behind the establishment of MTA in 1930s.

Problem Statement

The problem statement in respond to the MTA 1937 can be observed as the campaigns and remonstration regarding the prohibition of using or dealing of marihuana in the US. In this regard, the problem statement in respond to the law demonstrates a fact of complexities to be faced by the American entrepreneurs in shaping with the Act proposed by Anslinger in 1937. In respond to the budding concern of increasing the number of adverse implications of wider availability of marihuana, the continuous effort of FBN had claimed that the federal regulation for the use and availability of marijuana was almost an unsuccessful attempt. On behalf of the claim, FBN has been significantly stated that the central focus on treaty making power perceived by the Federal Government could only sustain as an anti-marihuana statute.

According to large number of contentions, the issue of creating moral panic in the US has been considered as one of the major concerns emerged due to the Act of prohibiting marijuana in the US. In addition, the law of prohibiting marijuana was strongly argued by Galliher and Walker on the ground of coercing power of Anslinger to the Federal Government. Nevertheless, the argument had also emerged fumes in the form of minimum or less concern of the Congress regarding the Act. The problem statement had been confirmed the arguments that the prohibition law in MTA 1937 significantly destructed the fiber production, which is generally produced from hemps. The enactment of the law had been claimed to radically deteriorate the other form of hemps that contribute major support to the farmers’ economic condition. The allegation made by Galliher and Walker has been witnessed under a different ground regarding the proposition of the MTA 1937. According to their claim, it has been observed that the proposal of prohibiting availability and use of marijuana was not a major concern for the Congress. The allegation has been made by the Galliher and Walker on the basis of identifying the major consequences that may be driven from the enactment of the Act on the cultivation and suppliers of hemp in the states.

Claim or Resolution in the MTA 1937

According to the testimonies represented to the Congress, a number of outstanding evidences have been provided by Anslinger regarding the concern of health and wellbeing; social inhibitions along with crimes that are resulted due to the use of marihuana by the users. In relation to the statement and testimonies represented by Anslinger, it has been perceived that most of the crimes in the regions could be outlined due to the increasing trend of consuming marihuana in the US. The statement also provided evidences published throughout the years about the implication of this substance on committing severe crimes. The claimant also demonstrated medical reports that the substance generally contents sexual stimulants, which further eliminates the civilized or social inhibitions in the American regions.

On the other hand, the statements and testimonies of Anslinger had faced major allegations by the dissenters due to the possible negative impact of the MTA 1937 on the Americans. In relation to a critical observation of the testimony, it has been recognized that the prohibition of restraining availability of marijuana can jeopardize individuals to cultivate hemp plant that are usually used for different other economic purposes. Moreover, the farmers may also have major defiance in terms of paying US$5 as tax in order to harvest hemp. Additionally, the continuous monitoring process by the governmental agencies or regulators can also undermine their cultivation of hemp, which could further result them to face major economic damage.

Conclusion

With due regard to a critical assessment of the testimonies and statements of Anslinger, the MTA regulated in the year 1937 had conjured various strong contention among the lawmakers along with individuals in different American states. From a general perspective regarding the efficacy of the law, the prohibition of use and wider availability of marijuana had substantially lowered the illegal social unrests across the states in the US. At the early stage from the emergence of MTA, the policies had minimized the consumption and had also resulted towards improving health and wellbeing of Americans. However, the major contention emerged due to the fact of tax, which had substantially lowered the economic performance of the farmers associated with cultivating hemp. Additionally, the impact of paying US$5 in terms of harvesting the substance has also lowered the scope for this segment of population to improve their financial condition.

References

Anslinger, H. J. 1961. The Murderers, the story of the narcotic gangs. http://www.hempology.org/ALL%20HISTORY%20ARTICLES.HTML/1961%3B%20ANSLINGER%20MURDERERS.html.

Anslinger, H. J. 2015. Statement of H. J. Anslinger. http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/taxact/anslng1.htm.

Anslinger, H. J. 2015. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/taxact/t10a.htm

Musto, D. F. 1972. ‚ÄúThe 1937 Marijuana Tax Act (1972).‚ÄĚ Archives of General Psychiatry 26, 419-440.

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Majority of Americans Say Government Should Not Force Federal Marijuana Laws on States, August 30, 2013 (Based on poll data from March 2013).

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Majority of Americans Say Government Should Not Force Federal Marijuana Laws on States, August 30, 2013 (Based on poll data from March 2013).

