Running head: MARIJUANA
Decriminalization of Marijuana Ashford Student PHI 103 Dr. St. Clare September 10, 2009
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MARIJUANA Decriminalization of Marijuana Current drug policy in the United States prohibits the use of marijuana by private citizens. While some states have decriminalized this drug for medical use, there is still a stigma that is associated with its use, and prescription use is not recognized in the majority of states. This stigma would best be combated not simply by the decriminalization of marijuana for medical purposes but also the decriminalization of its use by private citizens for recreational purposes. Part I: Argument Use of the drug marijuana should be decriminalized not only for medical uses but for
recreational uses. At one time, marijuana use was legal in the United States as well as the use of narcotics such as opium. The criminalization of marijuana began in the 1920s, most notably after the International Opium Convention of 1925. The criminalization of this drug led to a rapid rise in imprisonment for offenses. Between the years of 1920-1970, more people were imprisoned for drug offenses than all other crimes (Husak, 2000). This worked to put a strain on the prison system. The decriminalization of marijuana would help to ease the strain on the prison system and help to eliminate the issue of overcrowding the current prison system is now facing. This overcrowding of the prison system directly affects budgeting issues not only in individual states but also in the federal budget. If the number of persons in the judicial system is decreased, this should free up some of the money that is allotted to that system. By reducing the overhead of the judicial system, the federal government could put that allotted money to use in other departments.
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