The Decriminalization Of Marijuana Legalization In The United States

1325 Words 6 Pages
There is a reason it was made illegal in the first place.
In the argument over the legalization of marijuana it is important to look at how marijuana became illegal in the first place. The cannabis plant was cultivated for both industrial and medicinal uses in the United States since the 1600’s. Cannabis was given little attention by any governing body in the United States until the state of California decided to regulate the sale and possession of marijuana in 1913(Houser and Robert E. Rosacker). It took another two decades before the federal government decided to get involved. In 1936 Harry Anslinger, the commissioner of the federal bureau of narcotics, led a campaign against marijuana in order to oppose a reorganization act that would
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“More than 117 million people in the U.S. – 44 percent of those surveyed – admit to having tried marijuana at least once in their lives, and more than 22 million to having used it in the past month(“DPA_Fact sheet_Marijuana Decriminalization and Legalization_(Feb. 2016).pdf”).” That is an astounding number of people. It’s no wonder that the “DEA has nearly” 5,000 Special Agents” and is bank rolled by the taxpayer who has shelled out over “$1 trillion dollars” to fight the war on drugs (Houser and Robert E. Rosacker). Millions of users, and trillions of dollars being used to police them; those both seem like extremely large and alarming numbers. It’s clear why the fear of crime running rampant the rough the streets is such a huge concern to many people against marijuana legalization. It seems like a completely valid concern for any citizen to have. However these numbers and statistics may be misleading. In 2014, there were 700,993 marijuana arrests made in the United States. That was roughly 45 percent of all drug arrests made that year. And of those arrests about 88 percent of them were for simple possession of marijuana with no intent to sell or manufacture. “There are more arrests for marijuana possession every year than for all violent crimes combined(“DPA_Fact sheet_Marijuana Decriminalization and Legalization_(Feb. 2016).pdf”).” According to the federal government it is a crime to …show more content…
Marijuana use by the youth has fluctuated from year to year. Despite what may seem like a powerful combination, Prohibition to keep it out of their hands, and the teaching of abstinence when they manage to come in contact with it, kids still smoke marijuana. “Today 's adolescents have been exposed to the largest dose of prevention in our history” and yet it “has failed to bring about a marijuana-free teenage America(Rosenbaum).” A survey by the substance abuse and mental health services administration showed that as of 2014 22.2 million Americans aged 12 - 17 smoke marijuana(“NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf”). This is due largely in part because marijuana is so easy to access. “Eighty-five percent of high school seniors report that illegal drugs are ‘fairly easy’ or ‘very easy’ to get”(Rosenbaum). This is a result of the black market created by the anti-drug laws we have. Dealers who sell marijuana only care about money. A crisp twenty dollar bill spends the same whether a marijuana dealer got it from an adult or a child. This is where a change from a prohibition based system to a regulatory one would be beneficial. If you set up a system where the sale of marijuana has strict guidelines of who it can be sold to, much like the sale of alcohol, then the amount of children that are able to procure the substance would decrease. Of course there

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