The Legalization of Marijuana in the U.S.
Marijuana is the psychoactive drug derived from the varieties of hemp, which contains the largest number of psychoactive substances (cannabinoids). In nature, there are approximately 60 cannabinoids, the most effective of which is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. There are three main types of cannabis: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. The latter contains an extremely small amount of psychoactive substances. Different types of this substance are used in medicine. According to the current data, marijuana is used for patients with chronic pain (for example, cancer patients) because it can reduce persistent pain. Despite its usefulness as a physic, many people use it for entertainment purposes. Nowadays it is forbidden by the US legislation. Nevertheless, due to the last news, citizens of the two American states voted for regulation and taxation of marijuana for entertainment purposes (Boaz, 2007). It is necessary to mention that marijuana is an illegal drug in the U.S. today. The proponents of its legalization support the view that the vote became a harbinger of change. Thus, the difficult situation has emerged, and there are both positive and negative consequences of such legalization. It is obvious that the drug, which is extremely dangerous for a human organism, should be distributed under strict control carried out by the government. The executives should analyze all negative features of this substance in order to make the legalization process as safe as possible.
Marijuana can make an extremely harmful effect on the human health; on the other hand, the government should consider the public opinion and make some steps towards its legalization. In the American states of Colorado and Washington, the voting was held, and the results brought joy to marijuana users, as well as created numerous problems for the police. It was the turning point, which gave the possibility to take the next steps to the complete governmental approval of the marijuana usage. However, these two states have a strong confrontation with the government, due to the fact that, according to the federal legislation, the distribution of this drug for entertainment purposes is prohibited. This ban on the use was established long ago, and it aimed at reducing the drug addiction and prevent the massive distribution of this dangerous substance (Waldock, 2010).
The voting shoved the positive public’s attitude to marijuana, despite its harmfulness and danger. The effects of using this drug can be divided into two categories: the effect of short-term use, and the effect of long-term use. The first is mostly connected with mental and physiological disorders caused by intoxication. People with these symptoms cannot perceive reality adequately and control their actions fully. Thus, it can lead to a disturbance of public order and commission of crimes. Moreover, the severe overdose can lead to death. The long-term use can result in the changes in the brain, memory loss, affect intelligence, reproductive system, the lungs, the fetus and newborn, cause the carcinogenicity, dependence, psychosis, loss of motivation syndrome, and many other negative influences. (Miron, 2010). Based on the mentioned above consequences of the marijuana usage, it is terrible to imagine how many people would not be able to resist the temptation and lose their connection with the society. This danger is obvious only for doctors and those who have legal consciousness and common sense.
Despite the state’s governmental approval of the cannabis usage, there are certain restrictions, which should be followed. Individuals, who have not turned twenty-one, will not be able to use marijuana, and the state of Washington prohibits advertising of it within 300 meters of schools, playgrounds, parks and other places where there are many children. However, there are a plenty of problems concerning the implementation of these provisions. First, there are numerous types of cannabis, which have different color and odor. Therefore, it will be complicated for police officers to identify cannabis and its illegal use. Second, it is extremely difficult to prove that marijuana was used by a child because low doses of the drug can only be detected during medical examination. This problem did not exist in times of absolute cannabis prohibition and a person could be arrested if the officer found this drug in his/ her pockets or bag (Waldock, 2010). The older friend can take marijuana and distribute it among the underage. Now it will be much more difficult to prove this action and accuse the violator.
The usage of cannabis can affect the employment relationships negatively. There is a critical question whether it is allowed to use marijuana at work. There is no doubt that the drugs should be prohibited at the workplace. The new Colorado law authorized the employers to disallow subordinates to use this drug. "In this respect, the law does not change anything," - says Mason Tvert, a leader of the Campaign for granting a marijuana the status similar to alcohol (Butler, 2012). When a person uses the drugs at the workplace, the employer has the right to dismiss him or her. It will be very difficult to prevent employees from illegal actions due to the fact that the prohibition concerns the usage of the drug, but not its possession.
In addition, there is the urgent need to emphasize that the drug cannot be used while driving, so it is extremely necessary to establish strict control over the drivers. Before the marijuana legalization in these two states, even the presence of such substantial in the car was punishable in accordance with the legislation. Now, an adult person can keep drugs in a car, of course, but not use it. Thus, in order to prove the fact of the drug use, the law enforcement bodies are obliged to engage medical experts (Butler, 2012).
There is a distinction between the purposes of the marijuana use; it is crucial to distinguish them. The drug can be used for medical and entertainment purposes. First refers to the situations when an appropriate type of cannabis is used in the treatment and under the guidance of a doctor. These medicines can only be bought at the pharmacy on medical prescription. The second situation connected with uncontrollable usage of dangerous substances concerns the entertainment purposes. Consequently, law enforcement officers should have appropriate knowledge to determine whether the person uses drugs as a therapeutic agent or not.
The position concerning the unacceptability of the marijuana distribution is based on the analysis of the main school core values. Thus, the hospitable community should consider the needs of its members but not welcome the usage of harmful substances, even by adults and in spare time. The responsible environment cannot be created when every person has the right to take drugs. As was mentioned above, cannabis can be a cause of social disorder and even crimes. Consequently, it is hardly possible to develop a responsible society when the majority supports a free usage of dangerous substances. Moreover, the drugs do not contribute to a normal development of the personality: his/ her mind, spirit, and body. Young people should do sports and engage in self-development but not wait for adulthood to smoke cannabis. Consequently, the school integrity and commitment to excellence and honest cannot go along with the free drug distribution.
Based on all mentioned above, it is necessary to note that the legalization of marijuana is an extremely complex issue, which should be provided carefully and with an appropriate legal regulation. Senseless usage of cannabis can lead to uncontrollable situations. Despite the full public acceptance, there is no need to contradict the federal legislation and allow drug usage locally.