United States Congress

The current public policy issue that will be identified in the course of this paper causing a great deal of controversy in the news today is marijuana. Depending in what state one is living currently in the United States, will depend on what type of consequences if any a person might be facing if caught possessing it. The federal government defines it to be illegal, in some states it has become legal to use, it can be used recreationally and in other states one will be required to have a script indicating a medical license to consume it for the use of medicating an illness.

Currently we are experiencing a government shutdown because congress cannot agree on the fiscal budget proposed by the President. Yet, millions will be used to combat the fight the war on drugs at a federal level, while those same states will receive millions to fight what they have found to be acceptable in their states. It is so alarming how they are will to allocate trillions of dollars for the eradication of marijuana, but cannot agree on health coverage for all Americans. Officially the federal government entered its first day of shut down.

But on a federal level none of these twenty states will stop receiving the monies to fight the war on drugs. The use of the marijuana campaign or the war on drugs which has been funded mostly using the incremental budgeting model where the monies just continue to flow no real questions asked, again; "Incremental budgeting takes the budget base as a given, thus leaving the agency to concentrate on (1) defending the base from cuts, (2) increasing the base by spending more on existing programs, and (3) expanding the base by adding new programs (Cropf 2008).

Controversial indeed that the following twenty states have legalized the medical use of marijuana; “Laws, Fees, and Possession Limits I. Summary Chart II. Details by State III. Sources I. Summary Chart: 20 states and DC have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana State Year Passed How Passed (Yes Vote) Fee Possession Limit Accepts other states' registry ID cards? 1. Alaska 1998 Ballot Measure 8 (58%) $25/$20 1 oz usable; 6 plants (3 mature, 3 immature) unknown1 2. Arizona 2010 Proposition 203 (50. 13%) $150/$75 2. 5 oz usable; 0-12 plants2 Yes3 3.

California 1996 Proposition 215 (56%) $66/$33 8 oz usable; 6 mature or 12 immature plants4 No 4. Colorado 2000 Ballot Amendment 20 (54%) $35 2 oz usable; 6 plants (3 mature, 3 immature) No 5. Connecticut 2012 House Bill 5389 (96-51 House, 21-13 Senate) TBD* One-month supply (exact amount to be determined) No 6. DC 2010 Amendment Act B18-622 (13-0 vote) $100/$25 2 oz dried; limits on other forms to be determined No 7. Delaware 2011 Senate Bill 17 (27-14 House, 17-4 Senate) $125 6 oz usable Yes5 8. Hawaii 2000 Senate Bill 862 (32-18 House; 13-12 Senate) $25

3 oz usable; 7 plants (3 mature, 4 immature) No 9. Illinois 2013 House Bill 1 (61-57 House; 35-21 Senate) TBD* 2. 5 ounces of usable cannabis during a period of 14 days No 10. Maine 1999 Ballot Question 2 (61%) No fee 2. 5 oz usable; 6 plants Yes6 11. Massachusetts 2012 Ballot Question 3 (63%) TBD7 Sixty day supply for personal medical use unknown 12. Michigan 2008 Proposal 1 (63%) $100/$25 2. 5 oz usable; 12 plants Yes 13. Montana 2004 Initiative 148 (62%) $25/$10 1 oz usable; 4 plants (mature); 12 seedlings No 14. Nevada 2000 Ballot Question 9 (65%).

$2008 1 oz usable; 7 plants (3 mature, 4 immature) Yes9 15. New Hampshire 2013 House Bill 573 (284-66 House; 18-6 Senate) TBD* Two ounces of usable cannabis during a 10-day period Yes 16. New Jersey 2010 Senate Bill 119 (48-14 House; 25-13 Senate) $200/$20 2 oz usable No 17. New Mexico 2007 Senate Bill 523 (36-31 House; 32-3 Senate) $0 6 oz usable; 16 plants (4 mature, 12 immature) No 18. Oregon 1998 Ballot Measure 67 (55%) $200/$10010 24 oz usable; 24 plants (6 mature, 18 immature) No 19. Rhode Island 2006 Senate Bill 0710 (52-10 House; 33-1 Senate).

$75/$10 2. 5 oz usable; 12 plants Yes 20. Vermont 2004 Senate Bill 76 (22-7) HB 645 (82-59) $50 2 oz usable; 9 plants (2 mature, 7 immature) No 21. Washington 1998 Initiative 692 (59%) ** 24 oz usable; 15 plants No” . How can the stakeholders complain, they can be described as employers, parents, schools, states and federal entities explain or begin to explain the type of message that is being sent to all the affected constituencies. The amount of monies that has been spent in the trillions in the last three to four decades has been in vain.

The federal institutions that were placed and implement in the treatment and rehabilitation on men, women and children thought out the United States. What is the message that is being sent, a mixed one that will cost another trillion dollars to education the consumer about the current federal and states laws that will affect families, communities and the bottom line people’s wallets because money is more important than backing up the federal government marijuana laws. As Americans, consumers, and constituencies’ NOT learn from the legalization of alcohol.

If one remembers correctly alcohol was once illegal to consume, later it was determine by each individual state to decide whether they would allow the consumption to be legal causing death and mayhem as it became legal state to state in the United States very similar to what it happening now with marijuana. Decades, advancement, and countless of innocent lives later it has been determine that driving and driving kills. But who can we blame the first boot legers, the government, the seller or the consumer. Will this type of nightmare be reenacted with marijuana as it was with alcohol, all to make a few extra tax dollars?

`“Medical marijuana reformers have achieved some success in changing one aspect of marijuana laws in part due to their skillful use of the initiative process to tap into public sentiments about patient rights, medical autonomy, and compassion while at the same time avoiding a direct challenge of the deviance paradigm. The future of the medical marijuana movement and drug control policy in general will depend in large part on the federal government’s response to the electoral success and implementation of statewide medical marijuana measures”.

