Sunday, 9 November 2014


 As a contemporary issue of mass controversy, the campaign for the legalization of Marijuana (M.J)  has been heavily covered by the media and continuing political debate. Now with the number of states that grant the use of marijuana, for medical purposes standing at 23, with two states (Washington and Colorado) in a legal position to permit marijuana. to be sold in state regulated 'weed shops', many questions and discussions have arising concerning the legitimacy for the states legislature to legalize a intoxicating substance that is seen under federal law to be an illicit item. With the main argument developing about the the rights of the states to create laws that oppose federal policy.

Amendment X of the US constitution (1789) sates that 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor the prohibited by the it to the states, are  reserved to the states respective, or to the people'  -  simply,  nowhere int the federal constitution is Congress given authority to regulate local matters concerning the health safety , and morality of state residence. This viewed infringement on the constitutional rights of the states to create laws that effect only that state, have lead to massive public pressure on the US government to decrease its attacks on states such as Colorado and Washington. Because of the Federal Governments continued 'War on Drugs', every President since Nixon has had to deal with the growing issues surrounding the domestic use of narcotics. As a standing point for political campaigning many Presidents and other politicians have promised the electorate, to reduce drug influence in the US. This has led to a battle between the executive in maintain an image of electoral appeasement , through regulation on 'legalized' states' and the states themselves who reject federal intervention 

The Video, along with being predominately informative about the 'weed' markets workings in the 'legalized state'. It also provides the viewer with an insight into the political issues attached with this topic. The interview with former Montana state Governor Brian Schweiter showed that although states resident have the prerogative to vote for what they want and don't want as laws in their state. Using constitutionally structured voting method e.g. Initiatives (70% voted for legislation of medical marijuana in 2004). However strict regulation form the Bush administration led to a small  number of residents applying for medical marijuana card, the increase in medical marijuana users after Obama's election  rose to 30,000. Claim for greater state independence is strongly advocated by Gov. Schweiter that 'if states want medical Marijuana and passes it through legislature or citizens initiatives let them regulate it'

The video additionally shows also how by allowing individuals the freedom to purchase, stock and sell  marijuana in 'legalized states' does not only give that person the freedom to influence their body with a substance (on the same basis of smoking or drinking), and without the consequence of legal action. It also provides opportunity for individuals to purchase an outlet and make a legitimate business. That outlet does have to pay tax of around 25%-27% on their products  resulting in a massive tax income for the state. Which then is invested into greater state development projects. 'Colorado, sales of retail marijuana have reaped about $18.9 million in state taxes (with a percentage to go to local governments)' (Huffington Post 2014)

In conclusion, the video from CNN- 'Gone to Pot' , manages to explain how the development of shops selling marijuana has contributed to the local economy, as well as how the confrontation with the federal government has led to great debate over the use of individual states constitutional rights. which could impacting on the freedoms and liberties of individuals.

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