From the late 1930s cannabis possession has been deemed illegal in almost all the countries across the globe. Uruguay, in December 2013 became the first country to legalize Cannabis use. Further, the opium law in the Netherlands allows buying it in certain coffee shops, which follow legal rules though large-scale production still remains prohibited.
Marijuana is deemed illegal for various reasons. One such reason is that it is thought to possess the potential to cause addictions. Therefore, it is often assumed that its legalization may result in more addiction cases and destroy people’s lives. But alcohol and smoking are equally addictive and still, there is no restriction on their use. Another reason is that not all the states of America accept its medicinal use. Only, if they took notice of the testimonial of the huge positive impact it has on people suffering from serious ailments their minds would have changed. Though marijuana is not narcotic it has been associated with narcotics like heroin and cocaine for long, as such the stigma of it being narcotic is still stuck. Further, some ethnic groups like Mexican where largely associated with marijuana use and its popularity were viewed as an intrusion in U.S. white culture.
Marijuana has been legalized in Washington, DC and 9 other states. Some states have not legalized it but have decriminalized its use. Recently, more and more people are demanding a lift on the ban of marijuana use and making it legal. The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) also supports this sentiment of people.
The benefits of legalizing marijuana:
- Not all things go well when marijuana is banned. Its ban may have reduced its availability in the market but still, the people who want them get it and sometimes often may put themselves in danger while procuring it. We might as well legalize its use because lifting the ban does have some advantages like the following:
- Criminalizing marijuana use has harmed some group of people, in particular, the people of color and young adults. Legalizing it may reduce the violence and corruption that goes with the illegal sale of weed.
- It may cause a great economic benefit because large scale production of marijuana for sale has the potential to create jobs and bring the profits under the legal economy than profiting the illegal market.
- Another reason for the support of its legalization is that now the law enforcement systems of the states are spending money on courts and arrests for its sale and possession. After its legalization, the state would be able to collect more revenue through its sale and regulation. Moreover, the law enforcement system will be able to focus on more important aspects of public safety.
The recent initiatives that are being taken:
In 2018 there is a growing drive to legalize marijuana. Cannabis reform legislation is expected to be proposed by U.S. states for medicinal as well as non-medicinal adult use. Michigan, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are the states which are most likely to fully legalize marijuana use.
Marijuana legalization campaigns by The Drug Policy Alliance are currently being held in New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico. The campaigns that are going on in New Jersey are working for the sale, tax, and regulation of marijuana and also looking into the matter that the laws regarding marijuana are proportionately implemented in both whites and people of color. In New Mexico and New York DPA has been working hard to legalize its sale and possession. The DPA campaign aimed to end the unjust prohibition of marijuana in these states is looking into the matter of generating commerce and increasing the tax revenue.
DPA supporting marijuana legalization also demands some safety measures such as:
- Get information if the marijuana product is free from harmful chemicals such as pesticides, fungicides, and others.
- Make sure to know about the dosage and potency of the product. Especially if the product does not contain any label describing it. It is even more essential for new users to be fully aware of the dosage recommendations.
- The products should go through a series of tests to be sure that they do not contain harmful microorganisms, mold, bacteria, and fungus which may result in the products being unsafe for use by individuals whose immune system are weak.
- All cannabis products that are to be sold in the market must have a label explaining the cannabinoid profile in it. Further, these labels must contain the proportion of CBD, THC and other cannabinoids as well as the concentration of recommended doses.