The nation is almost split in two about the criminalization of marijuana. Our rate of incarceration is the highest in the globe, and the War on Drugs is helping attribute to the unsightly statistic undoubtedly. The criminalization of marijuana and other drug charges make it difficult for those suffering from addiction (officially termed substance use disorders by the CDC) to get the treatment they need. Jails and prisons are rarely furnished with effective addiction treatment programs. Some believe legalizing marijuana on a federal level will increase addiction and crime rates. Only time can tell whether or not those predictions will come to pass, but not for some time, according to President Obama.
The Motley Fool quotes President Obama, “I do not foresee, anytime soon, Congress changing the law [on the legalization of marijuana] at a national basis. But I do think that if there are states that show that they are not suddenly a magnet for addiction crime, that they have a strong enough public health infrastructure to push against the potential for increased addiction, then it’s conceivable that it will spur on a national debate. But that is going to be some time off.”
It’s no secret after decades of The War on Drugs that America is set against the legalization of a substance which has been illegal for so long- especially in the face of the potential dangers of marijuana to begin with. Unlike most people think, the substance is addictive and can lead to experimentation with harder drugs, just as alcohol can. The Motley Fool states after Colorado legalized marijuana drug violations rose 20%, Denver’s crime rate inflated by 7%, and public drunkenness increased by a whopping 237%. Whether or not the nation will legalize marijuana will essentially hinge on the states who already have- and their ability to manage a public with open access to the drug.