Schedule is a sad reality because the government officials

Schedule 1 of the
Controlled Substances Act is legislation essential to keep drugs with high
abuse potential and no medical benefit out of the hands of common people.  I believe that its purpose is to serve as It
serves as a guard and therefore is essential. 
However, in 1972 marijuana was placed in the Schedule 1 category the
Controlled Substances Act, consequently deeming it illegal for use for medical
reasons categorizing it as a drug. This would make it illegal not only for
people to use for medical reasons but also, criminal for physicians to
prescribe it to their patients. 
President Nixon actually caused marijuana to be viewed in a negative
light not only by the United States, but the entire world (Sarich 2014).  This was fine during a time when maybe a lot
less was truly known about marijuana and its short-term and long-term effects,
but the problem is that here we are, close to fifty years removed from that
presidency. I believe that there were many doctors that were recommending that
their patients use the marijuana and it be legal and the doctors were given justifiable
medical reasons that were supported by the science facts that were being
discovered. However, these were true facts and doctors had proof top back it up
but it remained on the schedule 1 and remained as an illegal drug regardless of
the findings from medical professionals. Through all we recognize about marijuana,
its classification has not been altered. I  think this is a sad reality because the
government officials tell us as the people in the world to trust the doctors
and believe in the science and technology that continues to evolve yet, they
are punishing the patients and the doctors for the illegal use of weed no
matter if they have been given a reason by the doctors for their condition definitely
trust that it is incorrect for the government to take legal action against those
who can prove they use marijuana for medical reasons, and they should be using
other approaches to keep marijuana under control than just prosecuting those
using it in a controlled way.

            Fresh off
the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s, the early 70s found the United
States looking for a new fight.  This
began the time we can point back to as having the string of presidents that led
the initial suppliers of the drug policies we have now.  Whether to draw attention away from America’s
racist history, or because there was a true problem that needed to be
addressed, nobody knows, but, in 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a war
on drugs.  He said, “America’s
public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. I believe that the
way president Nixon felt about drugs his opinion may have been only about the
harsh drugs such as Heroin and Cocaine but, I think he could not allow weed to
be excluded even though it was not causing as much problems as the other drugs.
Unfortunately I believe that the Weed was simply not legalized because the
government officials were not able to profit and collect taxes on it. Therefore
they did not want anybody using it and selling it and made illegal. Also I
believe that due to his position, he held influence between lawmakers who shared
his view of this matter. He criminalized and demonized the usage of marijuana,
and therefore began a long string of efforts by Nixon and a presidential
administration after him to fix what they were telling everybody was broken in
the system. There were laws and different steps and approaches taken in order
to stop people from transporting and growing the drugs in the community and the
other countries. I do remember that there was a huge problem with drugs and it
was affecting a lot of cultures and I saw it damage the African Americans
neighborhoods the most because I grew up in that environment. I know that this
was not only affecting the blacks but a lot of people and races were definitely
affected by drugs period.  Subsequently numerous
unsuccessful attempts, it was understood by Nixon that as long as the demand
for drugs existed, the suppliers would discover means to succeed. However, he didn’t act
according to this understanding. 
Directly after this, Nixon launched many efforts to go into Mexico and
eliminate the supply side of the drug war. 
But he quickly learned that eliminating one route drug traffickers used
only resulted in them opening another route to continue their work.  They would not be denied.  Through the end of his presidency, none of
President Nixon’s initiatives were successful in eliminate drug supply to
United States citizens (Rosenburger 1996). 
However, Nixon was successful in changing the country’s narrative about
marijuana, and so the country moved from the Nixon administration to the Carter
presidency and his administration with the idea that marijuana use was harming
our country and leading to the use of even more dangerous drugs, and that its
being bought and sold in the United States was detrimental to the health and
safety of all our citizens. 

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            President Carter had the right idea
when, in a 1977 Congressional speech, he proposed the idea that having
possession of the drug shouldn’t do more harm to the person than actually using
the drug would.  Although not for
legalization of the drug, President Carter was in support of less intense
penalties and punishments for possession and use of marijuana.  Instead, he continued the focus on the
philosophy that eliminating the supply would eliminate the problem, and
increased the funding toward offensive programs designed to target and
eliminate the suppliers (Rosenburger 1996). 
However, President Carter was also unsuccessful in his efforts. 