Sacco, L. N., and Finklea, K. 2014. State Marijuana Legalization Initiatives: Implications for Federal Law Enforcement. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43164.pdf.

Paper Two

Overview

The enactment of MTA in 1937 has long been witnessed as a major concern in the US due to its adverse impact on the individuals along with communities within a particular region or state. The prohibition of cannabis nationally has been critically argued by numerous activists due to the negative and unforgiving implication of the act on the Americans. The strict prohibition in the nation’s availability of marijuana has emerged numerous changes in public attitudes not only towards the substance, but the statutes developed to protect its use by the Americans. In relation to the recent phenomenon, marijuana has been listed as one of highly regulated substances in the US. The substance has been regulated under the strong provisions in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in the nation due to a number of facts and implications related to marijuana.

Therefore, the chief objective of this part of the essay is to develop a persuasive essay with the analysis of the changing relationship amongst the political and cultural factors from the years 1960s to 1980s in the US. The discussion made in this part provides a major understanding about the changes in the use of marijuana throughout different stages in changing political regimes and cultural factors in the nation. In this regard, the discussion made a compare and contrast of the facts relating to arguments that have been developed with the help of few major exhibits reflecting to the changes in political and cultural factors. The compare and contrast regarding the influence of political changes and cultural developments in the MTA has been made in this discussion in respond to the argument made by Martin A. Lee that the war on marijuana was about ‚Äúdisobedience‚ÄĚ.

Brief Assessment of the Arguments to be encountered

The argument to be encountered in this discussion is the statement of Martin A. Lee regarding the disobedience in the nation’s drug war, which has been witnessing to emerge various contentions of the changes in political system and cultural development in the US. The formation and strict enactment of MTA in 1937 had shaped different types of contentions that emerge major changes in the political and cultural factors in the US since the periods of 1960s to 1980s. The drug control policies, specifically the provisions developed for prohibiting the use of marijuana have been continuously debated among the policymakers, law enforcement administrators along with scholars and people of America. Even at the prior stage of federal government’s movement in 1970 to criminalizing the use, manufacture, possession, distribution and dispensation of marijuana, there were major contentions witnessed regarding the political changes and cultural developments in the American societies.

Compare and Contrast of the Political and Cultural Developments in 1960s and 1980s

The war on drugs had been through major constraints during 1960s due to the increasing civic disobedience by the Americans especially the young adults and youths from different age groups. During this period, an acute scenario has been observed regarding the relationship between political systems with the developing cultural movement of the people in the US. In this regard, the following section provides a clear illustration about the political and cultural development in the context of war on marijuana in the US during 1960s.

Drug War Movement and Political and Cultural Developments in 1960s

In relation to the argument made by Martin A. Lee, it can be identified that the prohibition on marijuana by the US administration since the year 1937 was identified as a vast political concern during the period of 1960s. Although the prohibition on marijuana was not able to restrict its wider use, the political vibes did major shifts on doubts regarding the power of the overall administrative system of the US. According to the argument, Lee has critically stated that marijuana was protected by harsh and severe political legislation during the period of 1960s. However, the claim had also stated that it doesn’t contain any types of chemical compositions of cannabis that can foster uncertainties towards the political authorities.

The forbidden substance in marijuana had added to its allure during the period of 1960s, at the time when the emergence of cannabis with its defining cultural war was occurred, which is yet to be addressed in the US. During the period of 1960s, the use of drug especially derived from marijuana has become more familiar amidst the wealthy or affluent white Americans. During those years, broad changes regarding the cultural aspects of the individuals had been underway within the US. The nation was stirring from the liberalism such as skepticism and authority of government with a growing focus on individuals‚Äô freedom to an epoch or relative conservatism by respecting authority and government emphasizing individuals‚Äô personal responsibilities. The declaration of ‚Äėwar on drugs‚Äô by the US president Ronald Reagan had been witnessed to draw a large part of manifestation regarding a significant cultural change by shifting attitudes of the Americans during the period of 1960s. The decision made by the President Ronald Reagan was the key embodiment regarding the mainstream reaction within the cultural factors of the Americans during 1960s to 1970s. Therefore, the amount of this change within the Americans‚Äô cultural attitudes had been witnessed involving dissimilar perspectives on using or possessing marijuana in the nation.

