Legalizing Marijuana Essay Example
The United States Congress have set laws against the use, sale, or possession of marijuana for decades. In recent times, however, multiple state governments have considered the commencement of the legalization of recreational or medical use of the drug. The first states to completely decriminalize marijuana use are Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, and California. Additionally, all of Canada now approves recreational marijuana use. Originally, the considerations blossomed when horticulturists, pharmacists, and cosmedicists discovered positive uses of the drug or plant alone. Since 1970, studies and incredible claims of marijuana’s potential for medicinal use and curing disease began to become more viral as marijuana advocates persuade state governments to push towards legalization. Although the vast majority of these studies are not peer-reviewed or scanned for accuracy, the idea of marijuana becoming legal for medical or recreational use creates a high demand for the drug.
Dispensaries across Oregon and Colorado have skyrocketed in attraction and have increased in profit significantly. Unfortunately, these popular studies have little factual information describing the baneful effects marijuana can lead to. What marijuana advocates and researchers fail to inform their audiences is that the increased legality of marijuana have already lead to environmental crises, confusion and loss of value in the law, and signs of dwindling health of citizens. All states in America should consider prohibiting marijuana legalization because the habitual use of marijuana creates serious health complications for users, disharmonies within the law, and even societal and environmental hazards. Research has found detrimental health effects caused by marijuana use, many of them involving the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
According to "The effects and impact of second-hand cannabis smoke exposure on nurses working in the community" by Miguel A. Iglesias, Joy Pertile, Luke Molloy and Alex Chan, marijuana has been proven to be more harmful than tobacco products: “Many toxins such as ammonia, nitric oxide and hydrogen cyanide, are found in levels between three to 20 times higher in cannabis than in tobacco (qtd. by American Chemical Society 2007)” (3). While this information is being concealed by advocates of the drug, citizens are smoking marijuana without the knowledge of what truly lies within their joints. They will fall susceptible to cardiovascular disease and other negative effects. The article,"The science of marijuana: how THC affects the brain," expresses how marijuana’s cannabinoids affect the body system: “Cannabinoids exert their influence by regulating how cells communicate--Cannabinoids act like a type of "dimmer switch," slowing down communication between cells” (1). Recurring use of marijuana creates a disturbance in many parts of the body associated with the brain. The slower the communication is between cells, the slower the body will be able to properly function.
Furthermore, ongoing use of marijuana is linked to the development of a neurological disease, called schizophrenia, in users. “Reconsidering Marijuana as Fashionably OK” by Nina Godlewski presents the link between habitual use of high-potency marijuana and schizophrenia. As marijuana potency increases, the risks of contracting schizophrenia are significantly higher, but very few people are aware of these links: “The new, stronger, potent versions of it, have only come into being in the last 20 years or so. The evidence has been mounting” (1). While the evidence is denied by marijuana advocates, people who regularly use marijuana with extremely high potencies will contract schizophrenia without previous knowledge of this consequence. The violent qualities of those with this condition with threaten members of society; the unpredictable acts of schizophrenics put surrounding people at risk of injury or even death. Other negative effects of cannabis exposure include the following: “Neurological development, visual problem solving, visual-motor coordination and visual analysis, decreased attention span and behavioural problems” (Iglesias et al. 5). Marijuana heavily dipleats the brain function of people of all ages. They face serious hinderments regarding learning and proper behavior as the long-term consequences take effect. Users of marijuana will come in contact with these neurological disorders and, in turn, will affect generations.
Pregnant marijuana users, along with their expecting, face fatal consequences. When expectant mothers are exposed to different forms of marijuana, their unborn become susceptible to birth defects: “There are studies that show prenatal exposure to cannabis is linked to higher rates of stillbirth, shorter length at birth and smaller head circumference” (Iglesias et al. 5). Mothers who are either intentionally or unintentionally exposed to marijuana vapors put their embryonic children in danger of harmful alterations to their development. These potential defects will be lifelong challenges for the exposed unborn. Data projected in the resource from the Central Penn Parent, “Marijuana use by pregnant women is on the rise, and pediatricians are concerned,” presents the urgency of the issue with the increase of pregnant marijuana users. The number of pregnant women using medical marijuana or cannabinoids have increased exponentially since decriminalization:
“According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the number of pregnant women reporting marijuana use during their pregnancy increased by 44 percent in one year; in 2016… 4.9 percent of pregnant women ages 18-44 were using marijuana. The rate of use for young pregnant women -- ages 18 through 25 -- was nearly double that, at 8.5 percent” (1).
