An introduction to the major reasons for legalization of marijuana in the united states

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An introduction to the major reasons for legalization of marijuana in the united states

The paper of record is continuing to make the case for legalization over a series of editorials, addressing the social costs, racist history and wasted resources from cannabis prohibition. The fact that the Obama administration felt compelled to respond shows the clout of the New York Times; the substance or lack thereof of its response displays an unwillingness to acknowledge the plain facts, gathered from eight decades of marijuana prohibition.

As the Timeseditorials make plain, legalization is prudent, humane policy, and it is past time for the federal government to act. Prohibition has enormous social costs. The deleterious effects of prohibition run from wasted resources to ruined lives.

Our police devote thousands of hours to arresting, booking and imprisoning marijuana smokers, many of whom are otherwise law-abiding. The most unfortunate of these arrestees have spent over a decade in prisonin some cases for nothing more than possession of cannabis for personal use.

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That person will often spend a night or more in the local jail, and be in court multiple times to resolve the case.

The benefits of criminalization are minuscule to nonexistent. Cannabis prohibition is quite costly, but so are other government initiatives.

A fair analysis of criminalization must also consider its benefits. Perhaps cannabis users are more likely to be involved in other crimes, and arresting them for possession can nip a life of crime in the bud.

According to a Human Rights Watch report that tracked 30, New Yorkers with no prior convictions when they were arrested for marijuana possession, 90 percent had no subsequent felony convictions.

Top International Stories The purpose of the act was to prohibit all non-medical use of cannabis in the U.

Even the gateway effect—the theory that cannabis leads to other drugs—was discarded long ago. In one of its series of editorials, the Times reviews the history of cannabis criminalization, and finds it has been racist from the outset in the s.

This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others. The war on drugs aims its firepower overwhelmingly at African-Americans on the street, while white users smoke safely behind closed doors.

Instead, the drug war, however well meaning its supporters, is in practice, a blatant assault on minorities and their economic mobility. Cannabis has legitimate medical effects. Opinions on medical marijuana have shifted dramatically in the last two decades: These states joined 23 others with broader medical marijuana laws.

An introduction to the major reasons for legalization of marijuana in the united states

While the federal government still lists cannabis as a Schedule I drug, meaning it does not acknowledge any legitimate medical use, the states clearly disagree. The Times lists epilepsy, along with pain from AIDS and nausea from chemotherapy as afflictions that cannabis has been shown to alleviate.

Despite the growing number of states with some form of medical law, cannabis is still difficult and risky to obtain for millions of people who could benefit from it. Loosening marijuana laws would help many of these people, and repealing prohibition would help all of them.

There is reason even for people who oppose the use of marijuana to support its legalization: Cigarette use among high school students is at its lowest point ever, largely thanks to tobacco taxes and growing municipal smoking limits. There is already some early evidence that regulation would also help combat teen marijuana use, which fell after Colorado began broadly regulating medical marijuana in Our current federal laws, which treat cannabis as equivalent to cocaine and heroin, mostly teach teenagers that the government is completely unrealistic on matters of drug policy.

Legalization is the first step in a broader initiative of treating cannabis use as a public health issue. Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco.

American history has a good analog for cannabis prohibition: With both, use of the substance did not stop, laws were selectively enforced and violent gangs made staggering profits filling a market law-abiding merchants could no longer touch.

An introduction to the major reasons for legalization of marijuana in the united states

Marijuana is less addictive than tobacco or alcohol, and compares favorably to those drugs on nearly every health metric.

Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Its effects are mostly euphoric and mild, whereas alcohol turns some drinkers into barroom brawlers, domestic abusers or maniacs behind the wheel.There is more public support for marijuana law reform than ever before with new polls showing more than half the country is in favor of legalizing marijuana.

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The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) believes marijuana should be removed from the criminal justice system and regulated like alcohol and tobacco.

Current Marijuana Laws in the U.S. Jul 27,  · The New York Times Calls for Marijuana Legalization. It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law.

Aug 13,  · Lastly, the United States spends so much of our tax dollars on keeping marijuana illegal when the country could gain trillions if it were legalized, taxed, and regulated. Marijuana should be legal because prohibition doesn't help the country in any way, plus, it causes a lot of problems.

In the United States, the use of cannabis for medical purposes is legal in 33 states, plus the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the District of Columbia, as of November Fourteen other states have more restrictive laws limiting THC content, for the purpose of allowing access to products that are rich in cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component.

Across the United States, there’s a seemingly unstoppable movement gaining ground. The legalization of cannabis for adult use – first passed in the states of Washington and Colorado in – is now approved in a total of nine states and the District of Columbia.

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