Legalization of Marijuana for Medical and Recreational Use
Legalization of cannabis is a disputable but relevant question in America nowadays. Legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use, including legal grow of sativa and indica, distribution, and transportation is the topic that is interesting not only to Americans, but to the whole world society. This paper explains why legalization of marijuana for medical use is essential nationwide as well as for recreational use by adults over 21 years, just like alcohol or tobacco products. Moreover, the paper focuses on historical facts connected with this product and its legalization in the US.
Cannabis is widely known as a drug that contains psychoactive elements. Sativa and indica plants, being two different sorts of marijuana, are mostly used not only as herbs, food for animals (fish and parrots), medicine, or raw material in cloth making, but also as a drug that is used by teenagers and youth. That is why manufacturing, distribution, and transportation of this drug is forbidden by the Government and is associated with severe penalties according to the rules and legislations of the state or region.
Speaking about the distribution of this product, it is important to state that marijuana is an illegal product in the United Stated. This product is in the list of substances in the Controlled Substances Act. It is perceived to have high abuse potential and considered as not effective in medicine. Nevertheless, some states do not have the same standards. Some states have decriminalized cannabis for its medical use.
The Federal Court of United States has affirmed several court cases that belong to marijuana illegal use: in 2001, United States v. Oakland Cannabis Byers Cooperative, which overturned California proposal 215 according to which in 1996 it legalized marijuana for medical purposes; in 2005, Gonzales v. Raich, as in the previous example, upheld right of the federal government to ban marijuana in all states of America (White 2012).
Historically, up till 20th century, marijuana was a legal product and its use was not strictly regulated by the Government. It was used as an ingredient for pharmaceutical medicines of a large scale. Its recreational characteristics were first learned by Americans in the 20th century from Mexican immigrants. Starting from 1920s - 1930s, cannabis was officially researched. Since that time, it became perceived as a drug that is related to violence and inadequate behavior of individuals who use it.
Sometimes people say that the rise of marijuana consumption was caused by popularity of non-alcohol movement. Others believe that cannabis was popularized by Mexicans, who used it as a drug. Starting from 21st century, marijuana was banned in the United States of America. Due to narcotic qualities of marijuana and social prejudices, most societies consider that marijuana has strong effect on the mind and is related to criminal thinking. In addition, violence and high crime rates are usually related to cannabis growing and distribution.
In the last few years, there were several attempts to legalize marijuana. For example, in 2011, on June 23, a federal bill was introduced that had an intention to remove cannabis from the list of banned and controlled products. Two years before this, Eric Holder, Attorney General stated that the Government should control distribution of this herb only, while it violates and breaks laws of one or another state. Moreover, in November 2010, Californian government loosened marijuana laws after the reading of ballot proposition, which stated: "Californians over age 21 would be able to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, and grow their own plants on a plot up to 5 feet by 5 feet large" (White 2012).
Marijuana has a big potential in a medical care system. Cannabis grow for pharmaceutical purposes is governmentally controlled since 1978. Those patients, who receive medical marijuana have more positive results that those who do not use it for medical or recreational use. Regulating distribution of this product is needed because its legalization would increase its use among youngsters. However, it is not as dangerous as other drugs and it can be compared with the use of alcohol. In the recent years, social attitudes changed a lot. Every year there are more and more people who see more positive sides in the use of marijuana. Youth is more interested in such changes than older people. However, old people who use marijuana mostly receive better results and reduced pain feelings after the treatment.
Since marijuana is one of the strongest products used for therapy, it is recommended to be used as an antiemetic. Being used since medieval ages in India, it confirms its psychoactive properties that are used by doctors to reduce severity of variety of disorders. Cannabis helps treat such problems as gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia, headaches, cancer pain, and many other sorts of health problems. It gives big relief from spasms and chronic pain. Moreover, cannabis can benefit the person psychologically, that is why it is used not only for pain relief, but also for spiritual help. Bello claims:
Marijuana will not tolerate repression. Tranquillizers and depressants relax the body and release tension, but the state of mind associated with these drugs is "unconsciousness" whereby we escape rather than resolve our dilemmas. Alcoholism is an extreme need of both the body and personality sometimes to release the nervousness that has accumulated and continues to build up to an unbearable degree. It serves the same function for the collective personality for the society, as well A culture in which alcohol and tranquillizers are the prevalent form of release prefers not to witness internal confusion and actually choose to act without conscious participation, maintaining a semi-numb condition (2008).
Marijuana helps people who have problems with nervous system and suffer from mood disorders. That is why marijuana must be legalized for medical purposes and for recreational use nationwide. Its positive properties are widely known by doctors, and its negative effects can be easily compared to effects of alcohol on the body.
Since 2010, many states have reconsidered their laws regarding marijuana use. For example, Washington, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts states have legalized marijuana for medical use and recreation. In addition, there are many states that move in a way of loosening criminal punishments for marijuana use and distribution among society in the region. In Washington, for example, people are prohibited to drive after smoking marijuana. It can be compared with restrictions related to alcohol consumption. In other two states, Colorado and Massachusetts, there are no limitations for the use of marijuana.
Speaking about this problem from the perspective of the Government, it is possible to say that Obama avoids any questions about legalization of cannabis. He thinks that this is not a thing that can strengthen economy of a country. Such a reaction proves the uncertainty on this point, and many Americans consider that this answer is not appropriate. Having no arguments for and against this issue, he could not say anything about negative effects of marijuana, and, more importantly, about social benefits in the sphere of healthcare. However, before becoming a president, Obama declared in the Northern University in 2004 year that there is no need to fight against marijuana distribution, and laws that are related to this problem need to be decriminalized. Legalization of marijuana is a big step for a healthcare system. It could be used not only for recreational use but also for treatment of pain disorders, side effects of cancer, and many severe diseases that are accompanied by a severe pain. That is why this question cannot be omitted by the head of the Government.
To sum up, it is important to say that use of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes is essential. National legalization of marijuana in the United States would lead to new possibilities in the sphere of healthcare system. Some states have legalized marijuana, and many other states think about decriminalization of cannabis. Social attitudes towards marijuana change every year and become more and more tolerant. That is why the Government should review its laws and conditions towards cannabis and punishment for distribution and transportation of this product.
To sum up, it is important to say that healthcare economics, first of all, deals with evaluation of potential costs of medical products and statistics on the large scale. It helps healthcare institutions conduct adequate research about pharmaceutical qualities and product costs. In addition, it helps consumers become informed about the rates of healthcare institutions. Financial evaluation on the stage of manufacturing, transportation, and distribution is highly important for market operation. Difference of means, as a system, provides accurate results according to data comparison.