As more states and counties legalize medical marijuana, numbers of pregnant women using cannabinoids will skyrocket. The overuse of these products will guarantee lifelong neurological effects on fetuses. Women are also unaware of the fatal effects of smoking marijuana when they are pregnant; they have a significant effect on the fetus as well as themselves: “When marijuana is smoked, serum carbon monoxide concentrations in the pregnant woman are five times higher than tobacco when smoked, resulting potentially in impaired maternal respiratory gas exchange” (“Marijuana use by Pregnant Women” 1). Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas found in tobacco and marijuana smoke; however the concentrations of the gas are significantly higher than tobacco smoke. The increased quantity of this gas impairs the maternal gas exchange between the mother and fetal child, causing fatal respiratory defects in the unborn.
New studies reveal that habitual marijuana users experience side effects regarding fertility.In a recent study conducted by Herbert Schuel, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and cell biology at the State University of New York, the link of: “They found that anandamide was present in each fluid, suggesting that cannabinoids were somehow related to fertilization regulation. If the anandamide levels are thrown off--say, by smoking marijuana--that might lead to infertility” (Newman 1). When men smoke marijuana, they release and excess of the anandamide fluid into their urogenital functions. This, in turn, would damage sperm and prevent fertilization. Although there are common studies of male fertility being diminished in habitual marijuana use, there are now cases of rising infertility in women as well: “Men who are heavy marijuana smokers show a drastic reduction in sperm production. Similarly, heavy marijuana use in women may also be implicated in female infertility, he suggested” (Newman 2). Both male and female fertility is affected by heavy marijuana use.
This drastic consequence is permanent and irreversible. Studies conducted by British scientist and head of Northwestern Center of Health and Safety, Sandra Bennett, has proven the effect of marijuana use and reproductive functions: “The impact of cannabis on sperm and egg cells has been known for 20 years, and more recent studies show that cannabis use contributes to premature death of these reproductive cells” (1). Marijuana users disregard this new and well-known research and still question why some are losing their fertility. Both men and women will lose their fertility as they habitually use marijuana.
The legal use of marijuana causes a disharmony in law because the long-term effects of users leads to higher crime rates. Reporter, Alex Berenson, finds links from marijuana use and psychological disorders: “[It] occurred to him during a conversation with his wife, a forensic psychologist who works with the criminally ill. She mentioned that many of the people she saw were either high on cannabis when they committed their crime or habitual users” (Godlewski 1). Marijuana users develop psychological issues that links to criminal activity. When recreational cannabis is common, users and bystanders are at risk of unintentional thoughts and actions. Berenson finds a link between long-term marijuana use and acts of violence: “Marijuana seems to make somebody paranoid, and then they literally stab eight children to death. [Berenson is referring to the case of Raina Thaiday of Australia, one of the first judicial findings linking marijuana, schizophrenia and violence.
A psychologist determined her long-term cannabis use had likely triggered her schizophrenia]” (Godlewski 2). The Thaiday case is proof of the link of long-term marijuana use and schizophrenia. Violent actions similar to those mentioned in the case are more likely to happen to many excessive marijuana users. If cannabis legalization continues to spread, there will be more heavy users: “Since marijuana can cause psychosis and violent crime associated with psychosis, you would expect that marijuana-related violent crime is going to continue to rise” (Godlewski 2). Although cannabis advocates claim that crime will decrease with marijuana legalization, they are unaware of the brain-altering effects from heavy usage. The exact opposite of these claims will occur as marijuana is easily available. As mentioned in another article, "WEED THE PSYCHOTIC AMERICAN DREAM?”, Berenson’s research with marijuana linking to mental ailments becomes evident that the effects are causing violent acts: “‘Marijuana causes paranoia and psychosis. That fact is now beyond dispute… Paranoia and psychosis cause violence’" (Berenson qtd. by WEED 2). The evidence is viral and has been proven true in multiple resources. As the number of users contracting psychosis increases, there will most likely be more cases of criminal acts under the influence or as a result of the constant use of marijuana.
