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The Federal Government Must Decriminalize Marijuana

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Lately it seems that drug policy and the war on drugs has been in the headlines quite a lot. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the policies that the United States government takes against illegal drugs are coming into question. The mainstream media is catching on to the message of organizations and individuals who have long been considered liberal "Counter Culture" supporters. The marijuana question seems to be the most prevalent and pressed of the drugs and issues that are currently being addressed. The messages of these organizations and individuals include everything from legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, to full-unrestricted legalization of the drug. Of course, the status quo of vote seeking politicians and conservative policy makers has put up a strong resistance to this "new" reform lobby. The reasons for the resistance to the changes in drug policies are multiple and complex. The issues of marijuana’s possible negative effects, its use as a medical remedy, the criminality of distribution and usage, and the disparity in the enforcement of current drug laws have all been brought to a head and must be addressed in the near future. It is apparent that it would be irresponsible and wrong for the government to not evaluate it’s current general drug policies and perhaps most important, their marijuana policy. With the facts of racial disparity in punishment, detrimental effects, fiscal strain and most importantly, the history of the drug, the government most certainly must come to the conclusion that they must, at the very least, decriminalize marijuana use and quite probably fully legalize it.

The history of marijuana in North America is integral in understanding the reasons it is now illegal and how to...

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...ot admitting when it has made a mistake. A bold shift in policy would most likely allow the public to regain confidence that the system as working for public benefit rather than political gain. The history of marijuana and the gross injustices that we are currently seeing in the penal system together provide a near indefinable argument for legalization. If we hope to see a drop and reversal in the racial and ethnic discrimination that we see in our government’s conduct legalization would be an effective and positive first step. American’s have been living in what has been coined " a Puritanical hangover" for most of our history. It is time for us to shake off the shackles of our historical submissiveness to the wishes of a minority of citizens that feel they must dictate to us our ethical and moral responsibilities in the name of their beliefs and distorted opinions.
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