            Reagan came on the scene with the
same rhetoric that came straight from the Nixon administration.  Reagan talked big about us understanding that
fighting the supply side of the drug war was a losing battle that we shouldn’t
pursue, but then poured $1.4 billion into interdiction programs during his
first term, up from $437 million during Carter’s presidency, even cutting
education, prevention and drug rehab in order to do it (Rosenburger 1996).  Reagan’s presidency also set the precedent
that exists now, where penalties for drug use seem harsher then the effects of
the drugs themselves.  And yet, he
couldn’t eradicate the problem either. 

            However, this line of presidencies
just goes to show who the legislative suppliers were/are, and the effect (if
any) they had on drugs in America, and how those drugs were entering the
country and affecting our people.  Their
eradication plans didn’t work.  Instead,
they had the effect that chemicals have on bacteria.  A new, deadly chemical will be used on
bacteria and will kill a large majority of them, but a few will survive due to
resistance.  Those few, becoming super
bacteria, repopulate and are immune to the effects of the old drug, leaving
scientists to fight to find a new drug, only to start the problem all over
again.  Such is the case with
staphylococcus aureus, which became resistant to penicillin, and them
methicillin, and now vancomycin. 
Similarly, harsh anti-supply drug laws and interdiction programs only
caused drug suppliers to become crafty in their ways of providing supply to
those demanding it in our country.  This
only made it harder for us to stop the transport and sale of drugs, and as we
can see, we never did.  The only thing we
managed to do was make the sentences harsher for those Americans who were
buying and using the drugs. 

            Admittedly, some of these drugs are
extremely harmful and should be heavily criminalized as a deterrent to their
use.  This isn’t just a way to put more
Americans into the prison system, but rather actually a protection for those
whose lives would be destroyed by these harsh drugs.  However, scientific advancement in knowledge
has shown us that marijuana isn’t one of these drugs.  Therefore, the harsh criminalization for
those using it is bad enough, but even worse for those only using it under
direct medical doctor direction.  In this
case, the suppliers of policy have become suppliers of oppression. 

            The demanders in this situation are
a very diverse group of people who come from very different backgrounds, but
all have one common goal: the decriminalization of marijuana.  The demanders, whether they realize it or
not, have their roots as a group, in those marijuana users who existed during
the presidencies that originally criminalized the drug.  Those presidents and their administrations
created a precedent that marijuana demanders have been fighting against since
the problem started with the Nixon administration. 

            But those demanders weren’t just the
originators of the marijuana users (medical and recreational) today; they were
also the originators of the interest groups that we find in the fight for
marijuana laws happening today.  There
are interest groups on both sides of the marijuana fight: those who wish to
keep the laws the same as they are, and those who want to see it reformed.  Both have valid arguments, and both have
significant power over what happens today. 

            There are
several significant groups who are fighting to keep marijuana laws illegal as
they are.  Police unions rely on federal
drug war grants as one of the ways and they finance their budget. They use this currency to
continue fighting against marijuana legalization, which makes them more money,
and have even pushed for stiffer penalties for marijuana crimes across the
United States. I do not believe that it is fair to push for stricter
consequences for marijuana simply for the fact that it is a known fact that it
helps with cancer and bipolar and different illnesses.   

             I feel that the private prison systems make
the vast of their money from individuals that are incarcerated and put behind
bars for the simple things such as marijuana and traffic violations if you will.
I believe that they make this money and believe you me it is a quite profitable
business to back their politicians and they keep fighting legalizing it all
over because they would lose a great deal since such a large amount of people
go to prison for possession and distribution and use of the marijuana
classified drug.

     I believe that the pharmaceutical companies
weigh in heavily on the anti-drug, specifically the anti-marijuana tirade.  The government knows that by legalizing marijuana
that the Americans will turn to using it as opposed to buying costly
medications like Advil and Percocet and other drugs to help with certain pain
from