During the late 1960s and the early stage of 1970s, the distinctive memorandum made by the US President Richard Nixon had identified drug manipulation as the most ‚Äúserious national threat‚ÄĚ in the nation. By providing adequate evidence of various drug-related juvenile detentions along with street crimes during the period of 1960 to 1967, President Nixon necessitated a ‚ÄėNational Anti-Drug Policy‚Äô within the states and the Federal level of the nation as well. In this regard, justifying drug abuse as the most dangerous ‚Äúpublic enemy no 1‚ÄĚ, President Nixon had officially declared a ‚ÄúWar On Drugs‚ÄĚ in June, 1971. The propaganda of the declaration had major influence on the political system of the nation along with the cultural development among the juvenile across the states in the US. The establishment of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) during July 1973 by coordinating efforts of the other Federal agencies had substantially made major changes in the political and cultural changes in the US.

The formation of Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in the year 1970 by the Congress can also be considered as a landmark factors in the US in terms of bringing major cultural and political changes in the states. Correspondingly, in March 22, 1972, President Nixon and the Congress had strongly overlooked the suggestions made by National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse (NCMDA) on behalf of legalizing sales and possession of marijuana in the states.

The following exhibit provides a clear understanding about the change in percentage in terms of arrests of Americans in California for All Drug Abuse from 1960 to 1967.

Fig: Drug Arrests in California 1960-1967

According to the above illustration, the use or possession of marijuana has been observed to achieve a major growth up to 30% in 1963 and 35% in 1964, which has been observed as a remarkable growth due to the inadequate prohibition policy in the US. During these years, the percentage of arrests has also observed to be almost the same for other drugs in California. However, the percentage of marijuana arrests had been observed to gain major attention with the growth of 41% in 1965, 54% in 1966, and 61% in 1967. The total number of marijuana arrests from 1960 to 1967 had been witnessed in this state was 91,529 which are 43% of growth in the rate of arrest. Therefore, a remarkable position in total growth rate in marijuana arrests had compelled federal government to inaugurate wide ranges of policies regarding the prohibition of the drug in the states.

Comparison of Drug War Movement and Political and Cultural Developments in 1980s with the scenario Prevailed in 1960s

In relation to scenario observed regarding the marijuana movement in 1960s, major changes in the political and cultural development had been witnessed in 1980s in the US. The marijuana movement in the nation had experienced a major demolition due to the increasing legal prohibitions along with budding charges against Americans with the demand of legalizing the substance in the states. Additionally, strong legal regulations along with Federal policies against the use and possession of marijuana have been significantly restricted in the nation. According to the critical evaluation of numerous facts, the arguments of Martin Lee regarding the war of marijuana was about ‚Äėdisobedience‚Äô can be regarded as a major contention in respond to the changing influence of the movement during period of 1980s.

In terms of determining the relationship between political and culture development, the resolutions and policy implications measures of federal government for public concern can be duly accepted as a remarkable phase of the movement. From the first year of the decade of 1980s, a vast development had been observed in the form of increasing public concern regarding drug abuse or using and possessing of illegal drugs in the US. According to a real survey report, it has been observed that public tolerance of using prohibited or illegal drugs faced major decline. Nevertheless, the decade had also been observed a significant decline of decriminalizing the movement of using and/or possessing of illegal drugs. Indeed, the people across the American communities had also strengthened their belief about the long-term health issues caused by marijuana and other illegal drugs. In this regard, a major significance of social or public concern has been highly recognized during the period of 1980s.

According to the observation of the records of marijuana movement, the political system of the US was strongly regulated by state legislations, which has been enacting few major resolutions for prohibiting drug trafficking issues. In this regard, the issues associated with legislation proposed by the lawmakers and politicians have also been witnessed during the period of 1980s in respond to the phenomenon of marijuana movement. For instance, rhetorical proposal relating to death penalty urged by the mayor of New York City for the suppliers condemned of possessing 2.2 pounds of illegal drugs can also be regarded as a major problematic decision in the political system. Correspondingly, rhetoric proposals of life term sentence for any individual convicted of selling three vials of crack can also be considered as few of the major legislation policies by the law makers and politicians during the period of 1980s.

