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If marijuana were legalized in California What effect would it have on public health, economy and society - Essay Example

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[Instructor Name] [19/7/2011] Legalization of Marijuana In California The usage of the cannabis plant as an intoxicant and as a textile fabric has existed for many millennia across different societies and cultures. Up until the early 20th century its usage as an intoxicant or otherwise was not prohibited by legislature…
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If marijuana were legalized in California What effect would it have on public health, economy and society

Download file to see previous pages... This is a debate that concerns a wide cross-section of society ranging from cannabis users (both medicinal and recreational), law enforcement agencies, parents as well as politicians. There is also a diverse view on the substance and on the matter of legalization ranging from demands for criminalization, partial legalization and absolute legalization. This can also lead to constraints in reaching the audience, as pre-existing biases may be impenetrable. In California this debate has once again received prominence after Assembly member Tom Ammiano presented a bill which called for the legalization and taxation of Marijuana. In order to answer the controversial question of: Should Marijuana be legalized in California? We will take a closer look at the various viewpoints on the subject. Criminalization In 1913 the Pharmaceutical board of California decided to impose a restriction on the pharmaceutical use of cannabis. By 1937 the use of cannabis became federally prohibited. This hostile attitude towards cannabis began in the early part of the 20th century according to Isaac Campos when news wires of the dangers of the drug began flooding in from Mexico. This came at a time when there was already a campaign underway, which sought to eliminate all sorts of vices from American society. There was a strong belief at the time that the use of cannabis lead to criminal levels of insanity and that it was actually a menace to society (“The Odd History of Marijuana In The US”). This became the central theme in anti-cannabis propaganda that existed for many decades to come. Other beliefs of the proponents of criminalization include the idea that cannabis is a gateway drug that leads to crime. This idea was heavily supported by the Reagan administration, which zealously sought to remove marijuana and other drugs from society. What can certainly be proven is that youths that use the substance are at increased risk of mental disorders, poor academic achievement, criminal activities and reduced life opportunities (Hall, Pacula 125). In order to debunk a popular argument of the proponents of legalization that legalization will lead to increased tax revenues (this will be explained in greater detail later in the paper). The RAND Corporation conducted research that would predict the effect of legalization on tax revenues and market prices in California. According to logic model they employed it was found that not only would marijuana production increase but so would consumption as a result of lower prices. Furthermore, it may not even lead to the projected 1.4 billion dollars in tax revenues as the possibility of evasion is not taken into consideration (RAND Corporation 15-27). Legalization For Medicinal Use Using Marijuana has several medicinal values and it can be used as an analgesic, anti-convulsant, anti-spasmodic and anti-emetic agent. These properties of cannabis have been used throughout time. It is used, primarily to help provide relief for symptoms to diseases rather than as a cure itself, such as the severe nausea caused by chemotherapy for cancer patients (Hall, Pacula 165-170). California currently allows the sale and use of cannabis for medicinal purposes in a limited capacity, however the federal government sees all cannabis related activity as illegal and frequently prosecutes medical marijuana distributors in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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