State And Federal Marijuana Laws Essay

State And Federal Marijuana Laws Essay

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The criminal justice system is in place to catch and punish those who break the law. In order for the system to remain fair and viable, everything from apprehension to sentencing has to be done following certain rules. In order for the system to be trusted by the public, the policies and procedures must be beneficial and help everyone, the system must be an open process to the citizens at every stage possible and the system must be consistent with federal laws. “Inconsistencies between state and federal marijuana laws extend to issues of employment, housing, banking, property rights and a variety of other areas. In addition, while the Obama administration’s clear guidelines that allow state marijuana regimes have given clarity to states with regard to the operation of their systems, they do little else. In fact, in many ways they enhance the legal difficulties and complexities in American drug policy” (Hudak, 2015).
There have been many policies throughout history that have been ratified, thrown out and given an alternate solution in order to make the policy work. Since laws apply to everyone, when they are being enforced, it is important that the criminal justice system stays neutral. For the criminal justice system to remain neutral, specific policies and procedures have to be in place. Many of those policies historically have been modified in one way or another to fit current societal views.
Policy Identified
In an attempt to put a stop to the drug trade, the nation has increased border security, made more arrests, and has lengthened sentences for drug offenses to stop drugs from entering the country. The US has also spent billions of dollars on anti-drug operations overseas with local police forces or militia. “In the past fo...

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...n the U.S., but leading sociologists have found that it is due to other societal factors, and not government policy” (, n.d.).
It is hard to disagree that the mass criminalization of drug users has been beneficial, instead leading to the overcrowding of our prisons. Overall, drug use rates are down from where they were 25 years ago. This could lead people to believe that the current drug policy is doing something right. “Abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is costly to our Nation, exacting more than $700 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and health care” (NIDA, 2016). The number of non-violent offenders in the prison system as a result of drug addiction is really high. Addiction in repeat offenders needs to be the primary focus of changing policies if the US wants to continue being a progressive nation.

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