Therefore prohibition of marijuana is a misapplication of the criminal law sanctions which undermines the respect of federal law and extends the government into inappropriate areas of individual private lives (Ruschmann, 204). National survey of voters that was conducted by American civil liberties union (ACLU) found out that 34 percent of the adult voters acknowledged they have ever smoked marijuana. In addition professional leaders and prominent businessmen including federal and states elected officials admitted they used the drug.
Smokers of marijuana in the United States are not different from the non smoking peers except their use of marijuana. Like other citizens marijuana smokers are responsible and they work hand to contribute to both their families and the community as well. Marijuana smoker require living in a safe and crime freed neighborhoods (Booth, 78). They are citizens who abide by the law and fear from being arrested just because they chose to smoke this drug for recreation instead of taking alcohol.
The federal government should put to rest the myth that marijuana smoking is a deviant behavior that is engaged by the minorities (Ruschmann, 214). In addition the federal government and the federal legislations should reflect the reality of marijuana smoking and stop acting as if the smokers of marijuana are the part of violent crimes (Califano, 19). Experts of blue-ribbon panel in 1972 led by Raymond Shafer the former governor of Pennsylvania asserted that the prohibition of marijuana is a great harm to the smokers than smoking marijuana itself.
In accordance the commission of drug abuse and marijuana recommended that the federal and states laws to be changed in order to remove criminal penalties for the possession of the drug for personal use and for casual distribution of small amount of drug (Booth, 87). In the same year law enforcement in the United States arrested about 300,000 people charged with marijuana smoking. In 1982 a report from the national academy of science on marijuana reaffirmed that approaches using criminal justice are harmful and inappropriate.
The report recommended for marijuana possession to be decriminalized and for the law makers to give serious considerations to create a system of regulated sale and distribution. In the same year more than 450,000 citizens of the United States were arrested for violating laws of marijuana (Ruschmann, 200). Many of comprehensive research and long term studies have concluded that there is no link that exists between smoking of marijuana and the mortality and that prohibition of its use is a threat to the health of the smokers.
Instead of prohibiting the use marijuana the federal government ought to establish medical guidelines regarding prudent use of marijuana akin to the guidelines that apply to use of alcohol. In 1995 the federal government law enforcement arrested more than 600,000 American individuals charged with violations of marijuana laws (Booth, 93). Penalties of marijuana vary across the country but most of them levy heavy social and financial impacts for the many American citizens who are arrested each year .
in more than 42 states in the United States the possession of any amount of the drug is punishable by a significant fine and or incarceration (Califano, 22). For example in Arizona individuals who are arrested for possession of small amount of marijuana may face 18 months in jail and charged a fine of 150,000 US dollar. Other states have also enacted laws that provide for suspension of the drivers’ license if a person is convicted of any offenses concerning marijuana even if the offense is not related to driving (Booth, 98).