The question on the legalization of marijuana surrounds the fact on whether Americans are allowed to plant, buy, sell or ingest marijuana. At present, the US government claims that the right to, and does consider the growing, possession and selling of marijuana a criminal activity. The US Supreme Court affirmed the federal right of this in two different court hearings.
The first hearing that was conducted in 2001 was the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative vs. the US government; the case has overturned the proposition made by California in 1996 which legalized the ingestion of medical marijuana for medicinal purposes.
A separate case was conducted in 2005, Raich v Gonzalez which once again upheld the right of the federal government to ban the use of marijuana in all states.
So what is marijuana?
Marijuana is described as a blossom of cannabis sativa and the cannabis indica plants; these are annual leafy plants with some parts used for herbs, others as animal foods and some as the hemp used for rope making. The flowers of the plants contain active chemical compounds referred to cannabinoids that are consumed for recreational, spiritual and medicinal purposes.
Why was marijuana banned in the US?
Before the 20th century, the intake of marijuana went unregulated, and marijuana was a common ingredient in medicines. The use of marijuana for recreational purposes is thought to have been introduced in the US early in the 20th century likely by immigrants from Mexico. Marijuana was first publicly linked to research studies in the 1930 and through a famous 1930 movie relating to violence, crime, and antisocial behavior.
Many believe that objections against the use of marijuana first rose sharply as a part of the movement that was against the use of alcohol. In the 21st century, marijuana is officially illegal in the US due to public and moral reasons. However, if marijuana is legalized in the US, it’s likely to bring the following advantages;
The government’s current illegalization of marijuana is an unwarranted intrusion into the freedom of choice for the citizens of the US. Its legalization would put freedom of choice for the Americans in action.
Marijuana is as much harm to a human’s body as tobacco or alcohol, alcohol and tobacco are legalized and widely used in America and are regulated by the US Food and drug administration. If tobacco and alcohol remain legalized, so should marijuana.
Marijuana has research proven medical benefits for AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and other diseases.
Crime and violence, both in the Mexico-US border and within the US are greatly increased as a result of the illegal selling and buying of marijuana. The legalization of marijuana would bring the activities to a logical end.
Law enforcement reasons
Existing national statistics indicate that at least 872,000 arrests are made about marijuana, 775,000 of the cases are due to possession and not due to sale or manufacturing of marijuana. Some critics indicate that the resources of the state prisons and the state courts could be better used elsewhere.
Drug busts for marijuana offenses carry harsh penalties that cause undue social harm sometimes accompanied by lifelong consequences.
Due to the moral belief by some Americans that the intake of marijuana is immoral, marijuana should remain illegalized to prevent social decay of the society.
Long term consumption and abuse of marijuana are harmful to the health and well-being of the people taking the drugs.
The second-hand smoke from marijuana can cause harm to others not directly involved in the intake of marijuana.
Many allege that the use of the regular marijuana may lead to using harder and more harmful drugs like heroin and cocaine.
Some critics against the legalization of marijuana believe that the people involved in the illegal sales and buying of marijuana are more likely to take part in related crimes and that the society is safer with the users of marijuana incarcerated.
The law enforcement agencies fear instrument as supporting the use of marijuana.
Legalizing marijuana and weed for recreational purposes is already existent in some states of the US with the inclusion of Washington and Colorado. This was done by voters passing ballot initiatives to realize it. Due to the consideration of weed as a dangerous drug by many people has led to the topic rising to a hot topic in most debates.