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Analysis of Legalization of Marijuana - Article Example

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This article discusses the issue of marijuana legalization and regulation. The article analyses the legislation and initiatives of the past few years it is evident that public favor to legalize medicinal marijuana has increased and this has propelled some states to decriminalize medicinal marijuana…
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Analysis of Legalization of Marijuana
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Download file to see previous pages If one were to analyze the legislation and initiatives of the past few years it will be evident that public favor to legalize medicinal marijuana has increased and this in return has propelled some states to decriminalize medicinal marijuana.
Only a few weeks back, the Joint Mental Health and Substances Abuse Committee of Massachusetts removed criminal penalties for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana by a 6-1 vote ("Massachusetts: Decrim Bill Advances", 2006). The Joint Committee on the Judiciary was scheduled to begin deliberations on it in March. The legislation aimed to decrease penalties for the minor possession i.e. less than an ounce of marijuana to a civil offense instead of a criminal offense as custom and sought to reduce a fine of $500 to $250. This legislation, however, was quashed by the state legislature and medical or otherwise use of marijuana in Massachusetts still remains illegal.
In February, this year, Congress, hitherto immovable and unbending on all marijuana-related issues, took a significant step by allowing students, previously charged with marijuana possession, eligibility to apply for student aid. Enacted in the year 1998, this ban - commonly known as "drug offender exclusionary provision" of the Higher Education Act - has refused financial aid to some 175,000 students until now. To some, this has been landmark legislation in the fight for marijuana decriminalization and a tentative admission of the Congress about the futility of penalizing citizens for the possession of a recreational drug ("Congress Scales Back Ban On Student Aid For Drug Offenders," 2006). More evidence of growing support for marijuana legalization came to view in 2005 when the US House of Representatives voted against the lifting of a ban on medicinal marijuana. The most important point, however, was that despite the vote going against marijuana legalization, 161 House members had voted in favor of marijuana, which was the record highest.
In November 2005, the population of Denver voted to eliminate penalties for the possession of one ounce of cannabis by citizens more than 21 years of age. Fifty-four percent of voters decided in favor of legalization ("Denver Votes To Abolish Pot Penalties," 2005).
In 1998, voters in Oregon had voted in favor of a law that allowed patients to possess and grow marijuana for medical reasons. In August 2005, the voters of Oregon further amended the law in favor of marijuana users by allowing marijuana-dependent patients to grow and own 24 ounces of cannabis as opposed to previous 3 ounces ("Legislature Amends Oregon Medical Cannabis Law," 2005).
The most important point of objection raised by those who oppose decriminalization of marijuana is the type of message it will send to the citizens of America in general and to the youth and children in particular. They hold that although some medical reports reveal marijuana to be the least harmful of all drugs, yet it cannot be denied that it is a drug and harmful as well. In addition, if marijuana use and possession were to be legalized for medicinal purposes it will only be available through two means. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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