legalize this drug all over because they are not going to be
able to continue to make the huge profit that they have been making since the
beginning of time. I do think that it is something that may eventually take
place but, we have a long road ahead of us. I honestly feel that there would
have to be a new drug to come out and spark the interest of people something
like Crack to have them at ease with knowing that it will take over like it
once did and the communities will be destroyed yet, again and they will fill
the private prisons up again. I have thoughts about the legalization on many
things that the government is not able to profit off. For example women can
have abortions and this is murder and they are free to do want they want with
their body says the government but, prostitution is illegal but, the reason I believe
this is because the medical professional and government are making money by
allowing the abortions to be legal and the medical doctors are paid for performing
the procedure and if the insurance pays well there is another entity that will
profit from this all. I agree with the public opinion about legalizing
marijuana, while little changed in the past few years, has undergone a dramatic
long-term shift. Also it has
been revealed that the drug isn’t deadly as President Nixon initially made it
seem. The drug doesn’t cause death by overdose, or any long-term significant
damage.  In fact, among young users, it
is a common running joke that the only side effect of marijuana usage is
increased hunger and cravings.  Nevertheless
the progressions in scientific information and cognitive that have been provided
by the scientific community. Despite the many attempts the government still
holds marijuana as a Schedule 1 classified narcotic.  This is non-action by the suppliers in direct
opposition to the desires of the demanders. 
This caused the rise of many interest groups made up of many prominent
individuals who are all unhappy with the decision of the suppliers to refuse to
remove marijuana from Schedule 1 classification.  I believe that people need to go around and
take petitions that need the marijuana for the medical reasons should challenge
the government. I feel that there should be some sort of rally organized for
people all across the 50 states to take this to their local legislatives
offices and file complaints against the officials to have the classification
removed for weed. I feel that the doctors and scientist should come together
and send in letters and participate in the rallies as well and this may get the
ball rolling a lot faster than it has been with the findings about marijuana that
has continued to evolve all this time. In my opinion is the most deadly
component and should be a drug and classified as schedule 1. My thoughts on
this are because I have never seen that people get a hangover from smoking marijuana
unlike alcohol. I also read more stories about drunk driving and I do not feel
that just because they put a age limit on this it makes this right and it is
causing so many tragedies. For example, I have never heard too many stories if
I even heard of one person who smokes weed getting high and wanting to get
aggressive and fight and becoming so enraged that they are capable of murder
and different things when under the influence of wee. However how many people
have ran across belligerent drunks and people who spend their last dollar on
consuming the alcohol that can cause serious health problems like liver failure
and causing ones face to become sunken in as a result of abusing this. Also
some twenty one year old individuals have lost their life behind drinking and
not being aware of their limits and not even being informed by the store who sell
the products of the dangers besides drinking responsibly and this is told to
some by people and they choose not to listen. Nelson, Executive Vice-President
of the Cato Institute David Boaz, Professor of Psychology at State University
of New York at Albany Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D., Actor Woody Harrelson, Physician
Frank Lucido, M.D., Comedian and Social Satirist Bill Maher, and Nashville
Attorney Robert T. Vaughn. 

            Another organization, the Marijuana
Policy Project (MPP), fights a strictly political battle.  The slogan on their main website page says
“We Change Laws” (Project).  Judging from that slogan, one of, if not the,
main goals of the MPP is to have marijuana reclassified from Schedule 1.  And they employ a permanent lobbyist on
Capitol Hill to accomplish this goal.  On
their page, they have a quote which sums up the group’s thoughts about the drug
and the laws associated with it.  In
1988, DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young said “Marijuana
in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances
known to man.  By any measure of rational
analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical
care. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to
stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of
the evidence in this record” (Project). 
With that quote posted to the first page of their website, it’s clear
they intend to have marijuana reclassified and will play the game of political
warfare and lobbying in order to accomplish their goal. 

            These two organizations are the
really heavy-hitters of the fight to reclassify and legalize marijuana, and to
have it’s at least have its criminal possession charges lessened or
eliminated.  But there are other
organizations that exist for the same reason. 
In fact, there are four organizations whose main purpose is to fight for
the decriminalization of marijuana for medical purposes.  They are the American Alliance for Medical
Cannabis (AAMC), Americans for Safe Access (ASA), and Veterans for Medical
Cannabis Access (VMCA) and Patients Out of Time (POT). 

            This last organization hits home
with me because it was an option we were considering for my father.  My father was diagnosed with Stage 2
pancreatic cancer in May 2013.  A few months
later, it was upgraded to Stage 4. 
Nearing the end of his life in 2014, the tumor had metastasized to his
liver and was pressing up against the inside of his rib cage.  It hurt to breathe and walk, both things he
was already doing less.  We considered
marijuana as a way to help him deal with the pain, but he eventually decided
against it due to criminalization problems. 
He died in pain.  So for
everything that we know about marijuana these days, it is personally ridiculous
to me that we still have the problem of marijuana being classified as a
Schedule 1 drug when it is clearly fit to be classified as Schedule 2 or
possibly even 3. 

