Marijuana Legalization and Decriminalization Overview
Cannabis has actually been used as a spiritual supplement, medicine, and manufacturing material for thousands of years and throughout many cultures. When it was banned in the US in the 1930s cannabis gained its taboo reputation. The Controlled Substances Act in 1970 farther exaggerated its reputation by labeling it as a ‘Schedule I’ drug.
While some might apply the names legalization and decriminalization reciprocally, there are actually differences between them. Generally terms, legalization signifies that it is not regarded against the law. In other words, you cannot be jailed, put on trial, or face criminal charges. Legalization doesn’t imply you may do what you want and when you wish. It allows authorities to regulate and oversee these particular activities. For instance, minors can’t buy alcoholic beverages, and there are restrictions on where you can smoke cigarettes.
In respect to cannabis, authorities can regulate who is authorized to grow and distribute it, in what amounts, to whom, under what conditions, and for exactly what purposes. It can even be taxed. Legalization ends up being slightly difficult in the US, due to the fact that cannabis can be legalized at a state level, even though at the federal level it is not recognized.
Decriminalization indicates that an action is still against the law, but enforcement and fines are not as tough. Police may disregard particular activities, and those found violating the laws typically deal with fines or civil charges instead of prison time. This usually suggests that residents would be permitted to carry a small amount of cannabis and use it privately, but the bulk production, transportation, and sale of it would be against the law. A decriminalized activity can’t be taxed nor can the industry’s producers and users be regulated.
Decriminalization of marijuana is typically viewed as progress in the direction of legalization, and can have positive aspects even to individuals who do not use it. For example, decriminalization will lower the number of nonviolent offenders sent to prison on drug charges, reducing the expense of confinement to citizens.
Those who wish to legalize or decriminalize marijuana should consider that any proposed plans ought to benefit and empower everybody in the area.