Marijuana has remained a controversial drug with some calling for stringent laws to prevent or control its consumption while other advocating for its legalization. This has ignited some serious debate with each side hoping to carry the day. Our politicians have an interest on the subject too and they have to vote in one way or another, they might enact a law legalizing the use of the drug for any person aged six years and above. This means that the drug will be legal as long as one has reached the age of six years.
Such legislation can ignite a hot debate just like the substance has in the previous years. There are several groups which have an interest in the legislation related to the consumption of marijuana. These interest groups will react differently with some supporting it while others vehemently opposing the proposed or enacted law. The reaction of each group will be determined by the perception they have concerning the drug and also they role each group plays in the society.
Mothers or generally the parents have a special interest as far as this proposed law is concerned. It touches on the core of their responsibility, their children who might be young as the minimum proposed age as far as marijuana consumption is concerned might indulge in its consumption. This group would vehemently oppose the legislation lobbying very hard to make sure it does not see the light of the day. Their main argument would be that the situation would make it hard for them to bring up morally upright children since the law has allowed them to be under the influence of such a dangerous drug.
Children as young as six years should be guided by their parents as far as their lives are concerned, but the law would make it easier for the parents to take up this responsibility. When such a proposed law is passed parents argue that they will be at a disadvantaged position since their children will be at risk of indulging into it. They will not have the power to punish their children or even sue the drug dealers since by selling the drug to their children will not be a crime as long as there are within the legal age. (Cermak, T 2003)
Parents feel that the drug should be criminalized and very stringent laws put in place so that its use can be reduced. On the other hand there are those parents who feel that criminalization of the drug makes it gain prominence in the underground world posing a great danger to their children too. They argue that the price shoots up making those who are addicted to turn to other means of generating income to meet their needs; this equally puts them in a great danger since the methods they use to make money are equally risky. This puts the parent in an awkward position since they do not want to loose their children in either way hence the mixed reaction when it comes to the legislation of this substance. (Cermak, T 2003)
For the drug dealers the reaction would be mixed, on one hand it would present a situation where they are in a position to carry out their activities without the harassment from the authorities. Their profit margins would increase since the cost of operations would be reduced drastically.
They do not have to spend huge chunks of money bribing their way out and the cost of dealing on the underground would be eliminated altogether. To many of them this proposed legislation would be the best thing to ever happen in this intoxicating business. On the other hand the proposed law may meet some opposition from the drug dealers as their business would be threatened. The proposed law would open a floodgate of court cases from those who feel that the product they are selling to those who are above the age of six has some serious harmful effects on their lives and health.
It would be in the magnitude experienced by the Tobacco making companies who have been sued numerous times on various grounds. The drug dealers feel that this would cut down on their earnings as they have to hire the best lawyers now and then when these cases crop up. To some of them they would rather stay in a system where the product is illegal other than making it legal and bringing some further complications. It is a catch twenty situation, promising huge earnings on one hand and numerous expenditures and fines on the other.
These tycoons would not want a situation where their earnings are trimmed down. Legalizing the drug would increase competition since the risks involved would be decreased as opposed to the past when it is only available in specific places more so in the back streets. This would mean reduced profits for them. This is a situation that they would not want to be found in. They want to continue earning extra ordinary profits and make sure they remain as few operators as possible. (Goode, E 2007)
Religious groups have always been on the criminalization of marijuana therefore they will be extremely shocked by the proposal to make the drug legal and to make the matter worse allowing somebody as young as six years old the freedom to indulge in to this behavior. To them the drug is dangerous since it interferes with Gods creation. It destroys Gods temple which should be kept Holy at all the time. For this reason they think that even more stringent laws should be put in place to ensure its use is completely controlled.
This proposal would meet stiff opposition from various quarters for various reasons. For the parents or mother specifically their role as caregivers will be at threat. Their children will be at greater risk. For the drug dealers their business interests will be at threat since the commodity would fetch little as compared to when its consumption would be illegal. They would fear making little profit. Religious leaders would strongly oppose the proposition since it touches on the core of their teching.
Teenagers and the police would also be in the forefront as far as opposing this piece of legislation is concerned. Each and every group would lobby the politicians to make sure that their interests are well represented. Although they will be doing this for different reason they end justifies the means, the proposed law might not see the light of the day and for one reason or another they will have won.
Goode, E (2007).Drugs in American Society, Mc Graw Hill
Cermak, T (2003) Marijuana: What a Parent to Believe, Hazelden Publishing