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The Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act was introduced to the 114th congress on the 20th of February 2015. The Law was sponsored by the Colorado representative to the House of Representatives as a way of legalizing Marijuana in the United States of America. The Act seeks to compel the attorney general to remove Marijuana from the list of measures under the Substances Act which seek to control the use of Marijuana in any manner. The law is further motivated by the push by some scientists who believe that marijuana is medicinal in nature and may be used for treatment of cancer as well as other diseases. Those against the Act, however, argue that Marijuana has more vivid negative effects than positive ones, and, therefore, removing it from the controlled substances schedule would have a harmful ultimate impact on the US population. The Act seeks to treat Marijuana like alcohol through the insertion of the words “intoxicating liquor” in the Act. The introducers of the Act, however, had in mind that, through the legalization of Marijuana, the US government would be able to collect enough taxes from the sale of Marijuana and, consequently, benefit the economy of the United States rather than leave a lot of money in the hands of illegal traders. The essence of the study is, hence, to evaluate the strengths and the weaknesses of the Control Marijuana like Alcohol Act with a view of establishing why the Act is detrimental to the US economy.

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A Brief Overview of the Act

The need for the legalization of Marijuana is not a new discourse in the United States of America, but a one that has existed for many years. The proposers have always alluded that Medical Marijuana should be legalized, as it has the power to treat cancer and is used as a strong anesthesia. As bitter as the debate seemed in the first days, it has become sweet to the ears of the US legislators who eventually decided to take the law to the house. In brief, the Act simply seeks to amend the Controlled Substances Act and make Marijuana legal in the United States of America, while at the same time introduce the taxation of Marijuana in the US.  The Act therefore exempts Marijuana as a controlled substance. Secondly, the Act revises the definition of the “Felony drugs offenses” by exempting Marijuana from such a definition. It goes on to eradicate Marijuana from the sections allowing the penalization of any person found growing, using or selling Marijuana in the US. The Act also curtails the transportation of the drugs to areas or countries in which Marijuana is prohibited.

The Act also amends other laws as highlighted below. First, the Controlled Substances Imports and Exports Act is amended by the Act for the purposes of removing Marijuana as a controlled substance for importation and exportation purposes. The National Forest Systems Drug control Act is also amended in order to pave way for the cultivation of the Marijuana in any place in America. The Federal Criminal Code is also affected, since the new law takes away the powers of the police investigators to intercept the communications concerning Marijuana, leaving it to the public to conduct the Marijuana business freely. While the youths also stand out as major victims of the effects of the use of Marijuana, the Act blatantly goes ahead to amend the law and make Marijuana an exception to the targeted drugs as pursued under the Office of the National Drugs Control Policy Re-authorization Act of 1998.

To this extent, for the purposes of making Marijuana similar to alcohol and subject to equal control measures, some of the modifications were made. For example, the act in question establishes measures for the grant of licenses and permits for importing, growing, selling and the exporting Marijuana through the amendment of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act. The power is vested in the treasury secretary. Additionally, the drug under review also falls under the jurisdiction of the original Packages Act and the Federal Administration Acts used to Control Alcohol. The bill is supported by Jared Polis, the Colorado representative and is currently being handled by the house committee.

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Why the Law Is Unworthy

Health Effects. While the proponents of the Act praise it for what is termed as ‘an opportunity for the government of the US to raise more money’, the people will suffer health wise. The Act is suicidal to the US population and it is a greedy move by the legislators to enrich the state at the expense of its population’s health. What is more, while some scientists argue that marijuana has numerous medicinal value such as being used as anesthesia and the treatment of cancer patients, research indicates that its negative health effects are stronger than its positive counterparts, further strengthening the argument for the rejection of the Control Marijuana like Alcohol Act (Boffey). First of all, a lot of respiratory and lung illnesses arise out of smoking marijuana. The Hydrogen Cyanide and Ammonia contained in the drug is way more than twenty times as compared to the smoking of cigarettes. It explains the reason why lung cancer is one of the common diseases affecting the Marijuana addicts (Garcia 24). Moreover, Marijuana is responsible for the destabilization of mental and psychological aspects of a human being encourages the Act to see the light of the day, would be tantamount to encouraging self-imposed lunacy on the American people. The neural system of a Marijuana-addict is so weakened that the concentration becomes poor leading to mild brain illnesses. A research conducted by the American Thoracic Society also concludes that the people who abuse marijuana run into a very high risk of contracting breathing problems. Other illnesses associated with Marijuana include the Testicular cancer which is so rife amongst men in their forties, and birth complications amongst women. Marijuana may also cause miscarriages in women, since it is can lead to weakening of the womb and therefore causing detachment of the baby from the womb before its mature enough.

