The laws and policies of countries throughout the world can be hard to understand and very contradictory. Societies choose which actions and thoughts are acceptable within their society and look down upon and possibly regulate with law those that are not acceptable. Some actions and practices are unanimously looked down upon by the U.S. population no matter where you live of what lifestyle you practice, but other actions and practices can have very divisive opinions based on location, religion, race and political preferences. These divisive topics can lead to endless debates over which view should be followed and may cause certain regions to enforce, deregulate or neglect certain laws and policies.
Those topics include illegal drug usage like marijuana, prostitution, and money laundering. While these are illegal at the Federal Government level, many states and groups of people chose to ignore these laws or create their own laws allowing for their usage. When there is a large enough demand for a certain product or law, individuals or the state they live in will provide the supply. While money laundering is seen as illegal in the federal and state governments, federally illegal drug use and prostitution are more divided. Many states now have recreational and medical marijuana available to their populations and throughout their entire state, basically circumventing federal laws and covering their citizens from getting in legal trouble for their use within that certain state. There are many laws that communities no longer enforce because they aren’t acceptable but they are never officially stricken from the books. These laws are found acceptable to indulge in certain areas, but other areas ee them as causing damage and making society worse off.
Using drugs is not a new topic to society, drug usage has roots throughout human history and many religious groups and many were before people understood the repercussions of the drug they were taking (Adler & Mueller, 2013). Many products, such as peyote for native American tribes, are used for religious practices and ceremonies. Most drugs through history were initially accepted by the medical field and later usage was downsized for side effects being discovered through widespread usage, which is contrary to todays new medical drug introductions. Opium during the 18th century was used as a sedative and painkiller for those with battle wound or before a surgery and cocaine was included in many products to alleviate headaches (Adler & Mueller, 2013). Cocaine was even used in popular soft drinks in the early 20th century. These drugs were viewed as amazing discoveries for the medical field since they were derived from natural ingredients and were easy to source to assist those with issues, but the human body was not able to ingest these substances without issues arising.
Human physiology lead to the body requiring more of the substance to experience the same medical properties over long term usage which lead to major dependence issues and addictions which only increased the negative side effects of the drugs. The types of common drugs, prescribed and illegal, that are being abused regularly include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, club drugs, methamphetamines, and amphetamines (Watts & Wright, 1990). Many drugs up to that point didn’t have research the prove they even healed or alleviated what they said they could. The federal government started to notice these issues within its population and enacted the Harrison act in the 1940’s. This act ensured drugs were regulated for domestic use, transfer, and distribution (Adler & Mueller, 2013). This law prohibiting certain drug usage caused another prohibition style market to illegal operate that manufacture transported and distributed illegal substances to people willing to pay for it. In the 1950’s the Bogg Act was put in place to give penalties for the distribution and possession of marijuana and increased penalties for trafficking and distributing other controlled substances (Adler & Mueller, 2013).
These laws would cover many types of controlled substances that stemmed from both natural plants or that were synthetical made in laboratories. And while the government is very against the usage of drugs, the mainstream attitude and media almost glorify the usage of illegal drugs through movies, television series and music which cause the public, and in particular the younger generator, to find illegal drug usage more acceptable. With the advancement of technology and the skewed concepts of society’s moral, illegal drug users can blend seamlessly into society if they “responsibly” manage their illegal drug usage (Cruz, 2015). The biggest issue with controlled substances is the effects it has on individual decision-making ability and thought process, and how individuals become addicted to the substance which will likely lead to long term usage.
The United States spends close to forty-two billion dollars a year fighting the war on marijuana alone (Kampia, 2007). This money is spent on many different levels of the law enforcement community that are trying to stop the importation of marijuana, the production stateside, and the distribution. The annual estimated revenue of marijuana is around one hundred and thirteen billion dollars (Kampia, 2007). Many have the viewpoint that legal substances like alcohol, cause more damage to the population and those around them, more so the marijuana, so a feeling of “it’s illegal for no reason” is very common in the population. This feeling is shown by the fact that many states have recreation marijuana that has similar requirements to purchase as alcohol and that many states disagree with the federal governments position that marijuana has no medical benefits that many states have a medical marijuana program in place now, both of which are federally illegal. This can cause some issues in law enforcement at the individual level since many may have the feeling that responsible marijuana usage is not an issue, and at the agency level by how the federal governments have whole taskforces and agencies committed to stopping the importation, production, distribution and usage of illegal drugs while entire states