For more than a decade, the prospect of legalized marijuana for both medicinal purposes and recreational uses have remained controversial. The debate over legalized marijuana has since accelerated by 2022. Although, there are still people who still opposed the legalization of marijuana, there has been a massive nationwide acceptance of marijuana use, ranging from medical use to recreational purposes. Thirty seven states within US regulate marijuana for medical purposes, and 19 states allow marijuana for recreational use (Schuster Bird, 2021).
However, with the existing state, medical marijuana projects would face difficulties with government regulation if marijuana was legalized, except if it was removed from the Schedule I drug. Up now, Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. This means that its possession is generally restricted except for specific research purposes. The classification is similar to that of heroin, which is used for drugs with no real clinical applications.
Vitiello (2019) opines that, marijuana has a significant health benefits, its legalization will help the country to collect more taxes just like in alcohol and tobacco thus aiding in economic development of the country. From the existing research, the benefits which come with legalization of marijuana outweighs the benefits of making the drug under Schedule I. Therefore, both the federal and states government should legalize the use of marijuana for whatever purposes, and this can be achieved through Removal of Hemp from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act through proposed Bills and Acts Supporting Legalization of marijuana.
The Need for Marijuana Legalization
The general public’s views on marijuana legalization haven’t changed much in recent years, however, there has been a long-term emotional shift. According to a recent study conducted by survey, 53% are in favor of legalizing marijuana while 44% are against it (Vitiello, 2019).When questioned about why they support or oppose legalization of marijuana, proponents cite its clear medical advantages or argue that it is no more dangerous compared to other drugs. The most frequently cited arguments in favor of marijuana legalization are its medical benefits (41%), followed by the belief that it is no worse than other drugs (36%), and with many specifically stating that they think it is no more dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes. According to Huff et al. (2021), 27% of supporters, legalizing cannabis would lead to better cannabis regulation and more revenue being made.
Ways of Changing State and Federal Law to Favor Legalization of Marijuana
States are increasingly accepting marijuana use although, the federal government has not agreed to marijuana legalization. According to government regulations, Marijuana has been grouped as schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. It is a government offense to distribute a Schedule I drug, this implies a high potential for reliance and no thought of marijuana medical use (Mishra et al., 2022). Other substances on schedule I for setting include bliss, heroin, and LSD. It is also a government offense to distribute a schedule I substance. The only way to make marijuana legal is to change both state and federal laws. This will allow the removal of marijuana from Schedule I drug classification, and this can be achieved through the following discussed processes.
Removal of Hemp from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act
The introduction of the Homestead Bills in 2014 and 2018 brought about some government advancement. While hemp was removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and allowed for the development of contemporary hemp programs, the Homestead Bills did not alter the legal status of marijuana (Mishra et al., 2022). There was a belief that the Homestead Bills would also compel the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is in charge of drug regulation, to provide specific instructions on whether and how CBD could be used. The Homestead Bills have caused even more havoc as many people believe that the Homestead Bills authorized CBD. The FDA issued an announcement on the day the 2018 Ranch Bill became compelling, declaring that strategies promoting CBD as food varieties or dietary supplements remained illegal (Schuster Bird, 2021). This has resulted in incredible buyer confusion and, surprisingly, increased vulnerability, since the market has been flooded with hemp and CBD products that might or might not be permitted under government regulation.
Proposing Bills and Acts Supporting Legalization of Marijuana
In 2021, Cory Booker and other U.S. Congresspersons proposed the Marijuana Organization and Opportunity Act as a Conversation Draft (Pacula et al., 2022). The supporters demonstrated that the Draft is fully expecting a final proposal, which Senate Majority Leader Schumer recently stated would be presented in April 2022. The draft would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and direct the Principal Legal Officer to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances. The Draft would impose a government revenue charge on marijuana products (Vitiello, 2019). Significantly, the Draft contains various decriminalization rules and would permit state-consistent marijuana business to approach monetary administrations, for example, ledgers and advances. These bills need to be passed in both houses to accelerate the process of marijuana legalization.
Enactment of Various Cannabis Legalization Bills by States
As of this writing, the use of clinical marijuana is permitted in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and four US regions. Thirteen states and one domain now permit the use of marijuana. In addition, laws permitting the recreational use of cannabis have been approved by 18 states, 2 regions, and the District of Columbia. Eleven states are considering about legalizing CBD-rich, low-THC products for medical use (Huff et al., 2021). These numbers are increasing, and in 2022, marijuana-related legislation is anticipated to be passed in a few states. Only three states—Idaho, Kansas, and Nebraska—completely forbid the use of marijuana. Therefore there is an urgent call of enactment of all cannabis legalization bills and acts by the state.
Federal Legalization of Marijuana
Despite the fact that marijuana is legal in the majority of states, the government’s legitimization structure is inadequate. This perplexing exchange makes it difficult for business attorneys to prompt clients whose organizations include marijuana— whether those clients are legitimately selling pot or, on the other hand, if those clients are pot nearby (Vitiello, 2019).. The regulatory conflict between the federal government scene and the development of state marijuana regulations has caused various business regulation inconveniences, its effect on financial guidelines and choices legal counselors and investors should make without clear direction.
The economic important of marijuana outweighs its side effects. The country can collect a lot of taxes from marijuana usage thus increasing the net revenue of USA. Marijuana is significantly useful in medical purposes and its side effect is no more legalized drugs such as alcohol and tobacco which causes lungs cancer. Despite the fact that some states have already passed bills allowing the use of marijuana for personal use, marijuana use is still not legalized by federal government. States and Federal laws should be changed to favor legalization of marijuana. This can be achieved through proposed bills and acts supporting legalization of marijuana, federal legalization, and enactment of various cannabis legalization bills by states.
Huff, A. D., Humphreys, A., & Wilner, S. J. (2021). The politicization of objects: Meaning and materiality in the US cannabis market. Journal of Consumer Research, 48(1), 22-50.
Mishra, A., Singla, S., & Barman, D. D. (2022). Scientific Testing, Forensic Identification, Evidences, and Differences in Policy Frameworks of Hemp. In Revolutionizing the Potential of Hemp and Its Products in Changing the Global Economy (pp. 221-241). Springer, Cham.
Pacula, R. L., Pessar, S. C., Zhu, M. J., Kritikos, A., & Smart, R. (2022). Federal Regulation of Cannabis for Public Health in the United States. Web.
Schuster, M., & Bird, R. (2021). Legal Strategy during Legal Uncertainty: The Case of Cannabis Regulation. Stan. JL Bus. & Fin., 26, 362.
Vitiello, M. (2019). Marijuana legalization, racial disparity, and the hope for reform. Lewis & Clark L. Rev., 23, 789.