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As the debate rages over the causes and appropriate solutions for the current crisis of global capitalism, this paper proposes to take stock of a persistent problem plaguing the American economy due to an unintended consequence of – in the opinion of this essay – a…
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Download file to see previous pages The problem in question arose out of a much older “war” being fought by the United States (US) lawmakers and administrators: the war on drugs. The attempts to ensure a drug-free world stretch not only to the prohibition on harder substances like (powder and crack) cocaine and heroin, but also to marijuana, which has proven medicinal qualities as a pain reliever. The Mariana Policy Project (MPP), a D.C. based think-tank, describes marijuana prohibition as a resounding failure, and reports that in the US, “there are more arrests for marijuana possession each year than for all violent crimes combined” ( Frivolous incarcerations for marijuana possession and use not only put increasing pressure on prisons and community jails, but also use up precious resources that could otherwise be diverted to other, more useful, areas of public spending. This paper proposes that the existing marijuana policy be repealed and drug legalization takes its place; the following paragraphs shall attempt to substantiate this suggestion.
Marijuana or medical cannabis, as mentioned above, has proven medicinal qualities, mostly as a herbal pain reliever, and this fact is what seems to have taken the issue of drug prohibition into a veritable gray area. Due to the high costs of prescription painkillers, many opt to smoke marijuana instead as a cheap alternative; under the current regulations, however, this is unlawful. The arrest of a Seattle resident in July 2008 for marijuana possession incited one news editor to brand the existing legal framework governing the use of marijuana as “reefer madness” (Ramsey 2008).
What confounds this legal framework is the disparity between the laws in certain states vis-à-vis other states’ and federal laws on the matter. The Controlled Substances Act, a federal statute, deems cannabis as a Schedule I drug, without any expressly known or accepted medicinal value. Therefore, one cannot have an unfettered access to marijuana, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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