The Pros And Cons Of Disenfranchization Of Marijuana

1745 Words 7 Pages
Going hand in hand with the mass incarceration of African-Americans is current their disenfranchisement. According to Michelle Alexander, this new Jim Crow has “disenfranchised [more] today than in 1870, the year the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the rights to vote on the basis of race” (Alexander, 2011, p. 180). All but three states have some type of law prohibiting prisoners or even individuals who served their full sentences from voting in elections (Chung, 2015) so with African Americans being the largest group imprisoned, it also makes them the largest group that is disenfranchised. This is one of the major collateral damages that many believe make the drug war not worth fighting anymore. Another, …show more content…
459). In comparison to certain newer drugs, marijuana is far less addictive and does have medical usage, therefore it should be placed in a lower category. Even medical doctors are calling for the DEA to reschedule marijuana for medical research purposes (Ferner, 2015). Nearly all states have already lowered the drug schedule marijuana is placed in in their own state drug schedules. Since most of America placed it in a lower schedule, then why can the federal government follow in their footsteps? Also, by rescheduling drugs it could prevent addiction to certain types of drugs. For example, a marijuana user may think that since marijuana is placed in the schedule I, the other drugs in the schedule have similar addictiveness and try one if offered. This gives a false idea of how the other drugs may effect an individual and should be taken very seriously. However, since many people are against legalization of these illicit drugs, simply rescheduling or creating new scheduling criteria could aid in winning the war on …show more content…
The first major piece of anti-drug legislation, though, was signed into effect under President Woodrow Wilson. The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914 involved “a special tax on all persons who produce, import, manufacture, compound, deal in, dispense, sell, distribute, or give away opium or coca leaves” (Council on Foreign Relations, 1914). Although this law was passed after “thirty-five states and territories had banned opium and forty-six had banned cocaine” (Fisher, 2014), it was still the first federal law that attempted to control the drug problem. ¬After the formation of organized crime during the prohibition, drugs came back with a vengeance. Once President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs, even more legislation was passed attempting to control the drug problem. The 1970 Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act was the main piece of legislation passed that is still in effect today, it established mandatory minimum sentencing, drug schedules, and asset forfeiture (FindLaw, n.d.). Although helpful, many aspects of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act are view as controversial. For example, mandatory minimum sentencing takes away a judge’s discretion, essentially taking away the main component of their jobs. On the other hand, the drug schedules created are rather misleading since marijuana is

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