The official speech of the US President Ronald Reagan in June and September 1986 necessitated a ‚Äúnationwide crusade against drug, a sustained, relentless effort to rid America of this scourge,‚ÄĚ have also been identified a few major political movement in respond to the use of illegal drug in the nation. In September 1986, the US House of Representatives sanctioned a bundle of drug enforcement by imposing stiffer federal verdicts for the drug traffickers along with increasing focus on spending wealth for education, health care programs and different other social development activities. Indeed, the enforcement had also approved to impose major penalties against drug dealers and producers from different countries, which are not likely to cooperate with the drug eradication resolutions sponsored by the US. Within the enforcement package, the decree of death penalty was also included for the kingpins involved in producing and/or supplying any types of illegal drugs. Throughout the decades, the legislation approved by the Federal Government in 1986 was the relatively the strongest anti-drug commandment in the US.

Role of Politics and Culture during 1960s through the 1980s

With due regard to the evaluation of the political and cultural issues observed throughout the two decades from 1960s to 1980s, a major understanding can be gained in respond to marijuana and other illegal drugs in the US. Therefore, the changes in cultural dimensions such as attitude and behavior among the Americans had been gradually recognized due to the changing legislations and policies associated with illegal drug in the nation. The social and cultural dimensions in this regard have been witnessed to have strong relationship due to major changes that had been undertaken by the US government in order to eradicate the use of illegal drug within the states. From the aforesaid exhibits, a major reformation of the policy guidelines along with major focus on developing strong provisions for strict prohibiting marijuana during the period of 1960s had conveyed major transformation on the cultural attitude of the Americans.

On the other hand, the major legislations undertaken in the 1980s had witnessed major cultural changes in the states. According to a critical assessment of the political legislations during 1985 and 1986, the changing legislations had changed the belief of most of the Americans regarding the use of illegal drugs. Moreover, the cultural beliefs of the people had also developed strong understanding about the major consequences that can be resulted due to the consumption of such illegal drugs.

References

Carlisle, R. P., and Golson, J. G. 2008. America in Revolt during the 1960s and 1970s, New York: ABC-CLIO.

Common Sense for Drug Policy. 2014. Marijuana. http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Marijuana#sthash.POjhvkJy.FpNw9VBB.dpbs.

Evans, D. G. 2013. ‚ÄúThe Economic Impacts of Marijuana Legalization.‚ÄĚ The Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice 1-39.

Klatch, R. E. 1999. A Generation Divided: The New Left, the New Right, and the 1960s, Califormnia: University of California Press.

NPR. 2007. Timeline: America's War on Drugs. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9252490.

Schaffer Library of Drug Policy. 2015. Reasons for Escalating Enforcement Costs: California Drug and Marijuana Arrests, 1960-67. http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/moscone/chap1.htm.

Stevens, A. 2010. Drugs, Crime and Public Health: The Political Economy of Drug Policy. The United States: Routledge.

The State Journal. 2010. A Stain on Our Integrity. http://www.state-journal.com/citizen%20opinion/2010/02/13/a-stain-on-our-integrity

Paper Three

Introduction

In the current scenario of the US, attitudes regarding marijuana have been undergoing rapid shift as paralleled by different other trends in the recent public opinions. The data revealed from the historical diaspora and recent facts sheet regarding political and cultural changes, a major shift of changes have been critically recognized over the past few decades. With regard to the political systems since the enactment of Marijuana Tax Act (MTA) in 1937, major changes have been witnessed by the states in terms of eradicating the availability and use of marijuana. According to the political scenarios in respond to the substance, the legislation and policies developed in the 1960s and 1980s have developed major contention regarding the illegalize use and possession of marijuana in the states. However, contentions since the period of prohibition of marijuana have also been recognized to spread with various strong claims to decriminalize the use and possession of the substance in the US. Therefore, the key aim of this part of the study is to examine the major influences on the marijuana debate on the current phenomenon by incorporating argument, sources and responding to the concern of marijuana movement. Moreover, maintaining adequate focus on the historical perspectives of the marijuana controversy, especially the legislations developed by the politicians and lawmakers, and conducting critical evaluation of the prohibitions that undermine the decriminalization of the possession and use of marijuana has also been considered as a major consideration in this paper.

Critical Evaluation of the Argument Resources

Over the past decades, the political scenario in the US has been shifted across major contentions regarding criminalization of marijuana. The legalization of marijuana in the states has been observed to face major arguments both in the context of economic and socio-cultural grounds. In relation to the political legislations developed since the enactment of MTA 1937, major arguments have been emerged throughout the decades due to the strict and unyielding decisions of the politicians and lawmakers in the US. The striving effort against the legalization of marijuana have underpinned various types of arguments that faced by the Federal Government and the Congressmen throughout the last few decades. The portrayal of ‚ÄėNational Anti-Drug Policy‚Äô dictated by President Nixon during 1960 to 1967 had fumed major allegations by the separatists and the Americans on the ground of major economic and social arguments.