Marijuana influenced paranoia will drive once innocent, respectable citizens into frightened killers. Furthermore, Berenson finds shocking data of the rates of murder since marijuana became legal in several states: “[When] America started selling the drug legally, he found that the murder rate rose 44% between 2013 and 2017, more than double the national average” (Berenson qtd. by WEED 2). The links of marijuana and psychosis expand the evidence of crime increase as shown in Berenson’s studies. The wider the population of psychotics, the higher the murder rates. These studies confirm the link of Marijuana usage and increase of crime.As medical and recreational marijuana are available, the number of DUI charges and vehicular accidents involving marijuana use will increase. Whether it is used medically or recreationally, marijuana slows down brain activity. Clearly, these effects will bring the danger of potential collisions to drivers under the influence. In a recently posted resource, “Medical Marijuana Patients Admit Driving While Under Influence,” bluntly and obviously presents the deadly effects of the large number of drivers under the drug’s influence: “When people drive under the influence of marijuana their reaction time and coordination may be slowed down and they could have a harder time reacting to the unexpected” (1). Consuming marijuana, despite multiple forms, impairs the brain from normal functions.
When driving under the intoxicating effects of marijuana, users will threaten other drivers and will additionally put themselves in danger of collision. There are harsh penalties of driving under the influence of marijuana: “After a positive result in a drug test, penalties include fines, licence disqualification and imprisonment, depending on the nature of the offence” (Iglesias et al. 4). With recreational marijuana legal, there will most likely be more people driving under the influence. These penalties serve to emphasize the seriousness and danger of committing this crime. In another recent study, there has been an outrageous number of medical marijuana patients driving while they are high on their ‘medicine’: “Fifty-six percent of participants reported driving within two hours of using cannabis, 51 percent reported they drove while a "little high", and 21 percent reported driving while ‘very high’” ("Medical Marijuana Patients Admit" 1). Patients that use marijuana undoubtedly feel the intoxication effects of the drug. When the excessive number of them decide to go behind the wheel, this poses as a risk to others on the road. When nurses are visiting patients that frequently use medical marijuana, they are at risk when departing in vehicles; DUI laws are heavily enforced: “These laws allow the police to initiate drug testing if they suspect a driver of a vehicle is under the influence of an illicit substance” (Iglesias et al. 4).
It is very dangerous for nurses to operate a vehicle under the influence of secondhand marijuana smoke. Additionally, when they are found driving under that influence, they will face legal penalties. Any individual user of marijuana on the road will be posed as a threat to the safety of other drivers as the effects bring the deadliest consequences in the road. Legal marijuana will be difficult to regulate in regard to businesses and DUI determinations. In California, the struggle of pushing citizens to only buy legal marijuana in order to enforce regulations to known companies has been rigorous according to Thomas Fuller’s report, "Californians Voted for Legal Cannabis, but Good Luck Getting Them to Buy It." Lori Ajax, the head of California's Bureau of Cannabis Control, reports the difficulty of determining regulations: “[It’s] ‘rough’ both for the regulators and the industry… [My] office is planning a public information campaign to try to persuade consumers to stop buying illegal pot” (2).
While illicit pot is still running successfully, legal pot sales will not meet expectations. Regulators cannot easily control illegal marijuana sales, thus defeating the purpose of lawful marijuana: to end the global drug war. Ajax struggles to enforce regulation in vats numbers of marijuana companies, legal or illicit: “The Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued 2,500 temporary licenses. Yet this is still a fraction of the tens of thousands of cannabis businesses in the state” (Fuller 3). Ajax struggles to enforce regulation in vast numbers of marijuana companies, legal or illicit: “The Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued 2,500 temporary licenses. Yet this is still a fraction of the tens of thousands of cannabis businesses in the state” (Fuller 3). In California alone, sale regulation has only reached a few companies statewide. While only few companies are regulated, the remaining companies will continue business unlawfully. Medical marijuana researcher, Erin E. Bonar, Ph.D., infers that it is difficult to know how impaired marijuana users get when under the influence: “‘There is a lot of variation in marijuana dosing, THC potency, and route of administration. We also don't have specific guidelines yet about when exactly it would be safe to operate a vehicle’” ("Medical Marijuana Patients Admit" 2).
