The Eighth Amendment states that excessive bails shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
President Jimmy Carter has been quoted with the following: No where is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana. The Ninth Amendment states that the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. This means that rights not defined by the Constitution are not excluded. The Tenth Amendment states that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
The federal government wrongfully has domain over the legality of drugs, which should be a state power. Economic Costs and Impacts of Continued Prohibition One of the biggest downfalls of cannabis prohibition is the negative impacts on our economy. There has been a huge increase in drug related arrests, mostly marijuana related, since the start of this war, so in that sense it has been a success.
In the period of the amount of marijuana trafficking arrests actually declined as a proportion of all drug arrests. If they want to fight the availability of the drug, then they must focus their attention on the growers and traffickers, not the users. The evidence clearly shows that they are not doing it in that manner. In fact, as King and Mauer have found, there has actually been a slight increase in the use of illicit drugs from 5.
In , only 1 of every 18 marijuana arrests resulted in felony sentence This means that funds and enforcement are being used towards arresting a high amount of low level offenders.
These resources could be used much more efficiently in enforcing other, more serious laws. To reduce the amount of wasted resources, it should be recommended to move marijuana enforcement to the lowest priority level. This would allow police and enforcement agencies to focus on more serious offenses. To put this number in perspective, it is estimated that at least one in four persons in prison are serving time for a low-level marijuana offense With such a huge population of people in prisons, one must take into account the cost of housing and providing for them.
It costs more to send a person to prison for four years than it does to send a person to a private university for four years including tuition, fees, room and board, books, and supplies.
If that many people were being sent to universities instead of prisons, productivity in America would drastically increase. A huge influx of marijuana arrests clog up the courts, not allowing for speedy trials. This unlucky few also are not able to contribute to society anymore because they are in prison. In our current position, with the possibility of another economic depression on the level of the one in , new sources of revenue are vital.
These numbers seem astonishing, and they are, but the possibility is there. The current pressure on our economy could easily be relieved. If marijuana was made legal the cost would drastically decline, as was seen when alcohol prohibition ended. Rising unemployment is also a spreading scourge in our society. Marijuana legalization could help relieve that problem also.
If this industry was made public and legal, it could provide thousands of jobs for individuals who have lost their jobs because of our declining economy. The potential economic assets that could be reaped from this industry are lucrative. Another major mistake and obstruction of freedom that our government advocates is the criminalization of the cultivation of nonpsychoactive varieties of the hemp plant.
It contains the longest fiber in the plant kingdom and one of the strongest and most durable, it can be used for insulation, cloth, clothing, and rope. The fiber and pulp can be used to manufacture nondeteriorating paper using a relatively pollution free process.
After pressing the seed, the remaining mass becomes high protein animal feed. The list of applications goes on and on So what must be done? Some call for depenalization and others for outright legalization. Luckily we have a few examples throughout the world where marijuana has been viewed as socially acceptable and beneficial. The first, obvious example is that in the Netherlands and the second is in Alaska.
The Netherlands Model In , after multiple changes in policy, Dutch politicians gave marijuana another chance. Why was it reconsidered though? Also stated earlier, use of cannabis increased in many Western nations, not just the Netherlands. Thus it is safe to say that the depenalization was not a cause for increased cannabis use in the Netherlands. But there was an increased prevalence, so what can it be attributed to?
This can be explained through the commercialization of the product Thus if marijuana was legalized here in America we could expect to see an increase in use and prevalence because of commercialization. But as regulation of tobacco and alcohol has shown in America, it can be done with marijuana. The Alaska Model When the Framers wrote the Constitution, federalism and the separation of powers stand out as two ingenious concepts and aspects of our government.
Home production is a major factor in the Alaskan system. But not all users are as devoted as the one who grows. Cannabis Depenalization Cannabis depenalization calls for the elimination of criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
People would be able to distinguish between the harms of hard drugs and the relative safeness of cannabis. One main difference between American policy and the policy of certain western nations is the way they define chronic drug use. This allows for their respective governments to take a different approach when dealing with addicts. Instead of being sent to prison, they are treated and rehabilitated.
This redefinition of chronic drug use could result in a reduction of the costs of enforcement, as would the depenalization of cannabis would do. Because cannabis would be easier to distinguish from hard drugs, the government would gain more legitimacy and credibility when trying to control other illicit drugs. In relation to alcohol abuse, marijuana may act as a substitute for alcohol. This suggests that the two substances act as substitutes to one another, not complements.
This would hypothetically result in the reduction of alcohol related accidents and deaths. Although the government would not have to worry much about regulation under a system of depenalization, maybe similar to that of the Alaskan model, there would still be no way of obtaining the product legally.
