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Legalization of Marijuana in Texas

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Legalization of Marijuana in Texas

Marijuana legalization and decriminalization have attracted media attention across the world with many countries debating on whether it should be legalized for medical use, recreational use or both. Currently, Guam, the District of Columbia and 25 other states have allowed marijuana use for medicinal purposes. Recently, 17 states have legalized use of low THC a product containing a high dose of cannabidiol for selected medical situations or legal defence. In the District of Columbia and four other states, marijuana is allowed for recreational purposes (Zvonarev et al. 2). Additionally, nine states have planned ballot measures for legal or recreational marijuana, while four states are in the process of certifying initiatives or gathering signatures. In January 2018, a state legislature legalized marijuana in Vermont. Advocates for the legalization of marijuana believe that its legal use will lower expenditure on criminal justice, improve traffic safety and public health, stimulate the economy and raise revenues for the government.

Moreover, the promotion of its use aims at reducing the number of crimes reported in states. On the other hand, critics believe that marijuana use will harm public health, lower educational attainment for teens, raise legal issues and increase the crime rate. Although there is no clear answer as to whether marijuana legalization will protect public health and save lives, this report will explore reports and documents addressing the legalization of marijuana and its effects to give a conclusive opinion regarding the pressing issue in Texas.

The expected impact of marijuana legalization has been a topic for discussion since 1970. The drug ban laws in the United States were adopted at the beginning of 1900s when criminalization of marijuana began (Kreit 118). Being a constituent of the US, Texas was affected by the laws. According to the current law requirements, in a state where marijuana is illegal, law enforcement will face criminal charges. On the other hand, when the substance becomes legal, law enforcement officers determine whether a person’s behaviour is affected by marijuana or not.  Therefore, marijuana legalization requires professional training alongside public education for emphasizing risky behaviour associated with marijuana use. Reports made marijuana supporters state that its legalization would eliminate the underground market as well are reduce violence and crime that is associated with its use. After the commercialization of marijuana, it is expected that no changes will be observed. Therefore, supporters believe in full legalization of marijuana.

After many years of marijuana, residents of different states came to realize that the ban was a failure and believed that legalization was the best option. In 1969, 12% of Americans thought that marijuana ought to be legalized. In a survey conducted in 2016, the results revealed that 57% of adult Americans were in favour of the drug legalization, while 37% of the study participants suggested its prohibition. The history of marijuana can be dated back to 1996 when California state passed its first law of the substance legalization (Kreit 177). The federal government tried to stop the bill by raiding dispensaries using medical marijuana and prosecuting some of the hospital operators. The 2000s saw an increase in the number of States passing medical-marijuana law and more stores were opened for selling the substance. However, the states governments have the right to prosecute offences occurring as a result of the drug use.

In the 20th century, marijuana use is still illegal in the US due to public health and moral reasons. There is continued concern regarding crime associated with production, use and distribution of the substance. Despite the regulations, some states, including Texas that are debating on whether or not to legalize it. Marijuana users believe that the government is intruding their freedom of choice and the ban of its use is unwarranted. Besides, people argue that marijuana has minimal health effects compared to tobacco and alcohol, yet they are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and widely used. The drug has proven to offer medicinal value, especially to patients suffering from several illnesses including AIDS, glaucoma and cancer. For cancer patients, marijuana eliminates nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy. Although there is increased crime rate at US-Mexico border and the US, they are contributed by illegal use and selling that results in drug trafficking. By legalization of marijuana, the government will earn tax revenue since the substance business will be commercialized somewhat sold without the knowledge of the government. Gangs that are involved in drug selling will also be thrown out of business. The good thing about cannabis is that it to gain its medical benefits. It is not a must for one to smoke it. There are different forms of including cannabidiol (CBD) oils, edibles, topical pain relief and other types of non-smoking applications. Research results also show that many individual compounds are beneficial and when isolated from the main plant, they can be advanced further for medical use with getting the patients high. For centuries, marijuana has been used for natural medicine.

While people are advocating for the legalization of marijuana, some are against it. The people who argue against marijuana are of the view that the drug has an effect on memory and can impair a person’s cognitive ability. Also, smoking damages lung tissues and the results are fatal since there are carcinogenic substances in marijuana. Recreational use of the drug leads to addiction and drug abuse. There are gaps regarding the clinical use of cannabis, especially on the dosage requirement and control of abuse and drug dependency. The current studies are not backed up by clinical trials where substitute medicine is used or a placebo. Lack of scientific evidence and comparative studies the side effects and therapeutic benefits will not convince the opposers of legalization. There need more reviews on evidence for disease management which should be well researched like other medications.

Like other states, Texas is a step closer to legalizing medical marijuana after a law made by representatives from North Texas Republicans and a registered nurse called Stephanie Klick expanded the ailments that can be treated with the drug. Previous a compassionate use Act written by the nurse has advised the administration of the drug in the form of inhaler or oil be used for treating intractable epilepsy. With the current bill, medical marijuana can be used to manage autism, terminal cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s disease and seizures (Eckelbarger). However, they will be treated with marijuana’s psychoactive compound known as THC. Consequently, marijuana growing will be expanded to retailers and providers in CBD and THC market. Autism-based Compassionate cultivation CEO argues that the move will benefit patients and physicians since they will have more treatment options. The medical benefits of marijuana are present in the weed variant called Hemp since it contains 0.3% of THC that can be incorporated with different products for the manufacture of medicine, food, skincare moisturizers and clothing. Although Texas drug bill does not support marijuana but rather Hemp, it will affect how the drug possession and handling. Law enforcement will have a hard time differentiating marijuana and Hemp since the two crops look alike. As the Texas law allows the production of Hemp, CBD oil consumers can now use the drug without fearing prosecution (Eckelbarger). However, district attorneys have warned buyers to wait for clear laws since some sellers are duping consumers. Farms are also advised to label their products accurately and submit them to labs for confirmation of purity. Currently, the bill for recreational marijuana legalization is pending, and it will take time to go through. Texas lawmakers are still looking for proposals related to cannabis, including Klick’s that would be used to qualify the medical conditions for compassionate use programs. Other bills will be used for the reduction of penalties for marijuana possession and legalization of Hemp and any other cannabis variety low in THC.

Conclusively, Texas bill for the legalization of medical marijuana would be a relief to the health care system. Currently, marijuana is not legal in Texas, but its legalization should only be for medicinal purposes. A Proper license is required before the cultivation of the drug, but dispensers must ensure that they adhere to the strict rule of low TCH products. Before purchasing the dosage, patients also require approval from their physicians. Besides, to qualify for marijuana use, one must be diagnosed with epilepsy, autism, terminal cancer, seizure disorder, and incurable neurodegenerative disease. A doctor should conduct a risk/benefit analysis. Recreational marijuana should not be legalized because it causes addiction, lung cancer, cognitive impairment, and affects memory.

Works Cited

Eckelbarger, John. “The Complete Guide To Marijuana Legalization In Texas – Stonegate Center”. Stonegate Center, 2019, https://stonegatecenter.com/the-complete-guide-to-marijuana-legalization-in-texas/.

Kreit, Alex. “Marijuana legalization and pretextual stops.” UCDL Rev. 50 (2016): 741.

Zvonarev, Valeriy, Tolulope A. Fatuki, and Polina Tregubenko. “The public health concerns of marijuana legalization: an overview of current trends.” Cureus 11.9 (2019).

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