Legalizing Marijuana: A Fight on the Run
The legality of marijuana or cannabis for recreational usage varies greatly from one country to another. In most countries possessing cannabis is illegal and things have been like that since cannabis prohibition was on the high during the later stage of the 1930s. However, in many countries decriminalization has allowed small amount of marijuana possession. This is particularly existent in North & South America, and Europe. Additionally, marijuana possession is legal in the North Korea, Netherlands, Cambodia and the U.S. states of Washington and Colorado. In fact, Colorado on 28 May 2013, reclaimed a new identity as the first, fully regulated market for people, especially adults needing recreational marijuana. A number of other countries have decriminalized marijuana for therapeutic purposes. In the United States, using pot for recreational or general purpose is not yet legalized on federal level. In Switzerland, Spain and Portugal, weed is decriminalized but its still illegal.
Presently a major chunk of the Americans favor the notion of legalization of marijuana or pots. However, it was just 2 decades back when use of marijuana was vehemently opposed by at least 80% of the population. Amazingly enough, this major paradigm shift came over in apparently three years. The tide seems to have turned. However, Brookings Institution based scholars, William Galston and E.J. Dionne, have warned the legalisers not to just blow the lid out of excitement. They have written that,”Support for legalization, though growing markedly, is not as intense as opposition, and is likely to remain relatively shallow so long as marijuana itself is not seen as a positive good.” Further they opined that the trend favoring legalizing of the weed has not met with such strong opposition as has the trend to legalization of gay or lesbian marriages.
More people support marijuana legalization at the behest of the belief that the prohibition advantages have not yet superseded the costs. Given such pragmatist ideals, a thought shift has been possible. But the aspect of morality is little less applicable here, especially to generate opposition for genuine moral reasons. A rare few with a liberal outlook would opine that prohibiting marijuana or pots would be an encroachment on individual’s freedom of action, enjoyment and recreation as long as its harmless. The prevalence of Americans pique to prohibition has brought about a change in views about marijuana legalization. Most people advocating a more liberal stand would observe that it’s technically a beastly act to deny medicinal marijuana to patients suffering from cancer or AIDS. These patients mostly suffer from major chronic pain.
Often, the protesters working drug addiction suggest that the thrust to marijuana legalization is derived primarily from the drive for medical reasons. And they are fully right in saying so. Successful legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in Washington and Colorado followed the drug’s normalization via the concept of ‘medical-marijuana dispensary’. This is definitely not a rosy picture. Medical weed is no doubt a propelling factor, but definitely it cannot be the ultimate factor to pave the path for legalization in a whole country according to Messrs Galston and Dionne. They further declared that support for legalization will not gain much momentum for as long as marijuana is not seen in a positive light. To add to the contention, Racism has emerged as the fresh medical marijuana. According to the recent report of ACLU “The War on Marijuana in Black and White”, has brought out the naked inequities demanding the enforcement of laws to promote possession of weed. Usage of marijuana among the white youths is considerably higher than that of the black youths.
The cannabis genus of plants include Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These are found mainly in Central and South Asian regions. Long been used for hemp, seed, seed oil, therapeutic reasons and for enjoyment, cannabis is strongly associated with marijuana which is dried cannabis flower. Another popular identity for marijuana is grass. It is a blend of dried leaves, stems, flowers and seeds of Cannabis sativa also known as hemp plant.