Unlike alcohol, marijuana does not have enough research to determine the duration of the effects and when it is appropriate to be able to drive. These unknown variables must be considered to prevent any user from illegally and dangerously driving under cannabis influence. Despite marijuana advocates’ claims of marijuana being perfectly regulated, there still needs to be more instruction to prevent people from driving under the influence: “‘We also need clearer guidelines about marijuana dosing and side effects with an understanding of how individual differences in things like sex and body weight interact’” (Bonar qtd. by "Medical Marijuana Patients Admit" 2). Users will not have a full understanding of this information of the drug as it remains under researched and unmentioned. The missing information will also contribute to overdose prevention. With the potencies and the shortage of regulation towards the small fraction of marijuana companies, it will be extremely difficult for the laws to be enforced to all cannabis businesses and legal marijuana states and counties.Recreational and medical marijuana will negatively affect the quality of health within society and the environment as a whole.
The distribution of legal marijuana raises concerns of business leaders and the job market officials: “The biggest concern among leaders at DTE Energy and the state's largest business groups centers around concerns of employees being stoned on the job” (“DTE, BLM, Michigan Chamber of Commerce”). With the uncertain amount of potency in distributed marijuana, companies could be at risk of employees becoming dangerously high at the workplace. These risky factors will detriment work progress and even put employees at risk of dangerous actions in their workplace or even losing their jobs. In places that allow the use of medical marijuana, such as Australia, there are nurses who are at risk of the overexposure of secondhand marijuana smoke: “Patients may choose to inhale cannabis smoke as a treatment modality at home, unaware that this may pose a work health and safety risk to the nurses and other healthcare workers who visit patients in the community” (Iglesias et al. 1). Medical marijuana patients will use cannabis smoke for their own treatment; however, this puts visiting nurses at risk of unwanted consequences. So-called treatments will put any bystanders at risk of respiratory and cranial disease. Cannabis smoke contains similar cancer-causing substances: “Smoke from both cannabis and tobacco contains a mixture of compounds, including carcinogenic molecules and tars known to be the culprit of damaging effects of smoking (qtd. by Hoffmann et al. 2001)” (Iglesias et al. 2). Although many marijuana advocates claim that marijuana is less harmful than tobacco products, they are unaware that both drugs, when smoked, release the same carcinogenic materials that are now known to be harmful to users. Large marijuana companies use noxious techniques for plant production.
When producers are producing more legal marijuana than what is actually needed, revenue and used resources are lost. This evidence has been found in California’s statistics of marijuana production: “The most recent official estimates of California's cannabis production, a report published a year ago by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, showed the state producing as much as 15.5 million pounds of cannabis and consuming just 2.5 million pounds” (Fuller 1). The overproduction of marijuana is a waste of resources used to production as well as natural resources. Allowing this trend to continue will only lead to more supply than demand, in turn harmfully affecting the economy and environment. In "Illegal Marijuana Farms are Generating and Dumping Large Amounts of Toxic Waste," ecologists of California have researched the damage created by illegal pot growers: “Illegal marijuana sites on federal land in California contain 731,000 pounds of solid fertilizer, 491,000 ounces of concentrated liquid fertilizer and 200,000 ounces of toxic pesticides” ("Illegal Marijuana Farms" 1).
Cannabis growers, legal or illicit can cause environmental pollution with their disposal of toxic fertilizers and pesticides. With thousands of growers still unregulated, surrounding wildlife are at risk of the overexposure of the dangerous chemicals. Additionally, many farms take serious measure to protect their marijuana plants. In Dennis Pollock’s report, "Illegal marijuana farms a growing environmental, criminal threat,” murders of innocent people have cause some actions to be taken by relatives to murder victims: “[Madeleine] Melo formed the Jere Melo Foundation to keep his memory alive by pointing out the dangers posed by unlawful cultivation sites, including pollution of water” (Pollock 1). Melo takes the step in protecting the lives of unknowing victims and the wildlife surrounding illegal cannabis farms. Illicit marijuana farms not only put innocent lives at risk, but they also impact the environment with their illegal pesticides. Karen Escobar, assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, also wishes to take action of the poisonous nature of the marijuana farms: “‘It would help greatly if there were an agent of the Environmental Protection Agency in the region so that water could be tested to bring charges on contamination of land and water’” (Escobar qtd. by Pollock 3).
