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Marijuana Legalization and the United States

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The United States is constantly evolving around new ideas and ever changing matters. The stance on how people and governments see and understand matters that affect them is ever changing and must be evaluated to keep up with current policies and data. Marijuana is a matter that is a present subject which is in the news and creating much debate. This discussion will speak on how cannabis affects our economics, medical uses, and laws.

The economics of a state and government are important, marijuana is at the forefront of controversy over how a plant can generate money and in what way this is done under current laws. Many states have legalized marijuana allowing them to profit greatly with voter support. California became the first to pass laws allowing cannabis to be legal and generate taxes from the sale of all aspects of the plant (DePietro, 2018). Federal excise tax has a great potential to increase revenues of millions of dollars for states and the government. Due to taxation the cost associated with purchases of cannabis products will come from the individual buying the products incurring a higher price (Elkins, 2019). The increased cost to consumers is the process of how they tax marijuana, this is like a retail tax but much of the cost is to the growers, the merchandisers, and wholesalers (Tax Policy Center, n.d.). West coast states have taken the lead in passage of laws in recreational use allowing other states to jump on the band wagon and enjoy the profits due to tax revenues. Many states have not passed legislation on marijuana and it remains illegal. With growth from income generated from this plant other products have been extracted and marketed from cannabis for uses in other areas which has opened avenues in states not accepting legalization but accepting some aspects of uses.

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The use of marijuana for medical use is under debate and has been under studies and medical trials to validate claims of any benefit for medically use. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently has not identified or agree with any part of the plant or sativa to be of medicinal value or use. The FDA does allow for studies to be conducted on people to determine if there is efficacy and uses (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2019). There are many different chemicals locked within the cannabis plant and a big focus has been on the cannabinoids. There are more than one hundred cannabinoids locked within marijuana, and they contain delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), this is the substance that creates an altered effect on humans (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2019). THC is permissible in some states but is regulated through federal law which does not allow many of the biproducts of the plant for any use. “ Cannabidiol or (CBD) and their biproducts from the plant with less than 0.3% THC is allowed and legal within federal law for people to ingest” (What you can expect from Medical marijuana 2019). Under federal law the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) oversees marijuana and other Schedule 1 substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Currently it is unlawful for doctor or other medical personal to prescribe schedule 1 drugs to patients. The controlled substance act (CSA). 21 U.S.C.A. § 801 et seq, sets the guidelines for what a schedule 1 substance is and what it contains. One is “ high potential for abuse,” second “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” third is a “lack of accepted safety for use… under medical supervision (Shepard, n.d.). Currently there has been progress in this area where research, study, and trials to indicate any uses of THC, and cannabinoids are indicated to treat or have medicinal value to humans which have been granted to many researchers like the (NIH) National Institute of Health (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2019). Studies are uncovering evidence that elements within cannabis reduce cancer cells and their growth along relieving side effects from cancer treatments ( National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2019). The studies see possible treatments for diseases like HIV/AIDS, MS, and seizures to include other ailments like pain, and inflammation ( National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2019). There are two drugs the FDA have approved, dronabinol and nabilone which contain THC for use with chemotherapy patients to decrease nausea, this opens doors and sets a stage for more treatments with the chemicals from cannabis. Trial studies and research push the envelope and introduce possibilities for new treatments with schedule 1 drugs like marijuana while waiting for federal laws to catch up with the research.

Clinical trial and research have made strides in understanding marijuana and its abilities to alive symptoms from diseases and other ailments, but federal laws state that the growing, use, sale, and possessing is illegal. States have stepped up and enacted laws making marijuana legal causing a lack of understanding with medical staff, patients, and their caregiver to include clinical researchers (Mead, 2017). With some states legalizing marijuana they have made cannabidiol production, processing and supplying, along with treatable uses for people possible (Mead, 2017). “The components of cannabidiol are not listed separately under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), but THC is the only component under schedule 1 under DEA and the Officer of Public Affairs” (Mead, 2017). Intended uses of CBD oils are determined by the FDA, and with the low amounts of CBD oil being authorized for commercial sale and advertising many companies have been contacted informing them that they may be misleading to their customers on the affects and amounts of THC that they have advertised under dietary supplements (Mead, 2017). This is a legal issue that is face many small business owners within new markets in many states. Added confusion has happened with cultivation of industrial hemp being grown. A pilot program under researchers to grow and research the plant have had issues with the 2014 “Farm Bill” Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act 2014 (7 USC 5940), due to state interpretation of the bill (Mead, 2017). With the changes to laws and the growing acceptance of marijuana, new application from it has opened new challenges with legal proceedings in many states. Due to legalization of cannabis in areas of the country find people who have been sentenced or incarcerated in federal prisons with low level crimes have been pardoned or given reduced sentences and released, this was done by President Obama (Mead,2017). Many have taken to legal actions with the change of legality with marijuana sparking court cases like United States v. Green filing for dismissal of their charges on grounds that their conviction was “irrational and unconstitutional” (Mead 2017). Many constitutional claims have been pushed by many within the courts and the courts have pushed these issues back on the Congress and the FDA referring to their stance there is no accepted medical uses of marijuana (Mead, 2017). The debate over medical uses being accepted, the states legalizing, and the federal government viewing marijuana as illegal will be ongoing for the unseen future. The legality of this plant and its potential is locked up in clinical research and trial, and the legal system awaiting clarity and resolution for the future of marijuana.

Marijuana has many implication to society based on economics, medicinal uses, and legal policies that affect many aspects of our country. Today many people are torn over the acceptance of cannabis and are relying on our state and federal governments, along with research to come to some agreement on the future of marijuana and how it will be handled. Marijuana is here and has shown many uses that bring in revenue and possible health potentials for many Americans. It will be interesting to see what this plant can do and how it will be molded by the legal system.

Work Cited

  1. DePietro, A. (2018, November 1). Here’s How Much Money States Are Raking In From Legal Marijuana Sales. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewdepietro/2018/05/04/how-much-money-states-make-cannabis-sales/#615e0616f181
  2. Ekins, G., & Bishop-Henchman, J. (2019, August 8). Marijuana Tax Legalization and Federal Revenue. Retrieved from https://taxfoundation.org/marijuana-tax-legalization-federal-revenue/
  3. Federal Marijuana Law. (2018, May 8). Retrieved from https://www.safeaccessnow.org/federal_marijuana_law
  4. How do marijuana taxes work? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/how-do-marijuana-taxes-work
  5. Mead, A. (2017). The legal status of cannabis (marijuana) and cannabidiol (CBD) under U.S. law. https://www-sciencedirect- com.ezproxy.mclennan.edu/science/article/pii/S1525505016305856?via%3Dihub
  6. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, July). Marijuana as Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine
  7. Shepard, M. (n.d.). Trials & Tribulations: Will federal courts play role in marijuana legalization? Daily Record, The (Rochester, NY). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.mclennan.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bwh&AN=L54981932DRNY&site=eds-live
  8. SHU-ACQUAYE, F. (2016). The Unintended Consequence to Legalizing Marijuana Use: The Banking Conundrum. Cleveland State Law Review, 64(2), 315–328. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.mclennan.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=115096285&site=eds-live
  9. What you can expect from medical marijuana. (2019, November 27). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/medical-marijuana/art-20137855

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Marijuana Legalization and the United States. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved August 14, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/marijuana-legalization-and-the-united-states/
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Marijuana Legalization and the United States [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2022 Aug 14]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/marijuana-legalization-and-the-united-states/
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