The legalization of marijuana is a highly debated topic in the United States today, especially among young voters like us. Do you think it should be legal?
Technically, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the federal government. Under the Controlled Substances Act, Schedule I drugs are defined as having a high potential for abuse, having no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the US, and having a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision. This definition may be confusing, since several states have passed legislation allowing medical use of the drug. Still, under Federal law, medical marijuana does not technically exist.
One of the major causes of debate surrounding marijuana is the fact that the FDA approved medical use of the drug and similar synthetic products. It seems wrong for the federal government to prohibit the use of a product that has been tested and approved by such a well-respected administration. Much conflict lies in the contrasts between state and federal laws. While marijuana is completely illegal according to the federal government, states have begun to legalize the use of the drug for medical purposes. For this reason, there are often inconsistencies when prosecuting marijuana use in states that legalized it. The Office of National Drug Control Policy even issued guidelines for prosecutors dealing with cases such as these.
I don’t think I would consider myself a hippy, but I do believe in the legalization of marijuana. Alcohol was prohibited at one point, but was then legalized with restrictions. Marijuana is nowhere near as potent as many of the other Schedule I drugs, so I believe that it should be allowed with constraints. Much like alcohol and tobacco, one way to moderate marijuana use is to impose an age requirement. Another way would be to limit the amount that a person is permitted to have in their possession. With boundaries, why shouldn’t marijuana be legalized for those who wish to use it recreationally?