In the yearan estimated 3. There are over million American adults who have tried cannabis and nearly 5 million people who report using marijuana on a daily or almost daily basis.
Decriminalization Essay Decriminalization Essay The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines decriminalization generally as the process of removing or reducing the criminal classification or status of something and more specifically as repealing a strict ban on something while retaining some form of regulation.
While many view decriminalization as legalizing a particular criminal act, in most cases it does not do so. As the definition above indicates, decriminalizing a behavior often involves reducing the seriousness assigned to the level of the behavior e.
Clearly, an important aspect of decriminalization is the resulting reduction in punishment and penalties that accompany any removal or reduction of the criminal status of an activity e.
To be sure, in the United States as in some other countriesthe issue of decriminalization is virtually synonymous with discussion and debate surrounding drug use and possession, specifically the use and possession of marijuana.
However, discussions of decriminalization and full legalization extend to many more behaviors than drug use and drug possession. Foundations of Criminalizing Versus Decriminalizing Certain Behaviors There are a variety of reasons given by lawmakers, scholars, and policy analysts for why certain behaviors and activities are deemed illegal.
These frameworks provide the foundation and justification for classifying certain kinds of behaviors—many of which may also be defined as individual choice—as illegal. Many but not all of these offenses may also be considered victimless crimes as they typically involve only consenting adults e.
Certainly then, ethical and moral considerations are critical, and often controversial, factors in defining as illegal behaviors and activities such as these— as opposed to behaviors such as murder, robbery, kidnapping, and rape for which there appears to be much clearer consensus regarding the harm and criminality of these behaviors.
Moreover, issues of personal choice and privacy surround many common behaviors e. Designating behaviors as deviant or immoral and then using this designation to criminalize said behaviors poses ethical dilemmas for lawmakers and law enforcers. Offenses Under Discussion for Decriminalization Much of the discussion and debate on decriminalization surrounds drug use and possession of small amounts of a drug, particularly marijuana.
For each article or report published on the issue of decriminalizing a nondrug-related crime, there are many more focused solely on the decriminalization of marijuana. The debate surrounding the decriminalization of drugs is primarily focused on personal use and small amounts of possession for personal use.
There is however, considerable, and oftentimes heated, debate on whether or not use and personal possession—of any illegal drug—should be decriminalized.
More specifically, there are a multitude of reasons cited in favor of decriminalizing marijuana use and possession, including: Likewise, critics of decriminalization provide a number of reasons in favor of retaining the illegal status of drug use and possession, even for marijuana, including: While none of these crimes were decriminalized without some opposition from those who favored their criminal status, the proposed or actual decriminalization of some of these behaviors was met with much less resistance than for others.
More specifically, the recent decriminalization of misdemeanor domestic violence in Topeka, Kansas primarily due to budget issuesis a unique example of an attempt to decriminalize a behavior that is pretty universally reviled. This is not necessarily the case with other types of behaviors that have come under decriminalization consideration or have been decriminalized, at least in some jurisdictions: The Process of Decriminalization and Ethical Considerations The decriminalization process is clearly not an easy one, especially with the recent federalization of many drug laws as part of the War on Drugs.
States and localities may choose to decriminalize certain kinds of drug-related offenses but federal laws still govern many of these behaviors. For example, Colorado and Washington have legalized the recreational use of marijuana and 18 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of marijuana for certain, specified medical conditions, but the federal government has not done so.Get the latest health news, diet & fitness information, medical research, health care trends and health issues that affect you and your family on ashio-midori.com "We will work with law enforcement partners to encourage appropriate and proportionate criminal justice measures.
We know it is impossible to arrest our way out of this problem," she said. Dope inc.: Britain's opium war against the U.S. by Konstandinos Kalimtgis also by David Goldman and Jeffrey Steinberg.
Dedication Acknowledgments. Complete world history of marijuana use with embedded videos from around the web. TALKING POINT #1: Decriminalizing marijuana frees up police resources to deal with more serious crimes.
TALKING POINT #2: Far more harm is caused by the criminal prohibition of marijuana than by the use of marijuana itself. In 10 of those states, marijuana is legal for adults 21 and older, while 13 have “decriminalized” simple possession of marijuana.
Most of the decriminalization states impose a civil fine, which avoids the life-altering collateral consequences a criminal record carries.