Editorial: Marijuana laws need change - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Editorial: Marijuana laws need change

Staff Editorial

Abbigail Cowels

From The Lookout Staff

 

The Biden Administration has shown a more progressive outlook in certain American policies including, though not limited to, insisting on the reclassification of cannabis because of its potential for medicinal purposes.

Making the now schedule I drug a schedule III could have a positive impact on individuals and communities within the US.

“Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence. As the drug schedule changes – Schedule II, Schedule III, etc., so does the abuse potential,” is how the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency categorizes substances.

This presently organizes cannabis alongside drugs like Quaaludes, ecstasy, heroine and LSD.

On Sept. 22, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, spoke to Congress and brought attention back to the 2019 Bill, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act.

“The MORE Act would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, remove the needless burden of marijuana convictions on so many Americans, and invest in the communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs,” Nadler stated.

Aligning with President Joe Biden’s statement on Marijuana Reform in 2022, the MORE act recognizes the difference between cannabis laws today and those 30 years ago.

In reference to the Institute for Justice Research and Development, the true costs of incarceration are far exceeded in their budgets by the detrimental effects on family members: raised infant mortality rates, inherited criminal behavior and families left in scarcity.

Incarceration does not exist in a vacuum. The costs are paid by the people left behind, and surface in necessity to increase budgets on welfare because of it.

Biden has been pressing the positive side effects of pardoning convicted individuals since his statement in 2022. The expungement of marijuana criminal charges would open up more avenues of employment and housing for individuals affected, subsequently reducing homelessness and repeat offenders.

The expected snowball effect in beneficial outcomes from reclassifying cannabis would include decreased crime rates with more opportunities for education, self-improvement and having access to better mental healthcare.

This is an evident solution to a large contributing factor of socio-economic disparity within the U.S.

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