The odors, the uncontrolled pesticides, and the murderous measures are all factors of the dangerous environment that marijuana farmers bring to the surrounding land. Without regulation in these lands, marijuana growers will freely contaminate the landscape used for their farms. As marijuana producers take fatal measures for productions, neighbors of companies raise safety concerns for themselves and their families. The high potency of marijuana waste can become deadly to people; law enforcement officials who have investigated the mass quantities of the waste have experienced harmful symptoms: “Contact with these toxic materials during raids or searches of illegal marijuana farms has sent at least five officials to the hospital for skin rashes and trouble breathing” ("Illegal Marijuana Farms" 1). Any exposure to this waste is dangerous for any human to encounter. The high number of marijuana producing companies endanger people and quite possibly children. Marijuana farms take unlawful measures to protects their supply: “The wrenching legacy of illegal marijuana farms took center stage at a meeting at the Fresno County Farm Bureau where participants included a woman whose husband was shot and killed while investigating reports of such a farm on private timberland” (Pollock 1).
Marijuana farms, legal or illicit, will threaten any trespassing victim. Farms will not stop whether the intrusion was intended or accidental; lost trespassers will be in danger when unknowingly stepping into marijuana farm property. In Fresno, California, the tourism leader hears many local produce farmers concern over the issue concerning nearby marijuana farms: “An illicit marijuana operation eradicated from near his produce market...has his family considering whether to leave the location because of increased criminal activity that has come in its wake” (Pollock 1). Evidence of crime increasing in Fresno are found on the marijuana farms. When produce farmers are forced to move locations for the protection of their families, tourism will decrease in areas that are known to have marijuana farms.Some argue that legal marijuana is a target for revenue and is able to cure certain diseases. If marijuana was legal, the United States would benefit highly from the potential revenue that could be received: “$6 billion could be recovered from sales tax...the government would undermine drug dealers who currently contribute zero dollars in taxes” (“COLUMN: Taxing marijuana” 1).
If marijuana purchases were to be added into the sales tax, the government could recover lost money from the dealers and sellers. The marijuana sales tax would also gain better control of the taxation of dealers. John Gettman, a marijuana rights activist, studies on the gain of legalizing the industry: “Marijuana is estimated at a $100 billion industry and every year taxpayers lose over $30 billion of potential taxes on the product. In the same study, Gettman concluded the legalization of marijuana would save the United States an additional $10 billion on judicial expenses” (“COLUMN: Taxing marijuana” 1). For decades, the United States have been in trillions of dollars of debt. The marijuana industry could bring back millions of dollars for the government to finally eliminate debt. When the proposition of legal marijuana was introduced, the outstanding prediction for revenue intake could solve financial affairs: “Increased sales could push tax revenue closer to the forecasts on the 2016 ballot, which predicted revenue would reach the ''high hundreds of millions of dollars to over $1 billion annually” (Fuller 4).
These forecasts show exceptional potential revenue intake from the increase of marijuana sales. If these forecasts occur, the United States could benefit from the taxes that would be collected to support the financial affairs of the government. Medical marijuana can be an asset for the medical world because of its effectiveness and effortless accessibility. Professional health companies have reported tests of positive medical marijuana to treat multiple sclerosis according to the article, “Illegal marijuana farms a growing environmental, criminal threat": “Compounds in cannabis are associated with a limited and mild reduction in muscle contractions, bladder dysfunction and pain” (1). These cannabis compounds can reduce symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Medical companies can receive much profit from selling effective treatments. Clinical tests of different marijuana-related treatments came in forms such as “orally administered cannabis extract, nasally administered cannabis extract, and the drugs dronabinol and nabilone” (Medical Marijuana Safe” 1). The numerous tests of different forms of medical cannabis strengthens the credibility of claims of such treatment effectiveness.