            The public policy environment that
exists for this marijuana situation is an interesting one because it’s not
exactly as expected.  What we’re
expecting to see is a strong cooperative interplay between the desires of the
policy demanders and the actions of the policy suppliers.  With the anti-marijuana rhetoric spewing that
began with President Nixon, demanders were demanding that anti-marijuana
actions be taken by the government to protect the people.  This meant government passing laws and
restrictions for the sale, possession and use of marijuana in the United
States.  It also gave reason for the
government to launch anti-marijuana efforts in other countries in the hopes of
reducing its impact on the United States. 
The American population would feel safe with such actions being taken,
feeling that the government was acting in behalf of their best interests, with
the best knowledge that they had in mind. 
The government has not ceased their actions, and has continued on this
train of thought and action, with harsh anti-marijuana laws still in existence,
and even harsher penalties for those who are caught using it.  Logically, then, the expectation would be
that the government continues to act in this manner because the demanders
haven’t changed their tune either.  Based
on the actions of the government, the people are still in support of strict
anti-marijuana laws and even stricter penalties for using it, just as they were
having been swayed by the rhetoric of President Nixon and the Presidents that
came after him.  This, however, is not
the case, and is the reason there is a disjoint between what the expected
interplay between demanders and suppliers is, and what actually exists.

            Over the past few decades, more
scientific research into marijuana and its effects has revealed that the drug
isn’t deadly as President Nixon initially made it seem.   The drug doesn’t cause death by overdose, or
any long-term significant damage.  In
fact, among young users, it is a common running joke that the only side effect
of marijuana usage is increased hunger and cravings.  However, with the advancements in scientific
knowledge and reasoning that have been provided by the scientific community,
the government still holds marijuana as a Schedule 1 classified narcotic.  This is non-action by the suppliers in direct
opposition to the desires of the demanders. 
This caused the rise of many interest groups made up of many prominent
individuals who are all unhappy with the decision of the suppliers to refuse to
remove marijuana from Schedule 1 classification. 

            What’s especially bad about this is
that because marijuana is a Schedule 1 classified drug, the criminal charges
against those using it for medical reasons are harsh, and many interest groups
have fought for, even lobbied, for this to change. 

            We’ve recently have ground break on
states legalizing marijuana.  As more
states follow this trend and more politicians get behind this idea, the first
task on the road to recovery is the suppliers realizing that times have changed,
and knowledge has improved.  Therefore,
our laws must improve with it.  First,
marijuana must be downgraded from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, or even 3.  Not only does this pave the way for more
states to fully legalize, but it holds many other benefits that maybe many
haven’t thought about. 

            For one, this could reduce its
trafficking, and consequently, reduce the danger associated with possessing
this drug.  Many people die every year
due to the danger this drug poses, but making it legal helps reduce, or even
eliminate, the underground market that dangerously exists for selling and
buying.  But the main purpose of my
argument is that doing this would allow the legal freedom for physicians to
recommend marijuana as therapies for patients who they, within their medical
expertise, deem need it for treatment or pain management.  This benefits a large portion of patients who
fit a certain category in which marijuana could become an option.  But also, it decriminalizes marijuana, so
that those patients who can prove that they are in possession of marijuana for
health related reasons as recommended (or even prescribed) by their doctor are
not arrested and charged with possession of an illegal drug or substance.  In other words, the policy suppliers can
actually put their trust in the scientists that they tell us to put our faith
in, and actually use the knowledge we gain to better the country, instead of
criminalize innocent citizens just because a trained and skilled physician
tells them to use a drug that is illegal, but shouldn’t be in the first
place. 

            On the other hand, the demanders
(and the interest groups that formed to represent them) should make it their
primary goal, in their fight for affecting marijuana policy change, to
educate.  Educate the people about marijuana
and its effects that new science has shown us, and educate the policy
suppliers, to convince them that changes should be made.  They should take the point that the
advancements this country has made that put us above other countries on this
planet are largely in part due to advancements in scientific knowledge, that we
didn’t just sit on, but rather, sought to understand and use to better
ourselves.  Ever since the industrial
revolution, this country has thrived on improvements that came from
advancements in scientific knowledge.  So
to continue that trend, the country should reflect advancements in knowledge
they’ve made with marijuana.  And if they
refuse to make those changes based on irrefutable science, then at least stop
making patients suffer criminal charges because they want to ignore the
facts.