Legalization of Cannabis
For thousands of years, cannabis has been widely used. In India for instance, it is used to perform religious rituals. Medical practitioners in the 19th century sold the drug using the name cannabis hence popularizing the term among English speakers.
Legalization of cannabis is a topic that draws numerous controversies from different quarters with some pro and other against it. The legality of the drug varies from one country to another. While this is the case, in most countries, it is illegal to be caught in possession of the drug. Since the late 1930s, use of cannabis has been termed as illegal and this is despite the fact that its use has been widely spread.
There are countries that have decriminalized being in possession of the drug in small quantities and this includes South America, Europe and North America. What is more, possession if effectively legal in Uruguay, the Netherlands and United States of Colorado as well as Washington since the federal government has indicated there will be no attempts at blocking enactment of legalization in the mentioned states.
On December 10, 2013, Uruguay became the very first country across the globe to legalize, cultivation, distribution and sale of cannabis. Those who support legalization of cannabis argue that it should be removed from criminal justice systems then regulated in the same manner as tobacco or alcohol. They arguing that legalizing the drug will ensure that the largest cash crop is brought under rule of law thus lead to creation of economic opportunities and jobs in a formal market rather than an illicit one.
They also claim that the criminalization of cannabis harms young people disproportionately and also sponsors corruption, violence and the inability to curb the youth from accessing the drug.
If legalization of cannabis is to be done, it should be done through a system that is well regulated for distribution and production. Use of the drug in certain countries for medical purposes is permitted for instance Israel and the Czech Republic.
Federal law in the US bans possession and sale of all cannabis and while this is the case, enforcement varies from one state to another. Some countries have laws that are vigorously prosecuted than others.
Currently, countries known to have least number of restrictive laws against cannabis include North Korea, Bangladesh, Portugal, Czech Republic, the United States, Netherlands and Uruguay. Countries that have the strictest laws on cannabis on the other hand include North Korea, Turkey, South Korea, United Arad Emirates, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sweden, Japan and France.
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