Prohibition Of Marijuana And Its Effects On America Essays

Prohibition Of Marijuana And Its Effects On America Essays

Length: 985 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Prohibition of Cannabis
For four and a half decades, the United States has fought and spent billions on the “War on Drugs.” Most recently, cannabis (marijuana, weed, THC) has been the focal point of this costly war. Since 1996, twenty-three states, with California being the first, have legalized cannabis for personal, medicinal, and recreational usage (Caplan 131). However, controversy over this not-so-new public enemy remains because it is still illegal under federal law. The War on Drugs is one without end. Advocates of marijuana prohibition believe it discourages crime and trafficking of the drug, while increasing overall productivity and health. Critics maintain it only has minimal effects on crime, trafficking and usage (Miron 2). Any substance consumed in excess can be detrimental to one’s health. Perhaps legalization and regulation rather than prohibition is the answer to the polemic topic of cannabis.
When an individual is restricted from indulging in an act or product that they enjoy, means of finding ways around the restrictions imposed will be their main priority. This can be seen in the Volstead Act, also known as the National Prohibition Act, which was passed on October 18, 1919. The Volstead Act outlawed the transport, sale, and production of alcohol. Before prohibition, alcohol was a thriving and taxed legal business in high demand. Similar to marijuana, alcohol, could be obtained with a prescription during that time and used strictly for medicinal purposes. At first, the “moral crusade” (Woodwiss 9) America was undergoing appeared to be working, as there was a decrease in the consumption of alcohol. However, half way through the era, the black market created by the prohibition movement elevated crime rates and in...


... middle of paper ...


...nd ecstasy. This is where state and federal laws collide with one another. Retail establishments that sell and grow “pot” are essentially breaking federal law, even though they are legitimate businesses licensed by the state. Douglas Hiatt, a criminal defense attorney and cannabis activist told “Time” magazine “Nothing is legal under I-502. They can still put you in prison for having it. They can still put you in prison for growing it. And they can still come after you for selling it.” The I-502 (Initiative 502) was the ballot Capitol Hill passed for the legalization of recreational usage of marijuana, with Colorado having a similar ballot known as Amendment 64. Even so, with these new laws in place permitting the growth and sale of marijuana, federal law supersedes that of the state, giving authorities the discretion to “crackdown” anytime on pot merchants and users

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Modern-Day Prohibition- The Criminalization of Marijuana

- In January of 1919, the 18th amendment, the prohibition of alcohol, was ratified due to progressive movements. It was soon repealed in 1933, when crime increased and issues spread throughout the country. The concept of “gangsters” was established and unsafe alcohol became apart of America’s diet. This problem is now evident in this country today. Marijuana, an all natural plant that is known to get someone “high,” or to alter the state of mind, has been illegal since 1937 when the Marijuana Tax Act was put into action....   [tags: marijuana, weed, cannabis, prohibition]

Strong Essays
547 words (1.6 pages)

Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Essay

- Since 2900 BC, Marijuana, has been used as a medication for people suffering from illnesses.  The Chinese, Egyptian, Indian, Roman, as well as the Ancient Greece cultures became extremely interested in Marijuana’s healing properties when they realized that the drug helped treat people suffering from glaucoma, gout, cramped joints, violent pain, earaches, inflammation, leprosy, edema, and other diseases affecting the body (Deitch).  The idea of using Marijuana as a healer became popular all around the World and by the 1900s, it was being used in South Asia to treat asthma, bronchitis, and the loss of appetite (“A Note on Marijuana”)....   [tags: Marijuana Legalization]

Strong Essays
1524 words (4.4 pages)

America Needs Medical Marijuana Essay

- There is no doubt that alcohol is America’s most popular and prominent drug. The sale and distribution has been legal since its early development. However, along with the social gratification of alcohol comes many dangerous effects and consequences. In contrast, marijuana, which has less severe and damaging effects and many medicinally beneficial qualities, has been outlawed by the American government. Although the utilization of both substances may lead to very detrimental side effects, it is unjustifiable to sanction the legalization of alcohol while simultaneously prohibiting the use of marijuana and its potentially beneficial qualities....   [tags: Medical Marijuana]