Thus depenalization is not the best choice for America. Cannabis Legalization To get the best of both a depenalized system and a commercialized system, full legalization of cannabis would be required.
MacCoun and Reuter claim that regulation would be difficult with American mass commercialization, but this is wrong With the determination and work ethic that this nation was founded upon, Americans can succeed in anything. Different from the Netherlands Model, regulation here would not have to be as stringent.
As Walmarts and other grocery stores have isles specifically designated for alcohol, through enforcement of certain guidelines, it could be envisioned that some day marijuana would have its own isle. Bibliography Abel, Ernest L. The First Twelve Thousand Years.
King, and Marc Mauer. The Transformation of the War on Drugs in the s. The Sentencing Project, Peter Clark takes a thorough look at the situation of the legalization of medical marijuana. In doing so, Clark first cited the historical background of medical marijuana from a legal perspective according to DEA compliance policies and the enforcement of it.
Evidence surrounding the medical uses of the drug was cited from notable physicians who have undergone studies. Clark also analyzed the case-by-case basis of each state and how the voting progressed and how it impacts its legality.
This source also went into great detail about the legal ramifications of going against federal restrictions and prescribing the drug as an alternative form of medicine. Published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, book offered research guidelines and protocols when studying the use of medical marijuana.
The author argued that a wide range of diverse studies such as surveys, open ended questions and fill in the blanks need to be used to get a full understanding of the consequences of using Marijuana. This research and these guidelines will be helpful in determining the overall approach to doing medical research.
By using it, I can have another lens of critique when looking at other research studies regarding medical marijuana.
He argued that in making political and ideological claims against the use of the drug, scientific evidence has been used anecdotally where it has been seen fit. Finally, he went over certain methods of discreditation that have been historically used against the legalization of marijuana.
This article will be extremely useful in analyzing the promoting the notion that empirical and scientific evidence should have priority over other forms. Lester Grinspoon took a neuroscience perspective with regards to the addictiveness of medical marijuana.
The author argued that since our brain does indeed have a reward center and there is a connection between this part of our brain and THC, there is an addictive trait of marijuana. The article went into technical details about how dopamine specifically affects this reward center and the implications of it. This article will be useful in providing more detailed background information regarding the use of medical marijuana.
This source gave an interesting anecdote for the support of medical Marijuana. The main subject, JJ, was a severely disturbed child who had a history of psychotic and socially dysfunctional behavior. In an effort to help him adjust to society, his mother tried various form of treatment.
Unfortunately, all of these treatments either made his condition worse or did not help. His violent and psychotic behavior not only ceased completely, but he began to excel in the classroom and even helped other classmates.
This source will be useful in applying emotional and anecdotal evidence in promoting the use of medical marijuana. Robert Peterson offers a critical analysis of how marijuana transformed from a cultural fad into a serious form of alternative therapy to common disorders. Firstly, Peterson acknowledged the general complexity of even taking this medication seriously as so much cultural backlash has been presented against it.
He then analyzed the effects of marijuana on specific traits: Moreover, Peterson also remarked about the effects on learning, impairment of motor skills, the heart and other vital bodily organs. This research article will prove useful in providing another medical perspective in the positive and adverse effects of medical marijuana, despite its individual and societal benefits.
This source analyzed both the pros and cons of using medical marijuana based on the testimony of various physicians across diverse disciplines within the medical field. In promoting the use of the drug, many doctors testified that medical marijuana was an effective use of an alternative treatment strategy. Moreover, this drug worked very well when compared to other more conventional drugs. However, doctors on the other end of the spectrum claim that the same treatment may be beneficial for the long term, it is nonetheless bad for the overall health of humans.
This source will be beneficial in applying professional testimony in determining whether medical marijuana should or should not be used. FN22 The findings include but are not limited to the following: However, these increased arrest rates have not been associated with a reduction in marijuana use, reduced marijuana availability, a reduction in the number of new marijuana users, reduced treatment admissions, reduced emergency room mentions of marijuana, any reduction in marijuana potency, or any increases in the price of marijuana.
Decriminalization saves a tremendous amount in enforcement costs. Any discussion of marijuana should begin with the fact that there have been numerous official reports and studies, every one of which has concluded that marijuana poses no great risk to society and should not be criminalized.
There are many conflicting views on how marijuana affects the mind and body. That in itself speaks volumes. It is also interesting to note that, to the best of anyone's knowledge, not one person has ever died from a marijuana overdose.
