October 28, 2013
The legalization of marijuana has been a heated topic of debate for many years. In 1937, the United Sates of America passed the Marijuana Tax Act, which made transfer or possession of cannabis (marijuana plant) illegal throughout the US under federal law. Studies conducted throughout the years have proven that cannabis can be utilized as a medical supplement. In fact 20, states and the District of Columbia have passed laws to legalize marijuana under certain medical conditions. According to the White House, it is the most commonly used recreational drug in the United States. It has been proven to be less harmful than alcohol, which is currently legal; and prohibition caused a black market to arise leading to an increase in an organized criminal activity. The fight against those organizations is costing a great amount of money and was cause for the loss of many innocent. While there are strong arguments in support of prohibition there are stronger arguments in support of the legalization if marijuana than there are counterarguments to keep the substance illegal. When comparing the Alcohol Prohibition in the 1920s and compare that situation with the current situation with the legal status of marihuana, we cans ee that a repetition of history is occurring. According to Douglas McVoy, at the beginning of prohibition, the consumption of alcohol fell, however eventually it increased again. Since the drug was illegal and only the black market could sell it, a significant amount of tax revenue was removed and crime rates increased in addition to become more organized. Consumption, illicit production, and distribution grow exponentially; therefore courthouses and prison systems were exhausted from such an increase in crime due to illicit alcohol. Government spent great amount of money devoted to enforcement, in fact, the annual budget of the Bureau of Prohibition went from $4.4 million to $13.4 million during the 1920s, while the Coast Guard spending on Prohibition averaged over $13 million per year.(McVoy).This are some reasons that proved that alcohol prohibition was a failure to the United States. Comparing the alcohol with the cannabis prohibitions. Marijuana is the most used recreational drug in the United States, as reported by the White House (Marijuana). One could say that after a long term of prohibition, the consumption rates have increased. Like in the 1920s with alcohol, there is now a huge black market that sells marijuana and its essentially lead by organized criminal groups. According to Steve Nelson, Marijuana offenses accounted for 48.3 percent of all drug arrests in 2012 (Nelson) and more than 80 percent of marijuana arrests are now for simple possession (Kilmer,etc.). United States government spends enormous amounts of money in the fight against drugs and the criminal groups grow more and more each day. Alcohol prohibition was considered a failure and, actually, we are experiencing some situations today that the United States faced in the 1920s. Since before marihuana was prohibited, the drug was used in a medical way. It has been proven that cannabis used as a medicine can relieve chronic pain, which is cause by a significant number of pain-producing illnesses. Marijuana can assist many mental health problems, such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depressions. It can also be used as an analgesic (painkiller) or an anti-inflammatory drug for autoimmune diseases, diseases that arise when the body cannot create an appropriate immune response to substances or tissues present normally on the body. Such diseases could be rheumatoid arthritis, complex sympathetic dystrophy, and so on (Bearman). California was the first state in the United States that legalized medical marijuana. One of the negative results of this legalization is the...
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Manrique, Luis.’’La ‘guerra contra las drogas’: Un catálogo de fracasos’’.Infolatam.
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Marijuana Legalization. WhiteHouse, October 2010. Web. 15 Oct. 2013.
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