Making and Unmaking Marijuana Illegal

INSTRUCTIONS: Completing this paper requires you to do “library” research beyond the text book and class lectures. You must use multiple sources to address the questions below. No fewer than seven sources should be cited. Using the same sources over and over again amounts to plagiarism even if you properly cite the source using APA formatting which is required. The papers must be, at least, five double-spaced pages, exclusive of the cover page and reference list. If you have not used APA style referencing before, GOOGLE how to do so. It is a requirement for the paper, not optional. You must include a reference page that lists all of the sources that you used to complete the paper. Wikepedia is NOT an acceptable source to cite. Be sure that you cover all the questions below in reporting your research. Be sure that the information that you use is up to date. Your paper should be written in narrative form not as bullet points. Use sub-headings as needed. DO NOT include an abstract. See also the attached “Grading TIPS for Research Papers”.

1. How and when did the possession, use and distribution of marijuana first become illegal in
the United States?

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2. Currently, how many and which states have made the recreational use of marijuana legal?
Although Washington, DC is NOT a state, what is the legal status of MJ in DC?

3. In states where the recreational use of MJ has been legalized, what are the restrictions that
individuals must follow in order to legally use MJ recreationally?

4. In states where the recreational use of MJ has been legalized, what reason(s) have the state
legislators or voters given for having made the decision to make recreational use of MJ legal?

Distinguish between the states where legislators voted to legalize recreational use and the states where the legalization occurred through popular vote.

5. Currently, how many and which states have made the medicinal use of marijuana legal?

6. In states where the medicinal use of MJ has been legalized, what are the restrictions that
individuals must follow in order to legally use MJ for medical purposes?

7. In states where the medicinal use of MJ has been legalized, what reason(s) have the state
legislators or voters given for having made the decision to make medicinal use of MJ legal?

Distinguish between the states where legislators voted to legalize medicinal use and the states where the legalization occurred through popular vote.

8. The federal government refuses to make the legalization of marijuana national. What
reasoning does the Federal government offer for this refusal?

9. Canada has made the decision to legalize marijuana. Compare Canada’s reasoning to legalize
MJ to the U.S.’s reasoning for not legalizing MJ.

10. Thousands of Americans have gone to prison or jail for possessing, using or selling MJ. Some
remain there. Currently, Americans from differing backgrounds are making a great deal of
money legally for this same behavior. Research the current state of the MJ sales industry.
How much money is being made and by whom (i.e. race, class, & gender)?

11. Considering what you have discovered in your research, how do you think the dual legal
status of MJ will impact compliance with MJ laws in those jurisdictions (states and the
federal level) where MJ possession, use, and distribution continues to be illegal. Explain
your answer.

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