The Legal Status Of Marijuana

1872 Words Nov 20th, 2015 8 Pages
The legal status of cannabis in the United States has shifted numerous times since pharmaceutical regulation took root in the 1850s. However, since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act by the 91st United States Congress in 1970, cannabis has been federally classified as a Schedule I substance. This means that, under federal law, cannabis is considered to have “high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” The fallout of this Congressional decision has been decades of wrongful imprisonment for millions of nonviolent drug-related offenses. It’s inhumane, and it’s a waste of valuable tax dollars that could be better spent funding patient-centric recovery facilities designed to harness the power of medical marijuana for those that could benefit from its healing properties. However, in recent years, states have begun the slow process of reversing the damage caused by the Controlled Substances Act. Just three years after its passage, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize marijuana possession. In 1975, four more states followed suit, including California, which in 1996 became the first state to legalize medical cannabis with the passage of Proposition 215. Since 2012, four states have fully legalized marijuana for recreational use, and have been reaping the rewards ever since. In 2014, the state of Colorado raked in a staggering $76 million in marijuana taxes and business fees, surpassing initial tax revenue…

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