Multiple forms of the treatment may also attract consumers due to the varieties that meet different preferences. Medical marijuana is used for a variety of purposes: “Medical marijuana is used to treat a wide array of diseases and illnesses including, but not limited to, chronic pain, insomnia, unintentional weight loss, nausea, premenstrual syndrome, asthma, and glaucoma” (“The effects” 1). Because marijuana has been found to help with unwanted symptoms of disease, medication seekers will have a high advantage of all the mentioned benefits. However, cogent evidence proves legal marijuana to fail economically and for cannabis medicines to be ineffective to cure ailments. In California, marijuana sales have dropped since legalization: “Around $2.5 billion of legal cannabis was sold in California in 2018, half a billion dollars less than in 2017 when only medical marijuana was legal, according to GreenEdge, a sales tracking company” (Fuller 1). California’s lawful marijuana sales statistics present evidence of potential revenue lost instead of returned.
The theories of massive profit in legal marijuana sales are void and will bring much failure into the marijuana industry. In 2016, It was predicted that Sacramento’s marijuana tax revenue would elevate to nearly a billion dollars; however, the collection failed to meet predictions: ''Through September, Sacramento has collected only $234 million in cannabis taxes” (Fuller 3). Large counties, like Sacramento, are expected to accumulate high revenues from marijuana taxes. When they fail to meet those expectations, millions of dollars are lost, and the tax itself loses reliability. Since marijuana reached legalization in Colorado, they have difficulty in collecting revenue from growers based on evidence in Betsy Woodruff’s resource, "Rocky mountain high: Colorado experiments with marijuana": “There's one big problem that Colorado legislators won't be able to fix: the issue of growers' keeping cash in vaults. Most banks won't let medical-marijuana dispensaries open accounts with them…” (1). Marijuana growers only have one focus when growing and selling the substance: profit. With high profits and growers still holding back earned money from their sales, the progress of marijuana taxation would fail.Medical marijuana has been proven to be ineffective and is abused under the excuse of proclaimed ‘medicine.’
In an article submitted by the New York Post, "Truth is cann-abysmal 'Reefer Madness' not so mad after all, pot-peril author warns,” it shows in-depth information of the unruly misuse of the falsely labeled medicine. There is a vast amount of people abusing the use of medical marijuana: “A 2017 poll found that 94 percent of Americans supported ‘allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes…’ only about 6 percent of users smoke pot for medical purposes. And even those medical benefits are dubious” (“Truth Is” 1). With the low number of actual medical marijuana users, proof of abuse is present and thriving. Essentially, advocates of marijuana are suggesting that medical marijuana is not different from the use for pleasure while actual evidence begs to differ. Another study conducted by the National Academy of Medicine suggests the ineffectiveness of medical marijuana for many ailments: “Weed is useless in treating cancer… [It] has no value in treating dementia, epilepsy, glaucoma, irritable bowel syndrome, Lou Gehrig's disease or Parkinson's… anxiety or posttraumatic stress disorder, and may worsen those conditions” (“Truth Is” 2).
Users of medical marijuana with these conditions abuse the idea of marijuana being a cure. Marijuana is labeled medicine to excuse abusers that are in danger of addiction. Although the medical marijuana tests prove effective in reducing symptoms, they still proven to have the negative effects that are constantly denied: “Side effects associated with the drugs included dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, intoxication, impaired balance, memory problems and sleepiness, the researchers said” (Medical Marijuana Safe” 1). Clinical tests are still proving there are signs in medical marijuana equal to the effects of the drug was recreationally smoked. This will pose as a fallacy to people who request the drug to lawfully find the ‘high.’ For these reasons regarding human health, the law, and the damage created within society and wildlife, marijuana should not be legal for any purpose.
As the valid research is ignored, marijuana has indeed detrimental effects to people’s health. Marijuana has been proven to be a hindrance and dissonance to the law and organization within. Furthermore, the production and constant use of marijuana is pernicious to society and environment. The invalid statements of successful revenue effective medicine are fallacious. Although predictions claim that marijuana would bring in large amounts of revenue, they lack the knowledge of the failed marijuana taxations of a number of counties and cities that have already decriminalized marijuana. Marijuana is useless for tax revenue. Therewithal, medical marijuana is a gimmick. These collegiate studies of medical marijuana aforementioned reveal its ineffectiveness towards healing or relief. Medical usage is an excuse for citizens to feel the drug’s effects without any criminal labeling or charges. For the sake of future generations, all of America should reconsider their position in legal marijuana and must eliminate any chance of decriminalization.