Crime And Deviance Essay, Research Paper
In society today
our jail systems are filled to the brim with drug traffickers and drug abusers. Even in countries like Canada where the government has intensified measures to fight this war with stiffer laws and awareness programs, the drug problem is getting much worse. The war on drugs seems to be an impossible battle, that may never be resolved or won. Policy makers turn their heads to the fact that legalizing softer drugs may be an option to lowering this ailment in societies all over the world. Contrary to the normative outlook that legalizing a drug like marijuana would guide our economy and workforce into a stage of stagnation and counter production, marijuana could actually perpetuate the growth of our economy. Policy makers and the general public simply rule out the possibility that the legalization of a softer drug like marijuana would reduce government spending on current law enforcement, and if there was a tax placed on marijuana it could actually be benefical to our country s revenue. This would also lead to a harder, more concentrated fight on harder drugs polluting their citizens, like crack, heroin, and other highly addictive vices.
Marijuana is an exception to the fact that all drugs have potentially lethal affects when taken in large doses. While over one hundred thousand deaths annually are directly linked to acute alcohol poisoning, no one in the 4,000 years of marijuana s documented use has ever died from an overdose. It seems illogical in looking at this statistic that marijuana is outlawed, alcohol has a much more negitive affect on individuals (our workforce) and on our society as a whole. There are negative effects to marijuana, but they seem miniscule in comparison as I see it.
Some psychological dependence is possible. Studies have found that the psychological dependency is less than sugar or chocolate, but is more habit forming than anchovies. No studies have found conclusive evidence that marijuana causes any long-term physical or psychological harm. Like smoking anything, however, long-term use can lead to higher risks of lung cancer. The health risk of smoking the marijuana can be eliminated by eating the plant, or can be reduced by smoking less of a more potent variety of marijuana. (Family Council of Drug Awareness)
Individuals are individuals and counterproductive norms are seen in our society without marijuana, which contradicts the belief that marijuana usage is a legitimate factor in an individual s choice in not contributing to a society s common goal. These characteristics are prevalent in society with or without marijuana; the argument that marijuana causes counterproductive tendencies is inconclusive. So, what gives with the pipe dream outlook possessed by many policy makers that the abolition and not regulation of all illegal drugs is the root of our society s problems? Pot heads are going to smoke pot, the feeling of working the system contributes to this form of deviance, and crackheads, crack- why not eliminate the black market all together?
For many countries, marijuana is its most widely used illegal drug. In Canada for example, four million Canadians have used marijuana including 1.4 million teenagers, while the countries population is at around 24.5 million. The drug s popularity and prevalence can be clearly seen when looking at the low cost and light criminal for dealing it; when compared to other drugs- the time spent in prison compared to the money made by the dealer, makes pot-selling only seem logical. Since 1969, about half a million people have been convicted for the possession and use of the drug, while the Canadian government spends $100 million a year enforcing drug laws. How much of that money could be concentrated on harder drug offenders if pot were to be legalized? The stigmatization of being a pot dealer is about equal to that of being a bartender, this pushes the unsure even closer to making tax-free, black market dollars.
Laws do not deter individuals from getting high, in fact it makes the problem worse. While people continue to use marijuana, these laws make it harder and more expensive to acquire. The black market can be a fearsome place where the user has to place his or her trust in the person in which they are dealing with. The black market also opens the possibility of having your marijuana tainted with harmful pesticides and contaminents. However, the use of marijuana user in Canada has declined since 1979, and an Addiction Research Foundation survey in 1987 showed that four of every one hundred Canadians between the ages of 18 and 19 use marijuana on a daily basis. If we take a look at regions were pot is legal, we actually see that usage is exceptionally lower to that of the United States.
For example, in two places in the Western world where use of small amounts of marijuana is legal- the Netherlands and Alaska- the rate of marijuana consumption is arguably lower than in the continental United States, where marijuana is banned. In 1992, 6.3 percent of American high school seniors smoked marijuana daily, but only 4 percent did so in Alaska. In 1995, 5.5 percent of American high school seniors used marijuana daily, but in the Netherlands the rate was only 0.5 percent.
