Legalization of Medical Marijuana
Various parties have claimed that medical marijuana should be legalized in all states. However, there are various reasons as to why it has not been legalized in all states. The 10th Amendment may help in explaining the reasons as to why medical marijuana has not been legalized in all states. The second reason as to why medical marijuana has not been legalized in all states mainly involves the legal and political process in the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. This paper will strive to critically analyze these issues.
The Tenth Amendment details the principle of federalism. It claims that the powers of the federal government are detailed in the Constitution. The states and the people reserve all the other powers. Therefore, states have the power to pass legislation that legalizes medical marijuana. Federal prosecutors do not have the right to prosecute medical marijuana users in states that have legalized its usage (Dorf & Morrison, 2010). California is one of the first states to legalize the use of medical marijuana. It tried to make it legal to all who are more than 21 years old using California Proposition 19. However, this move was ultimately unsuccessful (Rahtz, 2012).
In late 2009, the Obama administration announced that federal prosecutors would not prosecute medical marijuana users in states that had legalized its usage. This was in light to changes in several states that led to the legalization of medical marijuana in the states. Despite the advice of the federal government, the drug enforcement agency and the department of justice still raid various medical facilities in search of medical marijuana. However, they strive to hide this fact from coming into the limelight. This raises the question as to why the Obama administration issued the advisory yet various government agencies are contravening the advisory. The answer may lie in the political interests of the current administration. The President issued the advisory in support of the legalization of medical marijuana to garner more votes in states that had legalized its usage (Sherer, 2014).
This is the major reason as to why the Department of Justice restricts publicity of the raids. However, in so doing, it violates the First Amendment, which guarantees the rights of free speech for the press. The federal government has found various loopholes in the Commerce Clause and the power to tax and spend to improve people’s welfare to usurp the power of states.
Legal and Political Issues involved in the Legalization of Marijuana
The legalization of medical marijuana raises various logical questions. One of the questions is why all the states and the federal government allow the use of other opium derivatives, such as morphine and Oxycontin, for medical purposes yet they do not legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. It is unreasonable for the government to legalize the use of stronger and more addictive substances yet they do not legalize the use of medical marijuana for medical purposes. The only conclusion is that the federal government and the states have legalized the use of the more potent drugs since they are more profitable.
Stakeholders and Interest Groups
The major stakeholders involved in the legalization of medical marijuana are the parties that have something to gain from its legalization. These include corrupt government officials who get bribes to facilitate the sale of marijuana. This helps in maintain the price of illegal marijuana at a high price. Government officials make under the table deals with drug cartels to look the other way as marijuana continues to be sold illegally on the streets.
The stakeholders have their personal reasons for supporting or opposing the legalization of medical marijuana. The parties give money to politicians so that they may vote to protect their interests. However, the electorate is legally tasked with the responsibility of deciding whether medical marijuana should be legalized.
Social, political, or personal factors might influence the direction of the research
Society and geography would affect the results of the research. For example, a young person in California would have different views from an old woman in Arkansas. People in California voted to legalize the use of medical marijuana. So doing, they supported people who use medical marijuana to alleviate their suffering. However, the major issue concerns people who would abuse the law and start selling the drug illegally.
Politics would have a significant impact on the direction of my research. History has shown that conservatives blindly oppose the legalization of medical marijuana whereas liberals blindly support its legalization. However, if the above people have personal experiences on how medical marijuana alleviates the suffering of people who have certain diseases, such as cancer, they would change their opinions on whether it should be legalized or not. Large pharmaceutical companies give money to politicians to oppose the legalization of medical marijuana since its legalization would make them lose money. This is because certain people who are suffering may grow their own medical marijuana instead of purchasing it or other strong drugs from the pharmaceutical companies (Pietri, 2014).
Personal factors would significantly influence the direction of the research. It may make the researcher have biased views. For example if the research has personal experiences on the use of marijuana or medical marijuana, the researcher would have biased views. If the researcher experienced the positive benefits of medical marijuana on people who are suffering, the researcher would support its use. On the other hand, if the researcher has personal experiences on the negative effects of abusing marijuana, the researcher may oppose its legalization.
Interest Groups Involved
The interest groups involved in the research would be the large pharmaceutical companies, drug cartels, corrupt government officials, and people who are suffering from various diseases that are treated by medical marijuana (Caulkins, 2012).
Patterns That Might Influence the Direction of the Research
Overwhelming voting of citizens in support of the legalization of medical marijuana is one of the major patterns that might influence the direction of the research. The raid of the Department of Justice on the users of medical marijuana despite its legalization, and the ban on the publication of the raids are also some of the factors that would influence the direction of the research. This is because the above practice gives people false hope.
Possible policy implications and examples of policies that would result from the research
Publication of the raids by the Department of Justice would be one of the major implications of the research. It would help in reinforcing the Tenth Amendment that necessitates the federal government to stay out of the business of the states as prescribed in the Constitution. The research may also help in the development of policies that oversee the growth and use of medical marijuana at the state level.
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