No one can predict what type of long term affect this will have on our society. No one knows why, the federal government is currently accepting that each state make their own decisions about drugs that are illegal at the federal level but acceptable at the state level. Neither can anyone predict whether this type of acceptance will spread like a wild fire. But what we have already determined is the cost it has been to Americans, costing trillions in taxes, but we have not addressed are all the children, mothers, fathers, teens, etc. , that have graduated into consuming stronger drugs.

There are some consumers have committed suicide due to the shame of using illegal drugs, died or killing while under the effects of smoking marijuana? Yet, this only covers those who are considered throw a ways. Now consider the amount of people the who are in federal and state jails because they were not able to control their addiction to marijuana and ended up in the custody of one of those law enforcement agencies’ who believed in, lived and was dedicated to the campaign slogan, zero tolerance on drugs. Could this be the reason why the United States has three times more people arrested on marijuana cases than any other country.

This public policy issue is faced in too many federal and state government proposals, laws that are have been enacted and agencies currently working with federal funds to operate on a daily bases. Such as federal funded rehab centers, mental health clinics dealing with dual-diagnosis and other governmental agencies. The same federal and state agencies provide for these prisons or jails. How many employees do they employ in keeping these consumers locked up? They have to be fed, housed, and they are also entitled to medical services. Who do you think pays for all these expenses.

A big question that should cross everyone mind is whether or not these states that currently have approved their new state law on medical marijuana would be willing to hire a person with a script to use medical marijuana to drive the children to school every morning, be responsible for these prisoners or to handle the medication prescribed to millions of inmates in the United States. This might sound so what harsh but consider the trillions of dollars already spent by each one of these states in the eradication of marijuana. Now as an employer this is what an entity might consider;

“Though individual state laws differ, some medical marijuana statutes provide that an employer may not discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or imposing any term or condition of employment or from otherwise penalizing a person based upon: [1] The person's status as a medical marijuana cardholder, or; [2] A registered qualifying patient's positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites, unless the patient used, possessed or was impaired by marijuana on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment.

In fact, these laws typically allow employers to prohibit employees from using, possessing or being impaired by marijuana at the work place or during work hours. Thus, an employer may lawfully terminate employees who use or possess marijuana at work, or report for work impaired by marijuana. Other state laws provide that testing positive for marijuana can support an employer's good faith belief that an employee either used or possessed a drug, or had an "impairment" while working, while on the employer's premises or during the hours of employment.

Good Faith Belief; Based on this good faith belief, an employer may be able to terminate an employee that tests positive for marijuana, even if he or she has a medical marijuana card”. No one can say, they enjoy anyone, thing or issue to be double dipping, but this is exactly was will be happening all of the twenty state that have passed the use of medical use of marijuana. Let us use the following policy examples that we know exist on a federal level.

One cannot consume marijuana in public, one can be caught under the influence while driving a vehicle or in the possession of marijuana and finally, one will be arrested if found to be holding or selling marijuana. So if a person who has a license to sell marijuana can still be arrested at a federal level. So this person will be arrested, the person will be processed into the system. There are officers who are being paid to take on this responsibility, these services have to be paid and render.

Yet, in California you will probably be released with no consequences regardless of law, in the same said state, a distributor will to though the same process and then guess what, they will also have to be release. It is a cycle that can be forever be fueled, argued, but not be opposed by the President. What is the most unconcerning is that funding will continue even if the federal government continues;

“By 2013 twenty states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) plus Washington DC have medical marijuana/cannabis laws. In the 2012 elections, Colorado and Washington passed initiatives making cannabis legal for adults to use; however, cannabis remained forbidden under federal law and patients still at risk for federal prosecution”. At the federal government there are no feasible advantages in having states legalizing marijuana whether for the use medical use or recreational.

The things that would be recommended for the states that have enacted their own laws that defy the federal government would be that they forfeit all the monies that the federal government is allotting them for the war on drugs. Of course it stands to be seen what type of domino affect this will have of our society. It will be to the president elect to make some type of decision before we have that is complete under the influence of some type of drug. The affects being felt because of the federal government shut down could be also considered almost as being under the effects of marijuana.

Congress could be consider to have a clouded judgments, looking for the next fix to the alignments and finally it all boils down to the good old American dollar they want to keep in their pockets. Because the only ones who are suffering are those who must follow the laws they have voted in and passed. They will be continued to receive a salary while others have to take time off. This controversy will continue, more policies will be enacted to try to solve the problem but the red tape and continuous spending of monies will continue at both the state and federal government.

References; Broker, E. (2013, May 8). Cannbis: A World of Controvsery. Retrieved from ATrain Education Marijuana for Medical Use. Retrieved on October 1, 2013 from: https://www. atrainceu. com/ Cropf, R. (2008). American public administration: public service for the 21st century (1st ed. ) . New York, NY: : Pearson Longman. Ferraiolo, K. (2007). From Killer Weed to Popular Medicine: The Evolution of American Drug Control Policy, 1937-2000. . Journal Of Policy History, 19(2), 147-179.

Retrieve on October 1, 2013 from, http://www. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost . ProCon. org. (2013, 10 1). Founding Fathers on Religion in Government. ProCon. org. Retrieved on October 1, 2013, from . Retrieved from ProCon. org. : http://undergod. procon. org/viewresource. asp? resourceID=70 Russo, K. J. , & Pryor, D. V. (2013, 10 1). Medical marijuana and the workplace. . Rock Products, 116(9), 42-43. Retrieved on October 1, 2013, p. http://search. proquest. com/docview/1432905281? accountid=32521.