Proposal paper The Federalization of Marijuana
Seventy years ago the federal government banned, the plant marijuana, and today the legalization of Marijuana has become a serious and controversial issue from the municipal level all the way up to the federal level. The Federal government spending billions fighting a war against Marijuana and other drugs is one of the biggest problems in the United States of America. According to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the federal government spends fifty-eight billion dollars annually to fight the war on drugs. The federal government has spent over a trillion dollars (DPA) on fighting controlled substances for close to seventy years and created government agencies to fight its war on drugs.
The federal classification of Marijuana as a controlled substance is another issue. In the last 50 years, no government sponsored human study has been done in the United States to seriously test Marijuana for any positive or negative effects. Despite the absence of studies, the Center for Diseases Control (CDC) have released statements about Marijuana. According to CDC, the controlled substance, Marijuana is considered not addictive and/or harmful over the long term and short term compared to other controlled substances such as Opioids, Amphetamines and alcohol.
2,220,300 or 1 in every 110 American adults are or have been incarcerated in relation to drug related crime. Marijuana, the most commonly used controlled substance in the United States, accounts for more forty percent of yearly drug arrests (DPA) and 88 percent of all drug arrests are possession related. The harsh mentality that the federal government has towards drugs originated during the area between the end of the American Mafia and the rise of the cartels and other gangs. Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, began an all-out war to try to scare people out of using and selling drugs to cripple American organized crime.
The illegality of Marijuana in 2015 is a mirror image of prohibition in the late 1920’s early 1930’s. The Federal Ban in both time frames allowed for the enrichment of unscrupulous criminal organizations. These intricate criminal enterprises through price gauging and violent reigns of terror means have created a billion dollar industry in drug trafficking. Law enforcement agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Drug enforcement Agency struggle to fight a war though sheer force of will; in the process, they waste tens of billions of dollars.
Some states in the USA, have adopted the same mentality that the FBI did when the leaders of the bureau realized that there was an easier way to stop organized crime, by legalizing significant parts of its business. The repeal of prohibition lead to the crippling of the American Mafia, and an increase in tax revenues. 23 states have decriminalized marijuana and legalized it in some form or fashion and have generated a new tax revenue stream from licensing fees and taxes. If California legalized marijuana it would increase its tax revenue by close 1.4 billion dollars a year, and it could reduce law enforcement expenditures by close to twenty percent. (DPA). According to the National organization of reforming Marijuana law (NORML), In the state of Colorado, Marijuana has been legalized and is regulated the same way the states regulate Alcohol and Tobacco. With minimum ages and limits on how much a person can buy at one time, Colorado has doubled tax revenues since it was legalized and is decreasing its deficits as well. Organizations like Citizens against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM) are opposed to the federal legalization of Marijuana but use flawed reasoning to justify their message. They cite that the CDC still classifies Marijuana as a gateway drug and easily abused. The reality is that Marijuana is actually better for a person than Alcohol. Alcohol has no known medical uses