Legalization Of Legalization For Marijuana Essay

701 Words Sep 30th, 2016 3 Pages
In 1995, Linda Byrnes, now 70 years old, was sentenced to 27 years and 9 months in State prison for “conspiracy to distribute Marijuana” (Can-Do #). This grandmother, although not a user or career dealer of Cannabis, is the perfect representative for the pro-decriminalization corner in the illicit drug use debate. Byrnes and thousands of Americans with similar stories are facing a lifetime of harsh and severe punishment for a disproportionate crime. In order to reduce the number of drug-related cases in the federal criminal system, systematically and strategically decrease and rehabilitate drug addicts, and to successfully fight the war on drugs, policy advocates and those concerned for the health of America believe that the Federal Government should shift its perception and stigma on drug use and addiction from a criminal standpoint to a health-related one. When we take this action, the failing war on drugs becomes a public health epidemic that can be solved with logical, political, and medical effort.
Proponents for decriminalization firstly highlight that decriminalization is not legalization. Following the example of Portugal, drug use in the United States would still remain unlawful and “drug trafficking offenses remain illegal and [would continue to be] processed through the criminal justice system (Drug policy alliance #).” However, those found to be of first-time possession of a small amount of illicit drug paraphernalia for personal consumption would be given no…

Related Documents