This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Marijuana Decriminalization Essay

1435 words - 6 pages

In recent years, there has been a strong push towards decriminalizing marijuana in Canada. Decriminalization refers to the act of removing criminal sanctions, such that possession of marijuana as well as consumption of it would not result in a criminal prosecution. Currently, under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, possession of marijuana (up to 30 grams) carries a penalty of 6 months in jail as well as a $1000 fine for first offences with the penalty increasing for subsequent offences. (canadian criminal code) Advocates of marijuana decriminalization argue however that this puts a huge burden towards the legal system. More specifically, expenditures are being wasted towards the enforcement of the controlled drugs and substances act, which can be reallocated and distributed elsewhere. Additionally, since possession of marijuana involves criminal prosecution, law-abiding Canadian citizens who have no prior record but have been prosecuted for simple possession would have a difficult time applying jobs among many other problems, which can impact society as a whole. This paper will look into these arguments in detail and conclude that while decriminalization can lead to some economic benefits, the economic costs have been understated. By decriminalizing the drug, the public will be encouraged to use it leading to increase in both supply as well as demand, with none of the profits going to the government.
Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau made headlines this year when he criticized the current stance on marijuana prohibition and called for an end to it. Mr. Trudeau publicly commented that he’s in favour of legalizing marijuana and wants the government to “tax it, and regulate it [in order to] keep it out of the hands of our kids” (National Post). It’s not surprising that most Canadians agree with Mr. Trudeau. A survey conducted by the Forum Poll (2013) found 69% of Canadians (ages 18 and older) supported either decriminalization for small amounts of marijuana (34%) or outright legalization and taxation (36%). This has led to the belief that criminalization of the drug has failed and that a policy change – such as decriminalization – would be beneficial economically as well as socially. For example, Miron (2010) found that in the United States, government expenditure would reduce by $8.7 billion just from the reduction in enforcement. Indeed, on paper it seems that the economic benefits that come with decriminalization are very attractive, but what are the implications of such a policy. One of the major concerns of decriminalization is how the market would respond. Caulkins et al (2013) state that cost are three fold, which involve “(1) cost of regulation and enforcement; (2) cost associated with marijuana use, including direct health effects and outcomes such as dependence and impaired driving; and (3) collateral consequences of black markets”. The rest of the paper will take a closer look at these implications.
Figure 1 (a) shows...

Find Another Essay On marijuana decriminalization

Social and Economic Benefits of Marijuana Decriminalization

1858 words - 8 pages findings regarding the social and economic benefits of federal decriminalization of marijuana. Outlining The Problem In 2010, the U.S. federal government spent over $15 billion battling the war on drugs, at a rate of about $500 per second (Miron & Waldock, 2010). The number of people incarcerated for nonviolent offenses increases every decade, with 50,000 behind bars in 1980 and over 400,000 in 1997 (Drug Policy Alliance, 2013). Drug offenders

Marijuana Decriminalization Essay

1399 words - 6 pages The Canadian government has created many laws with the intention of ameliorating the quality of life of its citizens. Unfortunately, in some instances these laws and policies become public nuisances that do more harm than good. This has become the case with the federal government’s decision to criminalize marijuana under the Narcotics Act. This legislation was created by bureaucrats without fully weighing its advantages and disadvantages in an

Critically assess the arguments in favour of the decriminalization or legalization of marijuana use

1322 words - 5 pages Critically assess the arguments in favour of the decriminalization or legalization of marijuana use.It is estimated that 40 percent of young people in Britain have tried marijuana and that it is an 'underground' economy worth globally £100 billion and $1-3 billion a year in this country alone. There is no denying that marijuana is now a massive part of modern British culture along with alcohol and tobacco. One hundred years ago, it was

Research Paper-Decriminalization of Marijuana

1691 words - 7 pages Marijuana is a drug obtained from dried and crumpled parts of the universal hemp plant Cannabis sativa (or Cannabis indicia). It is smoked by rolling in tobacco paper, or by placing it in a pipe. It is also otherwise consumed worldwide by an estimated 200,000,000 persons for pleasure, an escape from reality, or relaxation. Marijuana is known by a variety of names such as in the United States, marijuana is called pot, grass, weed, Mary Jane, etc

Argues for the decriminalization of medicinal marijuana

2173 words - 9 pages forced to serve time for trying to self-medicate with marijuana. As a result of the sentences, Hanson served his time despite his sporadic seizures. Stamate's girlfriend committed suicide so she would not have to testify against her boyfriend. Ethridge served his time while enduring the side effects caused by chemotherapytreatments. And Forster still sits in a jail cell, continuing to have chronic pain (Marijuana PolicyProject, http

Persuasive Essay-Should Marijuana Be Legalized? What are the pros and cons of the legalization or decriminalization of pot?

