The Most Influential Drug Laws In The United States
Aside from affecting nearly all aspects of a person’s life, the cost of dealing with drug trafficking, the abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol in the United States cost taxpayers an economy-wrecking number of about $442 billion annually. This is an alarming scourge that has not only turned this nation into one of addicts, but it is also destroying millions of lives, families, communities, and cities.
In light of how much drugs and alcohol addiction is dividing the country, we can, in one way or the other, thank politicians and policy makers for finally recognizing the monumental problem facing us and enforcing various drug laws that are geared toward increasing the safety of America’s citizens by substantially reducing various drug addictions, drug-related crimes, and violence.
For example, controlled substances are classified on a scale of 1–5. Schedule I substances being the most dangerous, and Schedule V being the least. It is illegal to possess any controlled substance without a prescription, and so far Congress has passed the Controlled Substances Act, (based on state) that a Schedule I drug like marijuana is downright illegal but only appropriate for use with a legitimate prescription from a U.S. medical doctor.
The timeline of the most influential drug laws in the U.S dates back to the late 1800s when the local government began to decriminalize opium due to its opiate abuse. In 1914, the United States passed its very first federal drug policy known as the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act that regulated and taxed the production, importation, and distribution of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and morphine and banned the importation of cocaine and the manufacture of heroin in 1922 and 1924 respectively.
The Marijuana Tax Act took effect in 1937, imposing a significant tax on anyone who produced or distributed the drug. The Controlled Substances Act passed in 1970 was perhaps the most helpful because not only did it contain a list of all controlled substances, but it also dictated the penalties an individual would face for making, possessing, distributing or using the substances.
However, this did not stop 25 million Americans to use illegal drugs, which saw the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 enacted. It sanctioned new mandatory minimum sentences for drugs, including marijuana and the federal supervised release from a rehabilitative system into a punitive system.
While the Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Act was ousted in 2010, not only has recreational marijuana use been legalized in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine today, but also the Colorado Drug Laws state that it residents can now, within limits, possess, consume and sell an ounce of marijuana, however, interstate cannibals possession, manufacturing, cultivation, and distribution is still being enforced currently, but who’s to say what the future holds, marijuana laws often change frequently.
Despite government efforts to block the procurement of controlled substances, the easy access and availability of alcohol and illegal drugs will continue to impede these efforts and wreak havoc in the society.