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Marijuana Causes Depression and Might Be a Stimulus for Youths to Lose Focus over Their Lives. The brains of the young individuals are not usually fully developed, thus, an intake of Marijuana affects their brain system, leading to a situation when they can incur a lot of depression in their lives (Boffey). The depression renders them incapable of concentrating on anything and therefore losing focus. Encouraging the passage of the Act will therefore be the start of killing the American future by sacrificing the youths. It will be tantamount to raising depressed, frustrated and visionless citizens. Most of these drug addicts would not even be able to pursue their academic goals. For those who are employed, the repercussions of Marijuana include withdrawal from jobs, which, ultimately, promotes irresponsible way of leading a family life.

The Governments Expenditure on Health Will Increase. The legalization of Marijuana through the Act, would pave the way for the sale of the drug in every corner of the US, just as it is the case with alcohol. The end result is the infliction of various diseases upon the American population. Some of the major sicknesses associated with marijuana for example are the heart diseases and cancer. The curing process requires amount of money that are unattainable for most families living in the United States. While the government would be able to collect a lot of revenue in the form of taxes on the drug, the expenditure of the government in the treatment of the diseases would be much higher. Further the Act is a coward move by the members of the House of Representatives in the fight against Marijuana. The assumption of the Act is that, no matter how the government tries to bar it, some illegal traders would still pursue the business. I, however, believe that the government is better equipped in fighting the menace rather than giving up and subjecting itself and its people to unnecessary hospital bills arising from the consumption of marijuana.

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The Counter Arguments for the Rejection of the Law

Increase in the Governments Revenue. Polis, the mover of the Act, along with other proponents, holds the view that the legalization of marijuana subject to minimal restrictions like alcohol, would substantially increase the government’s revenue (Ohannes). The proponents believe that a lot of money is being concealed out of illegal sale of the drugs since it is not subject to taxation and the government is not justified in any way to impose tax over an illegal substance. Consequently, they argue that the legalization will open up more markets for the sale of the drug and therefore earning the government good revenue in taxes (Ohannes). By the same token, marijuana legalization gives the authority to the tax department to legally impose taxes on the drugs. Polis for example argues that the state of Colorado has demonstrated that the legalization of marijuana has enabled the state of Colorado to take away money from the criminal cartels dealing with the sale of the drugs and putting the money to good use (Ohannes). President Obama has also applauded such sentiments, stating that if it is the will of American people – then so be it (Ohannes). The sentiments from the two leaders reflect a formed opinion for the support of the law.

Marijuana Has Medicinal Value and Its Legalization Would thus Be Beneficial to the Health Sector. The supporters of the Act also favor the view that Marijuana has a wide range of medicinal benefits such as cancer treatment, treatment of HIV patients and use as anesthesia in surgical operations (Jangi). They hold the view that, through its legalization, the US citizens would have a wide range of medical choices to make from.

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Why I Detest the Arguments of the Proponents of the Act. First, the proposal to earn a lot of money for the government is not a bad idea, but the means used to get it are somewhat wrong. Getting money from the drug cartels and increasing the circulation of Marijuana in the US will do the people of America much harm. The funds will end up being allocated towards the treatment of Marijuana-related diseases rather than development of the state. It is better to prevent the diseases rather than spending time and money in curing it. Secondly, there is no credible research indicating that Marijuana heals cancer and HIV, so such claims are based on opinions rather than facts (Jangi).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Regulation of Marijuana like Alcohol Act is unconvincing in terms of its benefits to the US people and therefore should be thrown away. The Act will only widen the use of Marijuana amongst the youth leading to numerous cases of lung cancer, breathing problems, depression, school dropouts and family irresponsibility’s. America will be turned into a drug addiction nation. The workforce will be greatly affected and the depression arising from the intake of the drugs will kill the hope and vision of the American people. The health of the American people is more important than money and therefore the taking away of money from the drug dealers should not justify ruining the health of the American people. Further, the medicinal value claims of Marijuana are unsubstantiated and therefore cannot be relied on without proper scientific proof. I, therefore, disagree with the Act on this basis.