IV. Negative and positive effects of Marijuana Legalization Among the issues faced when legalizing marijuana certain positive and negatives perspectives should be taken under consideration. When talking about the negative effects of marijuana legalization, we can have the issue of how dispensaries that sell the weed know the accurate percent of THC and CBD in each strain. This represents a worry for the government and represents an unsafe option towards consuming marijuana.
Because users of marijuana can have different intended uses which can be recreational or medical purposes, and the a difference in the percent of THC and CBD can provoke many reactions, it is a must to provide the customer with the accurate percent of THC and CBD on each strain. In addition, controlling the distribution of the plant represents a hard goal to achieve, due to the ease of growing this plant in your own home and selling it without having a permit to sell or the government regulating it.
In the era of alcohol prohibition it was very difficult for the government to control the distribution of the drug, even though people still used it. Contrary to what can happen when legalizing marijuana, when alcohol was legalized, in addition to being taxed and regulated by the government it did not bring any problems of distribution. The use of marijuana in between teenagers also represent a negative effect because legalizing it also makes the process to obtain the drug more easy.
A current problem faced by states who legalized marijuana is that dispensaries are opening all over the state, until the point where it his hard for the government to distance them from schools. Lastly, if marijuana is legalized in a state but the federal laws do not change the safety of people can be in jeopardy. Given that many banks that operate under federal law do not allow any marijuana related money to go into their banks, this makes it hard for the dispensaries’ owner to transport the money, which is cash from destination to destination.
Additional to that is the problem of the DEA seizing pot shops because they do not comply with federal law. On the other end the positive effect that can be brought with the legalization of marijuana are less money spent on the war against drugs, the government would have more control to regulate it, distribution, job opportunity, taxation and the opportunity for a new business to develop in America. First, if marijuana is legalized the war on drugs will have a total different focus because it will not consist on focusing on marijuana rather than focus on drugs like cocaine and heroin.
Around fourty four percent of drug possession arrests are marijuana related and adding to that the arrests of marijuana sales and cultivation, which accounts for six percent, it adds up to fifty percent of total drug related arrests. Second, legalizing marijuana will give birth to a new industry, which where it has been legalized it has become among the top revenue industries. Third, the taxation of the product could represent a source of income for states and can be used to educate the youth on marijuana policy, their uses and effects.
Last and not least important, would be the reduction of incarceration and criminal records made for people arrested on marijuana related charges. V. State vs Federal efforts toward a route to Marijuana Legalization As mentioned before, marijuana is illegal at the federal level. The Controlled Substances Act classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, making it illegal to use and possess. It also defines marijuana as having no medical use, something that has been proved to be false by the Food and Drug Administration.
What is even more ironic, is the fact that the United States government has a patent on Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Patent US6630507 B1, states that “cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzhemer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. The patent, if anything, proves the current policy on marijuana is outdated and in need of reform.
The federal government, to some extent, recognizes the medical properties of marijuana, but it has not made it official. This is why many advocates in favor and against marijuana have petitioned the federal government to reschedule marijuana as a Schedule II substance. By rescheduling marijuana as a Schedule Il substance, it would mean that the drug has a currently accepted medical use in treatment and would facilitate research immensely. In addition to the issue described above, there has been a history of conflict between federal and state marijuana laws.
At present, twenty three states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. State laws that allow the use and possession of certain amounts of marijuana have been implement defying federal law, which clearly states that marijuana has no medical use, physicians cannot legally prescribe it, and any use and possession of the substance, medicinal or not, is illegal under federal law All of this has created tensions between the federal and state level governments.
The federal government, using the Drug Enforcement Agency as a voice on the issue, has consistently reiterated marijuana’s proper classification as a Schedule | substance. Plus, the Food and Drug Administration stated that no scientific studies support the use of medical marijuana or recreational. In difference, President Barack Obama’s administration has decided not to enforce federal law and not to block state marijuana laws if distribution is regulated. Hence, state laws permitting the use of medical marijuana enduring the controversy.
VI. CARERS Act of 2015 On March 10th, 2015 Senator Cory Booker, along with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Rand Paul, introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act of 2015. This Senate bill “seeks to right decades of wrong and end unnecessary marijuana laws. Currently, our veterans are prohibited of getting the medical treatment they so desperately need to relieve their pain and suffering. Parents are unable to get the medicine their children need to alleviate their pain and suffering.
Medical professionals are unable to prescribe and recommend drugs that can improve the quality of life of their patients. Law-abiding citizens are scared to use the medicine they need because the law does not protect them” (Booker, Cory) If passed, the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act would do the following: • Permit states to legalize the use of medical marijuana without federal intervention. · Reschedule marijuana to Schedule II. • Allow interstate commerce in cannabidiol oils. Permit banks to provide financial services to marijuana dispensaries. • Allow Veterans Administrations physicians to prescribe medical marijuana. • Eliminate barriers to medical marijuana research. Unfortunately, the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act has not acquired the support people were expecting, making its passing in congress highly unlikely. One reason the bill lacks support is its audacity. Some people believe the legislation proposed is too radical, while others just prefer not to take any side in the issue.
It looks like this generation of Senators and Congressmen are not prepared to be the ones that legalized medical marijuana. For now, advocates in favor of medical marijuana will have to be content with the medical marijuana discussion being sparked in Congress. VII. Conclusion Marijuana’s therapeutic properties have been observed by the human race for almost four thousand years. Marijuana has been used to treat a range of medical conditions through the years. Until 1930, marijuana was viewed as a medicine whose properties potential had been acknowledge but not studied.
Then in 1930, Harry J. Anslinger the first commissioner of the United States Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics, decided to make marijuana public enemy number one. For years to come Harry J. Anslingers’ illogical rhetoric shaped federal law and the way America viewed marijuana. Today, many studies recognize the potential of the therapeutic effects of marijuana and how safe it is in comparison with alcohol. It is time to facilitate research, give patients their medicine, and improve the quality of life of Americans.
It is time to reform the federal policy regarding marijuana. A comprehensive step of measures that would eliminate the discrepancies between state and federal laws would be ideal. In order to achieve this, I propose the following measures: • Eliminate the classification of marijuana as a controlled substance. • Legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. • Allow interstate commerce of cannabidiol oils. • Give states the autonomy to redact their marijuana laws.. Permit banks to allow financial services to marijuana dispensaries.
• Protect medical marijuana patients from rkplace discrimination. · Incentivize research on the benefits of medical marijuana. The measures I have recommended should allow marijuana to be studied thoroughly, while providing immediate relief to patients who need it for medical purposes. By legalizing, regulating and taxing the marijuana business we can grow the economy as it has been observed in countries where it has been legalized, such as Uruguay. (P. McKay). Allowing interstate commerce would help parents looking to get medicine for their children in states where they do not have it.
Giving states the autonomy to redact their own marijuana laws is of tremendous importance because in theory, it should eliminate the discrepancies between federal and state laws. Permitting marijuana dispensaries access to our worldclass financial system is a key step in legitimatizing marijuana business as a legal industry. Dispensary owners, as well as patients, and recreational users will not have to worry about cash-only transactions. This will allow patients to pay using their debit and credit cards. Another key recommendation is protecting patients from off-the-work use of medical marijuana.
If a person is taking a medicine they need to improve their quality of life, without affecting his performance as an employee, the law should protect that person. Finally, we have clearly not exploited the benefits of medical marijuana due to the lack of research on its medicinal properties. Allowing each state to have their own research grade medical marijuana supplier by incentivizing educational and research institutions to take on the role of supplying the research grade marijuana. The marijuana revolution is happening right now and the United States should take the opportunity to lead this industry.