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The Legalization Of Medical Marijuana

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Introduction In recent years across the United States and in many other nations as well, drug policy and the rationale behind these policies have started to undergo a tremendous shift. This change in public policy is visible to most through the ongoing legislation across America regarding the legalization of medical marijuana in 23 states, and recreational cannabis use becoming legal in 4 states as well (Hanson, 2015). This shift in public policy marks a significant turning point in the view of drugs and drug culture in the United States and reflects increased public knowledge of the less than desirable affects of the “drug war” mentality. Government spending on drug control in the United States totals $35 billion per year, and almost half a million dealers and users are currently in prisons and jails on drug charges and yet despite this massive investment of tax dollars and government authority, the United States still has the worst drug problem among Western nations (Boyum & Reuter, 2005). The implications of the current failings of U.S. policy with regards to drug related offenses as well as the changes in ideology in recent years with regards to drugs and drug users will likely lead to a shift in how North America as a culture chooses to handle the problems and woes of drug culture. The number of drug offenders under incarceration in America grew tenfold from 1980 to 2005 (Boyum & Reuter, 2005). In the face of this fact there is strikingly little evidence that
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