Issue of Medical and Recreational Use of Marijuana in the US
Almost twenty-five states in America have legalised marijuana in some form. In Alaska, adults of 21 years can now possess and transport a maximum of an ounce of marijuana and six plants. Oregon voters approved the same measures be applied. Colorado and Washington had passed similar ballot measures in 2012 which ended up been approved. Nevada is now going to be the fifth state as the year ends if voters consider the ballot measures. The trend of legalising marijuana is a rising tide and although the public believe that legalizing Marijuana will reduce the issue of illegal distribution and sell of marijuana, some state attorneys have complained that the illegal marijuana has been increasingly supplied and used in their states due to the legalisation laws allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal and recreational use. In arguing how Colorado’s law violated the federal Controlled Substance Act, the attorneys in their claims said, “The states of Colorado authorises, oversees, protects ad profits from a sprawling $100-milliom-per month marijuana growing, processing and retailing organisations that exported thousands of pounds of marijuana to some 36 states in 2014.”.The fears of opponents of marijuana are those related to the users especially the youth and the young people who have been to have had increased cases of abuse and misuse of marijuana. School kids have been reported to be using this drug in school, and emergency centres are reporting increased cases of patients especially the young people whose health have been risked by marijuana use (Berman 1).Moreso, production in this new businesses are experiencing a boom with hope and aims that their activities will be approved before stricter laws could be made. With the legalization of Marijuana increasingly being considered and approved, will the illegal distribution and illegal consumption reduce with further legalisation or continue increasing?
The state laws authorising the use of Marijuana does not change the fact that use of marijuana is a crime according to federal laws. It has not been considered for approval process under US Food and Drug Administration. The need for implementing effective and strong regulatory systems is compelling to prevent any threats posed to public health, safety and other interests which these state laws have little control (Saaty 9). The outlets of marijuana are not exempted from abiding by the consistent and accepted professional and ethical practices in recommending for marijuana.
Whether decriminalised or not, marijuana use is associated with crime, violence and social disintegration. Marijuana laws require Cannabis clubs, and dispensaries to operate as non-profits enterprises but on contrast reports have revealed that there has been disproportionately large sums of money been generated from the sale of marijuana and marijuana tainted products. California state collects an average of $81 million annual taxes from medical marijuana from approximately $58million to $1.3 billion sales of marijuana.This is a clear evidence of illegal distribution of products and money laundering.
The legalisation of marijuana for recreational use in some states in the US has already been a problematic phenomenon. That makes us think what is in store for us if recreational pot in legalised in California in November. Will the control of marijuana use be out of control such that there will be no limit of possession with anyone been able to buy a pot from anywhere likes a supermarket? Legalisation puts states in direct conflict with the federal government and particularly the Drug Enforcement Administration which disagreed with the need for softening Marijuana laws and put the drug in the same category as the heroine.
Berman, Henry. “Legalizing Marijuana” The New York Times 24 Oct.2016.
Saaty, Thomas L. “A Marijuana Legalization Model Using Benefits, Opportunities, Costs
And Risks (BOCR) Analysis.” International Journal of Strategic Decision
Sciences (IJSDS) 6.2 (2015): 1-11.