By: Alana Gibson-Harbin, Richard Socoy Xicay, Ulises Olmedo, Morgan Franklin, Cole Woodman
Since marijuana was classified as a Schedule 1 drug (with others like heroin and methamphetamine) by the DEA in 1970, there has been a tremendous amount of debate around this classification and its larger societal effects. The legal status specifically has been a focus. The opinions span the spectrum from maintaining the illegal controlled substance status to decriminalization to regulated medical status to full legalization. This debate has been complicated by the fact that the issues tend to fall under the jurisdiction of the states but state law cannot supersede federal law. Unclear federal standing has opened the door for a variety of state interpretations which encourages the debate. According to the website Criminal Defense Lawyer, there is a conflict between marijuana laws being handled at a federal level or at state level.
In order to examine this issue mores closely we began to investigate the various positions on marijuana in the United States. In an effort to answer the question of what the legal status of marijuana should be we uncovered the following opinions.
The supporters of legalizing marijuana believe that the effects of marijuana are not not as harmful as substances that are legal and regulated to the public.
The people who support leaving marijuana illegal believe that the legalization of marijuana will lead to an increase of use especially in underage youth.
People who advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana the harsh consequences that comes with the current legal status marijuana has lead to a drug war where poor minorities are being targeted.