This data shows that perhaps American youths take the clich the grass is greener on the other side, to new heights, experimenting with the unacceptable seems to be a trend amongst American high schoolers. If pot s legal there, then it can not be wrong here is a feeling felt by many young potheads. Legalization would lead to an acceptance of the high felt from pot, and end much of the mystery felt by curious Americans in high school.
Frequent marijuana usage has a possibility to lead to a psychological dependency, but has never been medically proven to be physically addictive. Marijuana s first usage as a folk medicine first dates back to as far as 3,000 bc in China and Central Asia. Today the reason for usage may have changed but usage is still prevalent. Now the drug is used specifically for a feeling of euphoria, a gateway to pleasure and an escape from the everyday tensions of life. One Ohio Wesleyan University student was quoted as saying that he saw marijuana as a remedy for stresses caused by academics. A bong (waterpipe) hit will ease the tension, baby, these tensions are usually caused by an examination or simply a long, tedious day of classes. There have been very little data collected on the congregational norms of pot smokers, but through observation stoners of a feather flock together. There are congregational aspects in marijuana, when we see stoners coming together in order to achieve euphoric feelings in the presence of their friends, colleuges, spouses, etc.
One theory of delinquence that I see very prevalent in smoking pot is one pointed out to me by Dr. Connie Chappel known as the Control theory. The control theory is tied into the differential association theory, however it is a theory more directly associated with those you interact with outside of the home. For example, I started chewing tabacco in the ninth grade simply because my freshman baseball coach did so, and he looked cool doing it- so what the hell, right? This same mind set has a lot to do with a habitual pot smoker s entrance into frequent usage- learning from influences outside of the home.
Teens who have never tried pot, see the drug glorified by many stars in the main stream media. I wonder how many high school kids went out and tried marijuana simply because Woody got caught growing a few marijuana plants and showed no remorse in doing so upon his arrest? In rap videos and such we see blunts, and rolling up fat ones as simply a way of gansta rap life. Artists like Dr. Dre and Eek-A-Mouse profess in their tunes that smoking is a way of life, they put out the image that smoking pot to them is like breathing, sleeping, or eating! Being a freshman in high school at the time Dre released his first solo album, The Chronic, (which is jargon used to describe marijuana containing high concentrations of tetra hydra carbinobol- the chemical that gets you stoned ) I was on the receiving end of the glorified messages put out by this album. Soon, a high percentage of the freshman class was infatuated with the euphoria that came along with smoking the chronic, or being high on marijuana. Society as a whole sends mixed messages to kids debating whether or not to join the pot smoking trend. While being told to just say no in one ear, it s an everyday thang goes in the other- this pressure is one felt greatly by many high schoolers looking to fit in. This is where the root of pot usage occurs for many, simply dealing with the trends occurring around them.
Most that use pot enter their usage with the view that everyone else is trying it, why shouldn t I? Mommy and Daddy s room smells like that funny stuff in the parking lot, does that make it okay for me to do it too? These same easily persuaded pot smokers are the same people that give policy makers reason to label marijuana a gateway drug, they approach physically detrimental drugs with the very indifference in which they approached pot. Just go along with the crowd regardless of how physically debilitating they crowd s habits are to your physical and mental state. My junior year in high school eleven acquaintances of mine went into various clinics to rehabilitate from crystal meth, a drug growing in popularity that has extreme negative affects on the central nervous system, and essentially destroys your life in every facet once hooked. All individuals involved but one used marijuana habitually before snorting this toxic ailment known as meth. It is harsh realities like these that can only lead one to think that marijuana is a gateway drug. However, at the same time all drank regularly and smoked cigarettes regularly- it wasn t the group that my mother encouraged me to hang out with, but acquaintances at the same time. My friends truly had addictive personalities and nuerotic tendencies- all felt that they could stop usage at any time, and the way their lives revolved around getting stoned years earlier showed me this neutralization was fictional. All eleven basically lost all contacts, trust from loved ones, and the ideas of who they really were in the washing machine of illegal hard drug addiction. This is one trend that few pot smokers partake in, but it clearly does happen.