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Us Drug Policy
Q. Would the Amsterdam model be a useful government response to hallucinogen and marijuana use in this country? Why or why not?
Amsterdams coffee shops and cafes are notorious for the tolerated exchange of hashish and marijuana. This example goes completely against the moral principles underlying the United States drug policy. The United States drug policy stands by the zero tolerance rules. Our drug culture does not believe in any such thing as a use of an illegal drug, only abuse. So, why arent the Dutch facing as many drug related problems as we are? Is a more laissez-faire approach to drugs the answer?
We arent winning the war on drugs. It is clear that the illegal drug use and drug related problems have increased in the United States. I think that the Amsterdam model may act a useful government response to hallucinogen and marijuana use in the United States. We have tried everything from stricter punishments to spending more dollars on drug prevention programs. The anti-drug law has led to the criminalization of more drugs and the imprisonment of more drug users. The cost of prohibition of drugs is getting pricier every year. Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar stated, The arrest of more than 300,000 people a year on marijuana charges contributes the clogging of courts and the overcrowding of prisons. Federal, state, and local governments now spend nearly ten billion dollars a year on drug enforcement and hundreds of millions more to house and feed drug dealers and users in local, state and federal prisons(80). The drug related problems are increasing rather than decreasing. Isnt it time that we searched for a better alternative to fighting the war on drugs.
I am not saying that legalizing all drugs is the solution. I definitely dont believe that legalizing all drugs would work in our society. I dont think that our society is mature enough to handle the responsibilities that go along with some of the hard drugs. The Dutch policy has come to accept that people are going to use soft drugs. Why not regulate the exchange of these drugs? The Dutch policy refers to this regulation as a house dealer with a more controllable business instead of the dangerous black market. The Public Prosecutions Office has drawn up a guideline for the operation of coffee shops: no sales of cannabis over 5 grammes; no sales of hard drugs or alcohol; no sales to minors; no advertising of the use of soft drugs and no nuisance. The Dutch drug policy bases their tolerance of certain drugs by the risks associated with them. Instead we group all of the illegal drugs together, suggesting that they are all dangerous and addictive. When in fact that is not the case. Some drugs arent even dangerous and can be helpful with responsible use. Our culture is so uptight about the use of all drugs. We arent even willing to see the positive effects that they may bring.
One plausible explanation that the United States has for not following the Dutch policy is that using these softer drugs will lead to the use and addiction of harder drugs. When in fact studies have shown that despite the tolererant policies in Amsterdam, most Dutch dont try cannabis and even those who do try it usually dont continue using it often, much less harder drugs.
Amsterdam serves as a good role model for the United States. Amsterdam proved that a self-governing society is able to handle a drug problem in an inexpensive more practical way. Prohibition isnt the solution to our on going battle with drugs. When are we going to search for a more practical and efficient way to handle our long overdue drug problem?
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America is the land of the free and the foundation of democracy. This countries foundation is based on the fact that an individual can enjoy freedom from oppression and the minority’s opinions can be heard along with the majority’s. Our government is designed to be fair and open minded, to be a servant to the people it governs. Unfortunately once an opinion is placed into the collective mind of society, it is a struggle to alter that opinion through argument and information.
The opinion in our country on the subject of marijuana use has always been a sensitive issue, open to debate and sparking many controversial questions and moral issues. The same questions come up time and time again when the debate starts. What are the effects on marijuana on the body? Does marijuana create a desire to try more potent substances? Is the resistance society places on the use of marijuana costing the taxpayers more than it is worth? What is the reasoning behind our decision to generally view marijuana as a bad substance worthy of resistance? And even though most hesitate to admit it isn’t marijuana already a part of our culture and a major factor in the identity of multiple generations of Americans?
So many questions surround the issue, likely they will not go away in the near
future. Marijuana is not a threat to our society, other than opinions that have been generalized into our cultural beliefs of right and wrong, we have much more productive ways to spend our tax dollars. Marijuana has never been proven to have any long term medical effects that are detrimental. Cigarettes, alcohol, and various drugstore stimulants should be of more concern than marijuana. The opinions that have been formed about marijuana are based on racist beliefs and also circumstantial moments in history. Supporters of the legalization of marijuana have valid arguments and can not be ignored forever. These people are becoming a strong voice in our society and can not be ignored. We have facilitated this with our blood and hard work in the creation and defending of our constitution.
The first issue to be confronted is that of the effects of marijuana on the body. The physiological effects of marijuana on the body are not very strong. It would actually take 20,000 to 40,000 times the normal dose to kill a human being. There is no documented case of a death caused by marijuana overdose. The only noticeable effect on the body is the slight increase in heart beat, depending on the dose amount. The increase in blood pressure also usually creates bloodshot eyes. The mouth tends to dry out and the user has an urge to drink water. All of the other effects that could be related to marijuana use are inconsistent so cannot be directly linked to the substance (Model 15).
Many people would argue saying that marijuana has long term long term effects on the body and marijuana effect a persons ability to drive making him a danger to others? These arguments can be addressed with information from cultural anthropologist Charles Levinthol as referenced in Michael Massing’s article in “The Nation.” There is
no evidence that marijuana is habit forming or that users suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Long term users do not suffer from increased heart diseases or any other visible signs of health problems. About the only proven long term effect is short term memory loss, and this is only while the person is under the influence of the substance. A perfect example of the long term effects of heavy marijuana use can be seen by looking at the Rastafarians, Costa Ricans and the Greeks. These people tend to have a more accepting attitude of marijuana use in their daily lives. When these groups were studied for adverse effects none could be found, other than a slight decrease in pulmonary functions (massing 6). As for the effects on the driver, marijuana can in high doses cause hallucinations. This is only in cases where doses 10 times the normal joint is smoked. This is also very rare and only happens to a small percentage of people who smoke. The person who is at the average level ... more
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E: THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA
THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA [Category]: Social issues [Paper Title]: [Text]: THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA Is the illegalization of marijuana valid? The debate over the legalization of Cannabis sativa, more commonly known as marijuana, has been one of the most heated controversies ever to occur in the United States. Its use as a medicine has existed for thousands of years in many countries world wide, and is documented as far back as 2700 BC in ancient Chinese writing. (Jackson,pg.55) When som...
F: Us Drug Policy
Us Drug Policy Q. Would the Amsterdam model be a useful government response to hallucinogen and marijuana use in this country? Why or why not? Amsterdams coffee shops and cafes are notorious for the tolerated exchange of hashish and marijuana. This example goes completely against the moral principles underlying the United States drug policy. The United States drug policy stands by the zero tolerance rules. Our drug culture does not believe in any such thing as a use of an illegal drug, only abu...
F: Legalized marijuana
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E: Marijuana legalization
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S: THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA
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