Cannabis Paradox Essay

1462 Words 6 Pages
The Legalization of Cannabis Paradox For four and a half decades, the United States has fought and spent billions on the “War on Drugs.” Most recently, cannabis (marijuana, weed, THC) has been the focal point of this costly war. Since 1990s, twenty-three states, with California being the first, have legalized cannabis for personal, medicinal, and recreational usage. However, controversy over this not-so-new public enemy remains because it is still illegal under federal law. The War on Drugs is one without end. Advocates of marijuana prohibition believe it discourages crime and trafficking of the drug, while increasing overall productivity and health. Critics maintain it only has minimal effects on crime, trafficking and usage. Any substance …show more content…
Ironically it was deemed to be the other way around. The United States is still living in an era of prohibition. However, alcohol is not the substance being prohibited to the people, today it is cannabis. The views toward cannabis have shifted dramatically over the past ten years. In 2005, only 33 percent of the American population supported legalizing marijuana, today that number has increased by twenty-two percent, to an astounding 55 percent. Also, in 2013, a Gallup survey was taken to see how many Americans had tried marijuana. The survey revealed that one in five adults have tried marijuana at least once in their lifetime, while almost ten percent of American adults claim to partake regularly in the act of smoking marijuana (Cooke …show more content…
This is where state and federal laws collide with one another. Retail establishments that sell and grow “pot” are essentially breaking federal law, even though they are legitimate businesses licensed by the state. Douglas Hiatt, a criminal defense attorney and cannabis activist told “Time” magazine “Nothing is legal under I-502. They can still put you in prison for having it. They can still put you in prison for growing it. And they can still come after you for selling it.” The I-502 (Initiative 502) was the ballot Capitol Hill passed for the legalization of recreational usage of marijuana; Colorado has a similar ballot known as Amendment 64. Even so, with these new laws in place, permitting the growth and sale of marijuana, federal law supersedes that of the state, giving authorities the discretion to “crackdown” anytime on pot merchants and users (Altman, The Pot Paradox 38). The duplicity of marijuana reform laws, prove that the federal system by which the American people are governed and regulated is flawed. It is unjust for vendors and users to be prosecuted at the discretion of authorities for growing, selling and using a product that is legal under state law, but it happens constantly in the reformed

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