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Marijuana in USA

Marijuana in USA

Write the first paragraph of your paper answering this question:
� Do you think medical marijuana should be legal in the United States, why or why not? This part of the
paper should be very brief.
Watch the PBS Frontline Documentary: The Pot Republic 1. What role does government
(state/local/federal) play in the marijuana issue in California? What are their concerns and goals?

  1. What role does business play in the marijuana issue in California? What are their concerns and goals?
  2. What role do nonprofits play in the marijuana issue in California? What are their concerns and goals?
  3. Has your opinion of the topic changed after watching the documentary, why or why not?

Marijuana in USA


I personally believe that Marijuana should be legalized. Legalizing and regulating this
drug will bring the American cash crop under rule of law. As a result, it will create jobs; paving
way for more economic opportunities in the American formal economy as opposed to the illicit
market which is not regulated (Szalavitz, 2013).The inadequate law enforcement resources that
have been used to ban and inhibit the use of this drug will then be utilized in other areas such as
enhancement of public safety and corrections costs. Another benefit that comes with legalizing
Marijuana is that both the state and local governments will be in a position to acquire sources of
tax revenue from regulating marijuana sales.
From this documentary it’s apparent that numerous state laws have been established to in
California to determine on what components of Marijuana could be sold, how it can be sold and
the medical conditions for which marijuana could be prescribed (Wood, 2010). In the past, the
federal state worked against California state legalization of marijuana because federal laws did
not recognize Marijuana as a legal drug. There were major concerns and issues that caused the
federal government to be disinclined towards the usage of the. Foremost, using Marijuana
gravitated violence and abhorrence amongst the users, thus its usage often caused people to
break laws. Minors could be introduced to the drug and suffer irreversible mental damages,
selling of the drug could also pave way for vices like money laundering garnering detrimental
effects on the American economy(Szalavitz, 2013).
As a result, the American marijuana policy fell into legal bedlam. Gradually, the Obama
administration has backed off prosecuting drug laws in the Californian state paving way for
Marijuana to be used for medical purposes. Researchers have established that marijuana might
ease pain amongst the individuals suffering from long-term pain such glaucoma, seizures and

multiple sclerosis (Gillespie, 2014). It has been established that some of the human cells have
receptors wired to respond to marijuana’s active chemicals. As the significance of the drug
became apparent, the federal state changed it stance on the drug. Therefore, the US attorney’s
office no longer undertakes prosecutions against cultivators, distributors, and patients who make
use of the drug for as long as they follow the Californian state laws.
Since the beginning of California’s medical marijuana law, the Compassionate Use Act
of 1996, the state was locked in endless wars with the federal government because there were
concerns that the drugs could garner lethal effects on the users (Silverberg, 2013). The federal
government was apprehensive because of the noxious nature of the drug. The people running the
dispensaries were not well trained so they did not how to prescribe the drug. As a result of that
tension between the federal government and the state, many of the people who indulged in
cultivating and supplying the drug who were supposedly part of the “legal” chain of supply
conducted their activities with uncertainty (Gillespie, 2014). Prosecution from the federal
government loomed over them, creating the some fretfulness and the state laws acted as their
only safety net.
As the drug gained acceptance, the federal government send out memos to the law
keepers instructing them to minimize their effort in relation to prosecuting medical marijuana
cultivators, distributors, and patients (Green, 2012).Moreover, the law keepers and the
government agencies were instructed to exert efforts in prosecuting crimes that related to
violence, possession of illegal arms selling the drug to minors and many other drug related
Regardless of the position any one holds towards the legalization or ban of marijuana the
business sector believes that sell of Marijuana is both profitable and rewarding. It creates job

opportunities for both the cultivators and the sellers. Moreover, the patients are able to access the
medicine in clean and safe environment they don’t have to go to the illicit market in order to get
the drug. Hundreds esteemed economists have agreed that once the use of Marijuana is legalized
costs of law enforcement would be minimized leading to a reduced federal deficit through tax
revenue (Silverberg, 2013). It has been estimated that legalization of marijuana could save the
American government over thirteen billion dollars (Szalavitz, 2013).
The non-profit organizations in this documentary come in as mediators to make sure
that the consumers of the marijuana products get standardized goods. They come in to arbitrate
between the regulators and the distributors of the drug. As a result of their effort Marijuana
product testing has become a standard requisite for legalized marijuana markets (Wood, 2010).
As a result of this the patients are well informed concerning the cannabinoid profile and energy
of marijuana they consume. So far, universally accepted standard have not been formulated but
the non- profit making organizations have come in to make sure that the consumption of the drug
is not harmful to the end users. Consumers have also been mandated to request for information
concerning any pesticides, fertilizers, and other remaining solvents that could have remained on
the flowers of the plant during the cultivation process (Silverberg, 2013).
The non profits also push for the testing of mold, fungus and bacteria in the Marijuana
products offered for sale to make sure that the quality and safety of the drug is maintained. The
organizations have been pushing for the flowers and other cannabis products sold to consumers
to include cannabinoid profiles. These profiles should indicate the percentage of THC, CBD and
other major cannabinoids together with the concentration of doses in a product (Gillespie, 2014).
This is particularly important in relation to the edible products which are likely to contain

varying doses of cannabis. The non-profits stand in to cater for consumer need to make sure that
the products sold are safe and are well labeled.  

Some organizations like National Institute for Drug Abuse make case against the
legalization of Marijuana drug. They argue that the drug affects unborn fetuses, affecting the
human memory not forgetting the addictive nature of the drug (Green, 2012). Other
organizations like CNBC report marked decreased productivity at work place, poor concentration
and the tendency to commit crime amongst the drug users. According to the organization, people
who identify themselves as heavy users of the drug have a high rate of mental health problems,
poorer physical health and a lack of motivation to succeed in life. Some studies find a direct
correlation between high school dropout rates and marijuana use.

No my opinion has not changed. I believe that Marijuana is not harmful as long as it’s
used well and in proper context, dosage and concentration. In California there is a drive for
medical Marijuana and this is precipitated by two reasons: patients suffering from chronic
diseases can ease their pain through the drug because the traditional medicine has provided
minimal or no relief. Secondly, there is an underground campaign to make marijuana legal,
because the drug is a harmless recreation. It won’t hurt to try something that has been peddles for
years albeit illegally, and it can also provide relief for people where nothing else has worked.



Green, J. (2012).Cannabusiness. Atlantic. 01/04/2012, Vol. 303 Issue Database: Australia/New
Zealand Reference Centre.
Gillespie, N. (2014).What Pot Legalization Could Teach Obamacare.
Time.com. 08/01/2014 Database: Proquest.
Silverberg, D. (2013).Arresting the Drug Laws. Database: Emerald.
Szalavitz, M. (2013).How Marijuana Decision Could Signal Turning Point in the U.S. War on
Drugs. Time.com. 16/10/2013. Database: Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre.
Wood, D. (2010).Marijuana in California: Prop. 19 won’t stop federal drug enforcement.
Christian Science Monitor. 15/10/2010 Database: Ebscohost.

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