805 words - 3 pages Should Marijuana Be Legalized?The legalization of marijuana is a widespread debate with many valid argumentsfor both sides. Some will state that it should be available for those seeking relief fromvarious medical situations, or that if legalized, marijuana could be regulated by thegovernment for safety reasons. Even the fact that there are no deaths directly caused bymarijuana is a strong point on the pro-legalization side. However, I believe

Possible Approaches to Minify Adverse Societal Effects of Elicit Drug Abuse

1762 words - 8 pages and focuses on the Decriminalization of Cannabis better known as Marijuana. I further stream-line this approach to the decriminalization of possession, use, cultivation and sales of marijuana. I strongly believe that decriminalization will provide the best possible approach to tackling the drugs problem in Nigeria. DISCUSSION ON DECRIMINALIZATION Decriminalization here refers to “the legislative repeal and amendment of statutes which made

Should Drugs Be Decriminalized?

2236 words - 9 pages becoming dealers. At this point, decriminalization in the United States is usually limited to marijuana (DPFT, 2013). A significant aspect of decriminalization is that instead of being looked at as a criminal violation, it allows drug use to be viewed from a public health position. This difference is significant, because instead of focusing on the “supply problem,” decriminalization addresses the “demand problem” and is more pro-active at

Legalize It

1720 words - 7 pages ; Steps taken by the government have been shown to be successful. Eleven states adopted policies during the 1970s that substituted criminal penalties with a small civil fine enforced with a citation. (1) Today, approximately 30% of the population in this country live under some type of marijuana decriminalization law, and they have been successful. A U.S. federal study found that, "Decriminalization has had virtually no effect on either marijuana

Legalizing Drugs Like Marijuana

1352 words - 5 pages stimulant, specifically for patients suffering from HIV, or dementia. Currently, more than 60 U.S. and international health organizations including the American Public Health Association support granting patients’ immediate legal access to medicinal marijuana under a physician's supervision. Another possible solution for cannabis is ‘Decriminalization’. Typically, decriminalization means no prison time or criminal record for first-time

The Argumentr Regardingf The Decriminalization Of Cannabis

1685 words - 7 pages ;  Nearly 25% of Americans over the age of 12 admit to having smoked marijuana at least once in their lifetime (Inciardi 167). There is a substantial portion of the American public which favors, in some degree, the decriminalization of marijuana. There are also staunch advocates of the prohibition of marijuana, many of them in our government. They each have effective arguments, often disagreeing over improvable ideas.   &nbsp

Similar Essays

Marijuana Decriminalization And Legalization Essay

877 words - 4 pages The validity of marijuana decriminalization (and even legalization) is illustrated in the following analysis of the social, fiscal, political, and medical attributes and conceptions associated with the drug. Marijuana has been used for thousands of years, in 2008; archeologists discovered over two pounds of cannabis in a 2,700-year-old grave of a shaman found in Central Asia. (Armentano, 1) Should marijuana be legalized or at least

Decriminalization Of Marijuana Essay

1348 words - 5 pages Sociology Research Proposal.The proposed research will be devoted to the issue of decriminalization in Canada of the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The bill that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana was put on hold by the government last year when the last election was called; however, the government apparently plans to reintroduce the bill this fall. There is an ongoing discussion on the above issue in the

Decriminalization Of Marijuana Essay

2194 words - 9 pages scientific teams who did research on the drug and found it to have none of the violent, abusive, or murderous effects on any of its users. The public has become so overwhelmingly misinformed about marijuana that it seems now that anyone who is for the decriminalization is accused of wanting to destroy the youth of America and in some instances is accused of communism. Anslinger was presented with the information and effects of the drug from several

Decriminalization Of Marijuana In Canada Essay

1338 words - 5 pages 2002, and stated that marijuana is not a gateway drug. They also reported that marijuana should be treated more like tobacco or alcohol. The House of Commons committee’s report stated that although marijuana is unhealthy, the punishments for having even a small amount of marijuana are disproportionably harsh. The House is promoting the decriminalization of marijuana to make it legal to possess an amount of marijuana not exceeding 30 grams, which is