Will we see the legalization of Marijuana at the federal level?
Before answering this question we should look at some of the some of the reasons that lead to the legalization of Marijuana. We will then evaluate the bodies responsible of legalization. After reviewing this points and comparing them to the reasons for criminalizing Marijuana, we will decide the possibility of marijuana legalization at the federal level.
Reasons for legalizing Marijuana
1. Marijuana prohibition has high social costs
The process of prohibiting the use of Marijuana drains public resources. The sacrificing of police officers to arrest Marijuana users’ compromises the quality of police services. This sacrifice is then followed by putting productive young people into prisons where their lives waste away
2. There are little to no benefits of criminalizing Marijuana
The number of people arrested with Marijuana charges has been on the rise for the last decade. This is despite the continued increase in the amount of money the government spends in criminalizing it. Marijuana has been criminalized for over three decades and still, over 3 million Americans still use it.
A study of the history of criminalizing Marijuana reveals that it was mostly implemented as Marijuana was associated with African Americans and Mexicans. Since the country has, for the most part, shunned off these beliefs, the criminalization should also be abolished.
4. Cannabis has legitimate medical applications
The belief that Marijuana is harmful has for a long time been exaggerated. This, for a long time, was so much so that when the medical application first came, they were believed to be a hoax. It is however medically proven that Marijuana can be of great help for pain alleviation and epilepsy patients. Here is a documentary by CNN outlining the medical uses of marijuana.
5. Legalization of Marijuana does not lead to increase in its use
Contrary to popular belief, legalizing Marijuana does not only make its use more controllable but also in some cases, it can lead to its reduced usage. A good example is the use of alcohol, through advertisement of the negative effects of alcohol; its usage has gone down by 24%. This is despite alcohol not being illegalized.
Bodies responsible of legalizing Marijuana
In the states where Marijuana has been legalized the state government has been responsible for it. The number of these states has also been on the rise. As of April 2017, there were 29 states that had legalized medical Marijuana. Considering that all this happened within a period of 2 decades and 17 of this legalization happened within the last 6 years, shows an increasing trend. Though federal legalization may take longer, the number of state legalization will probably go up and lead to federal legalization.
Considering the statistics, we will most probably see the legalization of Marijuana at the federal level. This is based on the fact that Marijuana is less harmful than some other legal drugs, the high cost and little to no benefits of illegalization of Marijuana and the medical advantages of Marijuana. However it is not likely to happen under the current administration.