In the United States, there are certain levels of legalities regarding the use and possession of cannabis, also known as marijuana. At state levels, various policies determine the use of marijuana; some states refer to the use as solely medical, some adjudge it for recreational purposes too and several states still prohibit its use for any purposes. Although, 47 states have legalized the use of cannabis for medical treatment, out of which 14 states limit the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.
Under US federal law, cannabis is still considered as a Substance I drug and its decriminalization policies around the world only cause a non-criminal offense on possessing this drug. This is just like breaking any traffic law and being charged on it. However, in Asian and middle east countries, the charges for possession of even a tiny amount would get you arrested for years under criminal case, where even a proficient attorney could not save you. Whereas, some countries tolerate the sale of cannabis on licensed establishments. So, you can observe the pattern of the legality of marijuana according to every country’s needs, culture and its inhabitants.
All around the world, people are still struggling to legalize and relax the use of cannabis as they consider that such restrictions only create more racial discrimination in the sense that only people of color are arrested more consciously for marijuana use even though white people smoke pot on the same rates. Moreover, prohibition fosters an illegal cannabis market, underground dealings that only benefit drug cartels and promotes organized crime. This would also affect the revenue of the country as illegalizing the drug would not stop the cash flow so why not make it legal and earn some for the state too! In addition to that, prevention laws waste billions of dollars even on minor criminalization offenses of marijuana users.
Furthermore, there is a dire need to innovate the use of marijuana medically owing to without its use in treatments, doctors could not access the benefits it can give to the medical industry. Adding to that, sometimes extremely sick patients require the intake of cannabis, and due to these regulations, they fail to survive in the long run. Marijuana has been proven to mitigate the symptoms of many diseases such as AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and severe pain. Supporting the decriminalization of marijuana, Morgan Freeman said, “I have fibromyalgia pain in my left arm, and the only thing that offers any relief is marijuana. They’re talking about kids who have grand mal seizures, and they’ve discovered that marijuana eases that down to where these children can have a life. That right there, to me, says ‘legalize it across the board!’”
The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) believes that cannabis should be regulated like tobacco and alcohol. Further initiatives are taken, even in the Congress bill which is proposing to de-schedule marijuana from federal laws and this policy to be handed over to individual state laws. A lot has been changed since the past decade regarding this drug laws, and a lot more is being seen to be changed, for better.