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Should illegal drug use be decriminalized?

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by

andrew tee

on 13 January 2014

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Transcript of Should illegal drug use be decriminalized?

There has been a political history of cannabis ever since the Marijuana Tax Act was passed in 1937.This act criminalized marijuana, prohibiting the possession of the drug to anyone without a registered license. Today, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau wants it legalized in Canada. Police Officers In Canada want to simply fine people for small possession instead of charge them. But not everyone is for the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana Stephen Harper has stated that "No the decriminalization of marijuana will not happen under our government".




If marijuana was decriminalized do you think it would ever be as socially acceptable as drinking alcohol?
Marijuana
Pros
Government would make money of taxes
Police can focus on more serious crimes
Gang violence would reduce
Users would get safe drugs
Reduce illegal selling
Medical issues
Natural
Easy to use
What are your thoughts about the fact that today almost half of Canada's population (44%) has tried marijuana at least once in their life time?
Should illegal drug use be decriminalized?
Economic Factors
Other Drugs
The main reason for decriminalizing drugs is so that people can use these drugs for medical purposes. Although a lot illegal drugs may have harsh side affects, some may provide medical benefits to people in pain.

A lot of people do not believe that hard narcotics such as cocaine or heroin should be decriminalized however many federal governments have been on the fence about decriminalizing marijuana.
Marijuana is derived from the hemp plant (cannabis sativa) and is usually smoked using cigarette rolling papers, pipes, or bongs. The earliest users on cannabis date back to 2900 BC and it has been illegally used in rebellious ways for generations (hippies, Gang members etc).

The legalization of cannabis varies from country to country. Possession of cannabis is illegal in most countries and has been since the beginning of cannabis prohibition in the late 1930s. However, many countries have decriminalized the possession of small quantities of cannabis and have allowed people to purchased with medical permission.
Ex. Amsterdam, Uruguay, Washington, Colorado
Political History
Alternatives
Alcohol Alternatives
Exclusion Possibilities
Voluntary Exclusion



Cons
people see it as a gate way drug
it is still frowned upon by many people
fear of over abuse
health issue
would increase amount of under age user
Should Illegal Drugs be Decriminalized?
Over five hundred economists have signed a report stating that ending the war on drugs would save 7.7 billion dollars in government expenditures on drug law enforcement and if it were taxed similarly to alcohol and tobacco it could bring in as much as 6.2 billion dollars in revenue to the government annually.

However there could be a problem with this because if marijuana is taxed highly enough it might cause the more heavier users to resort to purchasing it illegally to save money the same way people purchase cigarettes illegally due to the reduced costs.
Do you believe that the
decriminalization of Marijuana would be harmful or beneficial to Canadian society?

The act of decriminalization is to eliminate criminal penalties or to remove legal restrictions against a certain act or substance and instead institute a fine for it the same way there are fines for speeding or illegally parking.

The reason behind decriminalizing marijuana is to prevent people who are purely personal users to be thrown in jail for possessing only a small amount of marijuana, this costs the government money and the police time and resources.
Decriminalization
How marijuana is viewed in today's society vs. the past
In 1970 the US congress passed the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. This act classified marijuana as nothing more than a drug with no accepted medical use. Canada had the same view points as well and in both countries marijuana was considered a taboo drug that was illegal and not appropriate for any sort of use whatsoever. In 1996 California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana usage. Now in 2014 Canada has legalized the use of medical marijuana as well as twenty states in the US. Not only that but Colorado and Washington are the first two states to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

So as you can see the more time goes on more and more people are slowly viewing marijuana as a less harmful alternative to alcohol and cigarettes. Not only that but marijuana is also being used more for its medicinal purposes as well. Most older generations still view it as something that should be illegal and banned while our younger generations see it to be no worse than alcohol.
What Do You Think?
The Governments View
While many Canadians and Americans believe that marijuana can be regulated, monitored and medically beneficial, the government still classifies marijuana to be in the same group as heroin, LSD and ecstasy. The federal Food and Drug Administration has a strict view on marijuana because it has a high potential for abuse like any other drug. Other government administrations such as the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, agree with the Food and Drug Administration and oppose the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. So While the government has shown some favor for marijuana over the past years many administrations still strongly oppose it considering it to be a dangerous drug due to the fact that marijuana has harmful side effects to your lungs and brain. This goes especially for adolescents since THC can be very harmful to adolescent brain function and development the same way alcohol can be.

Popularity
Today marijuana is one of the most used drugs next to alcohol. It has become popular with teens through media outlets such as music and TV. Many celebrities use or have claimed to use it and as a result the popularity of marijuana among teens and adults has sky rocketed over the past decades.

Although many people use or have used marijuana in their lifetime many still believe that it is wrong and immoral to partake in it. There is also evidence that suggests that marijuana is a harmful drug that affects the brain and lungs similar to alcohol and tobacco. For these reasons many people still believe that it should remain illegal.
Work Cited
Unknown , . "Medical Marijuana ." Historical Timeline. ProCon.org, 13 08 2013. Web. 12 Jan 2014.

Davidson, Terry. "Canada Should look to the US Before legalizing Pot." . Toronto Sun , 12 12 2013. Web. 12 Jan 2014.

Helmenstine, Anne Marie . "Marujuana Facts ." . About.com, 20 03 2012. Web. 12 Jan 2014.

Unknown , . "About Marijuana." . Normal.org, 02 10 2013. Web. 12 Jan 2014.

Smith, Alex. "Pro's of marijuana." . Marijuana Today, 11 16 2010. Web. 13 Jan 2014.

Leitzle, James, dir. Re-Legalizing Drugs . Youtube, 2011. Web. 13 Jan 2014.

Fairchild, Caroline . "Marijuana Taxes Revenue ." . N.p., 11 29 2012. Web. 13 Jan 2014.
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