Economic and Social Arguments in response to the Legalization of Marijuana

Although taxation of goods and services are necessarily improper that has negative impact on the consumers, the taxation and legal prohibition on marijuana has long been witnessed to gain major problematic faces over the decades. The social effects and legal status of marijuana had been observed to draw an argumentative perception on the lawmakers and politicians. An evaluation of the economic and social arguments emerged by different researchers and scholars, it can be stated that there may be weighty or questionable discrepancies between actual and projected tax revenue imposed by the tax regulators and enforcement department. The disparities between tax revenue may be undertaken due to the significant differences in demand for marijuana in the regions. Moreover, future regional demand for taxable marijuana or revenue allocation amidst the governmental departments may also be a major reason of the disparities in the actual and project tax revenue for marijuana in the US. During various scenarios in the past decades, the public expense resulted to the implementation and enforcement of taxation policies have been compounded the aggregate cost derived from the negative impacts of marijuana on safety, productivity and health care facilities. On the other hand, although the law enforcement budgets are more likely to remain substantially untouched, the empirical research on legalizing marijuana predicts a significant reduction in the costs associated with criminal justice proceedings.

According to Global Drug Policy and Practice report, it has been observed that there is a fiscal effect of marijuana as identified in a number of economic research surveys have addressed the yearly costs associated with the existing legalization of the substance. None of the analyses had been levied a single focus on the costs that have been incurred throughout the decades in legalizing marijuana in the US. In relation to the recent estimation, the effect of legalization cost has major impact on the annual spending of the government in terms of predicting possible revenues and savings. However, the estimation made by the governmental departments does not have any focus on reflecting to the economic costs that have been departing from the current policy. Therefore, a major fiscal monetary impact can be highly experienced by the nation due to the higher repealing costs and increasing governmental spending to implement and enforce reforms associated with legalizing marijuana in the states.

In relation to the recent survey results conducted the US government, it has been recognized that the budding repealing costs will substantially generate a massive costs due to the outcomes curtailing from a significant increase in use and abuse of marijuana in the states. Therefore, a major step forward in the implementation and reinforcement of the reforms would entail up-front governmental spending in order to institute a regulatory framework for regulating vendors, retailers, distributors and users and non-users of marijuana in the US as well.

The arguments associated with the criminalization of marijuana have also been witnessed as a major concern that raises various types of arguments against the politicians and lawmakers in the US. In this regard, the social arguments observed in the recent day context can be duly accepted as a major area of attention. In relation to the recent survey reports, a slim majority of the US populations are agreed with the legalization of marijuana in the states. In order to critically disclose the key findings observed from the recent studies, a significant increase can be widely witnessed that supports legalization of the substance. According to the public survey report of Pew Research Center 2015, a major set of statistical records has revealed important information regarding the public opinion of legalizing marijuana in the US. The major statistical figures obtained in this context have been critically evaluated under the following recent facts.

Budding Support for Marijuana Legalization

Fig: Majority of Supports in Legalizing Marijuana

With due focus upon the research results obtained by the Pew Research Center (2015), It has been clearly identified that the a ‚ÄėSlim Majority‚Äô (53%) of the individuals across different American states are with a strong support of legalizing marijuana as compared to the ratio of individuals who disagreed the substance to be legalized in the states, i.e. 44%. The current opinion obtained from the survey has been witnessing significant change since the rate of the year 1969, where just 12% of the individuals were agreed on the proposal of legalizing the use of marijuana. According to the survey results, it has been identified that majority of the changes in supporting legalization of marijuana has been witnessed from the last few years. From the above statistical record, it can be stated that the support for legalizing the substance has gained up to 11 points in between the years from 2010 to 2013. Therefore, according to the recent observation, the support for legalizing marijuana has upheld a strong growth in the recent day scenario.