That most definitely cannot be said of alcohol. The La Guardia Report is a treasure trove of information regarding the affects of marijuana on a person sociologically, medically, psychologically and pharmacologically. LaGuardia appointed a special committee to make a thorough sociological and scientific investigation upon the advice of The New York Academy of Medicine. This study is viewed by many experts as the best study of any drug viewed in its social, medical, and legal context.
The committee covered thousands of years of the history of marijuana. In , a Congressionally created commission called the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, whose members were appointed by then-President Richard Nixon, completed one of the most comprehensive reviews ever undertaken regarding marijuana and public policy. A Signal of Misunderstanding," proclaimed that "from what is now known about the effects of marihuana, its use at the present level does not constitute a major threat to public health," and recommended Congress and state legislatures decriminalize the use and casual distribution of marijuana for personal use.
Another important study was conducted by Dr. Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years. This recent study, the largest of its kind, unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer. Tashkin indicated that the findings "were against our expectations We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.
Although I could go on and on quoting different studies done by well-respected doctors, government appointed committees, etc. In any which way, the effects most definitely do not warrant total prohibition. California's Proposition was the first statewide medical marijuana voter initiative adopted in the USA. A To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person's health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.
B To ensure that patients and their primary care givers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction. C To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.
Further, Senate Bill which passed on September 20, , was signed by the Governor on October 13, , and which became effective on January 1, , added an Article 2. Among other things, Article 2. Public opinion on the medical value of marijuana has been sharply divided. Some dismiss medical marijuana as a hoax that exploits our natural compassion for the sick; others claim it is a uniquely soothing medicine that has been withheld from patients through regulations based on false claims.
Proponents of both views cite "scientific evidence" to support their views and have expressed those views at the ballot box in recent state elections. This study was supported under Contract No. This report summarizes and analyzes what is known about the medical use of marijuana; it emphasizes evidence-based medicine derived from knowledge and experience informed by rigorous scientific analysis , as opposed to belief-based medicine derived from judgment, intuition, and beliefs untested by rigorous science.
After their nearly two-year review, the investigators affirmed: Except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range tolerated for other medications. So many people who are ill must resort to using marijuana for medicinal purposes. Many of these people have never used marijuana previously, thereby quelling the theory that the use of marijuana for illness is just an "excuse" to smoke pot.
The list of diseases which cannabis can be used for includes but is not limited to: There are over 60 chemicals in marijuana which may have medical uses. It is relatively easy to extract these into food or beverage, or into some sort of lotion, using butter, fat, oil, or alcohol. One chemical, cannabinol, may be useful to help people who cannot sleep.
Another is taken from premature buds and is called cannabidiolic acid. It is a powerful disinfectant. Marijuana dissolved in rubbing alcohol helps people with the skin disease herpes control their sores, and a salve like this was one of the earliest medical uses for cannabis.
The leaves were once used in bandages and a relaxing non-psychoactive herbal tea can be made from small cannabis stems. As stated before, marijuana is classified by the federal government as a Schedule I drug, a reservation for the most dangerous drugs that have no recognized medical use. Although many states have legalized medical marijuana, possession, use and cultivation is still illegal on the federal level.
There have been past attempts to reclassify marijuana. The government declined to initiate proceedings on the basis of their interpretation of U. The Court ruled against the government and ordered them to process the petition. After continuing to rely on treaty commitments in their interpretation of scheduling related issues concerning the petition a Court decision made it clear that the CSA requires a full scientific and medical evaluation and the fulfillment of the rescheduling process before treaty commitments can be evaluated.
In , Francis L. In his recommendation he stated,. To conclude otherwise, on this record, would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious.
The second petition was filed by Jon Gettman in
Research Papers words | ( pages) | Preview The Social Construction of the Criminalization of Marijuana - The Social Construction of the Criminalization of Marijuana On August 2nd, , United States president Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Marihuana Tax Act of
It is based on reporting; research provided by NORML, the marijuana legalization advocacy group; and data found in PubMed, the National Institutes of Health’s .
In this paper I will discuss the history of marijuana, the industrial uses of hemp, the prohibition of marijuana, the economical impact prohibition has on America, the effects of marijuana use on the mind and the body, marijuana for medical use, and how legalization of marijuana would have a positive influence on America. Medical Cannabis Research Papers The latest in cannabis research: Dive deeper into the medical research on marijuana conducted by doctors and researchers and published in scientific journals. Cannabis as a Substitute for Prescription Drugs.
An issue of drugs legalization is quite acute for modern societies. The following note is a great project sample you can use in your own researches. Current research implies that marijuana is an aid of great worth in the medication of a broad range of clinical applications. They include relief of pain especially neuropathic pain, spasticity and nausea.