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Marijuana Policy: Decriminalization Of Marijuana (Essay Sample)


There are two options for the focus of your essay.  You need only pick and write on one. 

A.)  Marijuana Policy: What sort of policy should the United States government adopt in regards to marijuana? 

B.)   Post Legalization Treatment of Drug Offenders: Assuming that the law in more states or the federal government change, making marijuana legal.  What should happen to persons under punitive control for marijuana-related crimes? 

Your essay should have several parts, each of which you will be required to answer thoroughly.  Please clearly indicate when you are addressing a specific part (by saying “The normative principle I am relying on is…” and “the empirical claims I am using to reach this conclusion are…”). 

  1. What sorts of policy/policies should be adopted as regards your chosen topic?  Be as specific as you can about the actions or policies that you advocate.  Keep in mind that any claims that you make here in your thesis will need to be supported by parts 2 and 3.  You can think of this as the introductory paragraph to your essay.
  2. State clearly and explicitly what normative principle or principles you are relying on to justify this answer.  The natural thing to do here is to adopt one of the principles at the center of the moral theories that we have covered so far in the semester. For example, you could adopt the Principle of Utility (also known as “The Greatest Happiness Principle”), or the Universalizability Principle.  But it is not necessary that you choose one of these, and you can instead use a narrower principle, like the Harm Principle that we just went over, or you can construct your own general principle (like a broadly consequentialist one).  But if you choose to do to this, it makes the next part that much more important.
  3. Explain and defend the normative principle/principles that you use. 

Explanation: (This is the most important section of part 3).  You must explain your moral principle.  This involves clearly elaborating on the concepts within the principle that need to be clarified in order for a novice to know how to apply the principle.  If you borrowed your normative principle from a theory, one way to do this would be by explaining the theory.  If you instead chose to adopt a broadly consequentialist principle, then you must say which kinds of consequences are the ones that matter. 

Defense: In defending your principle, you need state why we should accept your principles as good ones to use in general or for this specific topic.

Apply your principle to the topic at hand.  (This ought to be the longest section of your essay by far).  This will involve making empirical claims about the topic, offering evidence for those claims, and then explaining how those claims apply to your principle.  Essentially, the empirical, topic specific claims you make are the claims that together with your normative principle lead to the conclusion.  I will stress again that the empirical claims need to be supported by evidence.


Professor's name:
Marijuana Policy
Decriminalization of recreational marijuana use is slowly taking precedence in the majority of the states in America with a public leniency towards the removal of previous restrictions encouraging the legal state actors to adopt the new legislation. However, federal laws and parameters guarding against the production, sale and use of the substance remain the same and hold punitive measures for any offender be it an individual or the state itself. Nevertheless, the federal government, through Congress, should amend the Controlled Substance Act by enacting a policy to accommodate the independence of state regulatory systems that are in tandem with its national interest to abolish the legal impasse within which the states are decriminalizing the production, sale, and use of marijuana.
A new policy giving short-term waivers to state governments on the course of decriminalizing marijuana should be constituted with a condition for strict adherence strict regulatory system and alignment to the safeguarding of federal interests. Federal interests seek to protect the public from marijuana distribution to children or minors, revenue generation to organized crimes, diversion of decriminalization to other states, violence and gun-related crimes, careless driving, and use of federal or public land for production of marijuana to name but a few. States that have legalized the use of marijuana for diverse purposes seem to align their regulatory systems to the federal interests and thus receiving the backing of the central state enforcement.
It is such states that should be given the waiver to continue exercising or rather regulating marijuana while remaining culpable to future amendments owing to the diverse public views and opinions which keep on changing concerning the legalization of the drug. The 2013 Second Cole Memorandum calls for discretion in prosecuting individuals or organizations dealing with marijuana outside the restrictive stipulations of the states allowing its use. However, loopholes exist within the policy as it gives no directions for future state and federal organs to follow in dealing with cases related to marijuana. Future prosecutions under different government regimes or legal organs are amenable in the United States Constitution and thus a more flexible policy is required to safegua

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