Disagreement on Legalization

Source:

According to the survey reports, it has been also revealed that only about 39% of the republicans agreed with the perception that not all the population groups support legalization of the substance. In this statistical result, it has also been observed that majority of the non-Hispanic whites and blacks highly agreed with the legalization of marijuana in the US. In this regard, 40% of Hispanics have shared their agreement in the proposal of legalization. In case of the populations from the Millennial group, a majority of 68% is with the support and 29% have not shared their opinions regarding the legalization of the substance in the nation. In the context of the Baby Boomers, it has been witnessed as almost supportive groups in legalizing marijuana in 1970s were observed to stand against the legalization of the substance. The changes in the Baby Boomers have been estimated to change their opinion due to the ‚ÄúJust Say No‚ÄĚ campaign of the year 1980s. Among this segment of populations, almost 50% of them are likely to give their support and 47% were opposed with the legalization of marijuana.

Comparison of Marijuana Law in the States

In relation to the observation of the results, a major growth on marijuana legalization can also be witnessed throughout the states in the US. The research results of Pew Research Center (2015) have revealed that Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia have passed regulatory measures with the step of legalizing marijuana. Moreover, the other 14 states have been recognized to decriminalize a certain amount of marijuana use and consumption. Among the four states and the District of Columbia, almost half of the total number of states has been allowed to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. In this regard, it has been critically identified that the support for legalizing marijuana has been increasing with a rapid pace in the recent day context. The following illustration represents the number of American states with different scenarios regarding the legalization and decriminalization on the possession of marijuana.

Source:

Increasing effort towards public Concern

In relation to the recent phenomenon of drug abuse in the US, the research survey of Pew Research Center has also provided major and most insightful facts regarding the public concern of drug abuse of the Americans. According to the survey results, it has been identified that the educational institutions are more likely to conduct campaigns towards revising the drug policies in the US. In this context, it has been identified that 40 states of the nation have taken significant actions to minimize complexities in the drug policies during the years between 2009 and 2013. Moreover, the population remained strongly concerned regarding the issue of drug abuse in the context of both local and national level. Indeed, a majority of the population (32%) across the states have confirmed that drug abuse in the US is a major crisis. Additionally, 55% of the population has also agreed that the issue of drug abuse is a serious problem in the US. With regard to the problem of drug abuse, half of the neighborhoods along with their schools have seriously undertaken the issue as a major concern in the nation. However, as compared to the statistics observed in the year of 2014, the public concern about drug abuse was not a significant problem for the Americans during the period of 1990s. The following illustration clearly details about the increasing public concern regarding the problem of drug abuse in the US from the year 1995 to 2014.

Evaluating Public Views on the Effect of Legalization

Despite the increasing support for legalization in the recent years, large groups of American are highly concerned regarding the possible outcome of legalizing marijuana in the nation. According to the recent survey results, it has been identified that 54% or more than half of the Americans would lead to increase the number individuals from underage groups trying the substance. On the other hand, people in 65 or older are more likely to believe that the legalization of the substance would lead to an increase to almost 69% of individuals trying marijuana. Additionally, half of them from younger age groups have also agreed that the legalization will highly increase the number of marijuana users in the nation. The following illustration provides a clear representation about the evaluation result of public views on the effect of legalization of marijuana.

Source:

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it can be comprehended that marijuana is an illicit drug mostly used in the US. The use of this drug has an adverse effect on the health as well as social condition of the people to a large extent. In this context, it has been observed there has been a trend in the US in relation to criminalization as well as legalization of marijuana. The US government has been implementing marijuana policy such as CSA with the intention of preventing as well as controlling the cultivation, trade and use of marijuana. Respectively, the trends in the US for effective prohibition of marijuana can be witnessed in relation to initiation for decriminalization, exception for the use of marijuana for medical purpose and recreational legalization. These prohibition measures are adopted with the intention of ascertaining that legalization of marijuana is excluded, so that the percentage of population involved in the use of marijuana is lessened for maintaining health and social development of the people in different states.

References

Kreit, Alex. 2013. ‚ÄúThe Federal Response to State Marijuana Legalization: Room for Compromise?‚ÄĚ Oregon Law Review 91: 1029-1040.

Pew Research Center. 2015. 6 Facts about Marijuana http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/14/6-facts-about-marijuana/.

Pew Research Center. 2015. America’s New Drug Policy Landscape. http://www.people-press.org/2014/04/02/americas-new-drug-policy-landscape/.

Sacco, Lina N., and Finklea, Kristin. 2014. ‚ÄúState Marijuana Legalization Initiatives: Implications for Federal Law Enforcement.‚ÄĚ Congressional Research Service 1-23.

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