Marijuana has been in the news lately since two states, Colorado and Washington, have voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Currently they are the only two states to legalize recreational marijuana. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. Iowa, at this time, has decided not to legalize medical marijuana in spite of many Iowa citizens advocating for the legalization of the drug. Iowa is taking a cautious approach to medical marijuana. Medical marijuana has been proven to help with seizures, pain management, nausea and improve the quality of life of people with certain medical issues. Regulation of medical marijuana will keep the drug safe by overseeing the growing and sale of the drug and will produce much needed revenue to Iowa and other states.
President Obama stated in an interview in The New Yorker magazine (Renick) “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice”. The president feels marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Obama’s administration has given states permission to experiment with marijuana regulation. The inconsistent number of arrests and incarceration of minorities for marijuana use bother President Obama. Users should not be locked up for long stretches because they are poor and lack the resources to hire a decent lawyer.
(Chokshi)Colorado on January 1, 2014, legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. Washington state will begin selling recreational marijuana later this spring. California is ready to introduce a statewide referendum to legalize marijuana in 2014. California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom feels pot (marijuana) should be legal in the Golden State.
The states are starting to realize there is a great amount of money to be made by taxing marijuana. Colorado expects to collect nearly 70 million in tax revenue in 2014 according to the Huffington Post. One Denver citizen put it quite clearly when he stated, “The only thing more addictive than illegal drugs is tax revenue.” We have seen this work with gambling which used to be illegal and now is a wonderful source of revenue for states. Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado has urged other states not to rush into legalizing marijuana just for the tax revenue, but to wait and see how Colorado handles any problems that may arise.
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 criminalized marijuana by restricting possession of the drug to individuals who paid an excise tax for certain approved medical and industrial uses. Penalty for nonpayment of this tax was up to $2000 and/or jail time up to five years. (Kriho) Three men, William Randolf Hearst, Andrew Mellon and Harry Anslinger were the men behind the development of The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. The Act was created to reduce the size of the hemp industry. Anslinger was the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and had made his career enforcing alcohol prohibition. Prohibition ended in 1933 and Anslinger...