Free Essays
1832 words (5.2 pages)

Legalization of Marijuana Essay

- Ever since marijuana’s introduction to the United States of America in 1611, controversy of the use and legalization of the claimed-to-be Schedule I drug spread around the nation. While few selective states currently allow marijuana’s production and distribution, the remaining states still skepticize the harmlessness and usefulness of this particular drug; therefore, it remains illegal in the majority of the nation. The government officials and citizens of the opposing states believe the drug creates a threat to citizens due to its “overly-harmful” effects mentally and physically and offers no alternate purposes but creating troublesome addicts hazardous to society; however, they are rather...   [tags: MArijuana, legalization, drugs]

Strong Essays
1053 words (3 pages)

Pros & Cons of Legalization of Marijuana Essay

- Introduction The legalization of marijuana is considered a controversial issue, something that can benefit people for medical purposes, but what about recreationally. Marijuana has been illegal since 1937, but there’s never been a bigger push for legalization. There are several reasons why it is illegal, because of government propaganda and big industry not wanting to lose money, but this will be discussed later. The purpose of this paper is to educate, theorize, and discuss various aspects of marijuana, such as its history, development, and the advantages and disadvantages of marijuana legalization....   [tags: Marijuana Legalization Essays]

Strong Essays
1651 words (4.7 pages)

The Legalization of Marijuana in the USA Essay

- Legalization of marijuana is one of the most controversial topics in American society today. Surveys done by the US Government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive showed that 95 million Americans have used marijuana. There are two opposing sides that have strong stances on whether it should become legal or should remain illegal. We have one side that is anti-marijuana and the other is pro-marijuana. Each side provides valid and strong arguments supporting their views. The purpose of this paper is to carefully examine each opposing side and try to find some way to come to a compromise....   [tags: Argumentative essays, pro-marijuana]

Strong Essays
1058 words (3 pages)

Marijuana Use Should be Legal Essay

- Marijuana Use Should be Legal The issue of the legalization of Marijuana is a never-ending battle that the country will never fully win. Marijuana should be legalized because it is a large part of the drug war, which will never come to an end. Society is in the midst of a time of anguish and skepticism of what will become of the nation. With all of the problems happening around us, the government and officials should begin to realize that the time and effort spent on battling the drug, marijuana, could be better used in other areas....   [tags: Legalization of Marijuana]

Strong Essays
926 words (2.6 pages)

Marijuana Should Be Legal Essays

- Abstract The following is a proposal for a public policy that would legalize marijuana and have the drug be treated as alcohol. This is necessary because the current policy is detrimental to society and the legalization of marijuana would be beneficial. The prohibition of the drug is unfounded because tobacco and alcohol, legalized substances, are more dangerous than marijuana. Also, the legislation regarding the drug was created on racist sentiments, reducing the law’s credibility. The current policy also creates a dangerous black market and renders our prison system ineffective....   [tags: Legalization of Marijuana]

Strong Essays
2317 words (6.6 pages)

The Federal Government Must Decriminalize Marijuana Essay

- 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....   [tags: Legalize Marijuana]

Strong Essays
2430 words (6.9 pages)

Essay We Must Reform Marijuana Laws

- According to government figures, nearly 70 million Americans have smoked marijuana at some time in their lives. 18 million have smoked marijuana within the last year, and ten million are regular smokers. Almost all of the people arrested for marijuana are arrested for possession. And because of harsh federal and state penalties, these people may be sentenced to lengthy jail terms. This is an abuse of drug laws in a great nation. The marijuana laws need to be reformed, and the war against marijuana rethought....   [tags: Legalization of Marijuana]

Strong Essays
762 words (2.2 pages)