Crime, Drugs, and Society
Marijuana-“Why Is America Hiding Behind The Smoke Screen?”
Mark K. O’Brien Florida Institute of
CRM2320: Drugs, Crime and Society
Abstract There has been some lengthy controversy pertaining to the issues of marijuana in the United States. What I intend to discuss in this paper is some history of the plant in relation to its industrial, and medicinal advantages and its socioeconomic impact. Also discussed are issues related to the criminalization of the substance, and personal views supporting marijuana reform toward regulation and legalization.
A new Zogby Poll commissioned by the conservative- leaning O’Leary Report has found 52% voter support for treating marijuana as a legal, taxed, regulated substance (Source: stash.norml.org/oleary-report-zogby-pol).
“This survey continues the recent trend of strong and growing support for taxing and regulating marijuana ending the disastrously failed policy of prohibition,” ( Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C.)
An estimated 162 million people used cannabis in 2004, equivalent to some 4 per cent of the global population age 15-64. In relative terms, cannabis use is most prevalent in Oceania, followed by North America and Africa. While Asia has the lowest prevalence expressed as part of the population, in absolute terms it is the region that is home to some 52 million cannabis users, more than a third of the estimated total. The next largest markets, in absolute terms, are Africa and North America.” (Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “World Drug Report 2006, Volume1: Analysis”, United Nations: Vienna, Austria, 2006), p. 23. For almost 140 years of our history, we had no federal war on drugs and far less problems with drug addiction and related crimes as a result. But in the past 30 years, even after billions of dollars have been spent on the drug war, there have...