ENG122 English Composition II
Instructor Amanda Price
December 10, 2012
Introduction Even though some opponents of legalizing marijuana believe that individuals involved in illegal purchasing and peddling of the cannabis are more likely than average to be involved in other crimes, and that society is safer with marijuana offenders incarcerated. The Southwestern states could benefit even further when these savings are reinvested into education and Southwest border security. Cannabis legalization ought to free up resources to pursue violent criminals and also keep non-violent marijuana possession offenders out of the penal system, instead allowing them to continue to contribute as productive members of their communities. The legalization of cannabis within the United States might eliminate its illegal cannabis trafficking and the violence that is in its association in our Southwestern Borders.
The type of research that was conducted for research was completely encompassed of online resources exclusively. The most useful resource online reference located was mainly the Schaffer Library of Drug Policy, http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/index.htm. The Schaffer Library of Drug Policy website has provided valued ingenious facts from the history of cannabis prohibition to the medical use and now the flirting with the possibility of additional states besides Colorado & Washington to legalize recreational cannabis use within the United States. Other resources that were utilized during the online research process were obtained from mainly NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), norml.org. PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) www.pbs.org, The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) www.fbi.gov, Texas Monthly, http://www.texasmonthly.com/ and About.com, http://usliberals.about.com/.
Results The violence and drug abuse that accompanies the illegal cannabis trafficking in the Southwestern border especially in Texas continues to disrupt lives and families to satisfy addictions. Cannabis became illegal in Texas back in 1914, after a brawl supposedly involving a cannabis connoisseur in El Paso, Texas and then other states followed suit in outlawing cannabis (Martin, 2009). By 1931, 29 states had outlawed cannabis (Mannes, 1998). In 1937 the United States Treasury Department introduced the Marihuana Tax Act, which allowed taxation of cannabis for medicinal use and recreational use but this did not legalize its use. The Marihuana Act was repealed in 1969 because it violated the 5th Amendment in which the user or seller would need to declare self thus self-incrimination. The Marihuana Tax Act was supplanted with the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. The Controlled Substance Act of 1970 basically was enacted to control drugs directly not through taxation and moved the enforcement to the Department of Justice from the Department of Treasury. The Act assisted with the establishment of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). According to a recent survey conducted in September 2012 (Armentano, 2012), residents in the Southwest states support cannabis legalization with a considerably increased from 45% to 47% from last year. On the other hand, the opponents of legalizing marijuana believe that marijuana is a gateway drug that will lead to harsher drug use and increase violence in the United States. Attorney General Eric Holder announced on February 25, 2009, “that federal agents will now target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state laws” (White, 2011). Therefore if the individuals’ state allowed recreational cannabis use then the Federal government will not step in to enforce the federal law. The United States and the Mexican government have attempted to increase troops and police to expand the enforcement of drug trafficking. Unfortunately increasing presence at the Southwestern