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April 09, 2019
New Mexico is all set to decriminalize marijuana starting July 1, 2019. With the implementation of this law, New Mexico will become the 24th state to decriminalize cannabis. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the state’s Governor recently signed a legislation that reduced criminal penalties for possessing marijuana.
Going forward, possessing marijuana will be considered as a civil and not a criminal violation. If an individual is apprehended with less than half an ounce of pot, they will be fined $50 instead of being sent to prison. As per the new legislation, the penalties for paraphernalia will also be cut down.
How is decriminalization different from legislation?
Usually understood as the same thing, marijuana decriminalization is actually different from general marijuana legalization. Decriminalization of any substance indicates that all criminal penalties pertaining to the substance would be removed. However, the civil penalties such as fines, would remain in place and the sales of the substance, in this case, marijuana, would still be considered illegal. On the other hand, under legalization of marijuana, the civil and criminal penalties are totally removed, while people are allowed to sell the substance.
According to the opponents of legalization, decriminalization of marijuana is a proactive step towards the United States’ harsh policies pertaining to drugs and criminal justice. The opponents feel that the stringent criminal policies are too expensive and disciplinary in nature. But they also fear that complete legalization is likely to make marijuana more accessible in the U.S. facilitating larger corporations to sell and market the banned substance in an irresponsible manner.
The only concern for legalization advocates is that since decriminalization bans the sale of marijuana, users would not have the legal means to buy the substance and criminal organizations would continue having a source of revenue which they can utilize for carrying out violent activities across the world. Also, the advocates feel that since the penalties are less disciplinary in nature as compared to arrests, it can lead to issues, as very often, they are levied in a racially discriminated manner.
Opinion of supporters and opponents of marijuana legalization
In the present day scenario, Washington DC and ten other states have legalized marijuana. However, selling marijuana is not permitted in Vermont and the District of Columbia. Apart from this, including Mexico, 14 other states have decriminalized marijuana, as opposed to legalizing it. Although Grisham was in support of marijuana legalization, the reform failed to make through the state legislature in 2019.
Marijuana legalization supporters argue that if legalization is implemented, it will eliminate the negative impacts of marijuana prohibition. Some of these negative impacts include the massive number of arrests carried out across the U.S., racial discrimination behind these arrests, huge inflow of funds from the black market for purchasing marijuana illegally, and utilization of these funds for carrying out violent and illegal activities around the globe.
Marijuana legalization opponents on the other hand, claim that legalization will lead to increased marketing of the substance in an irresponsible manner. They corroborated this by referring to America’s previous experiences with tobacco and alcohol industries, legalization of which enabled certain corporations to build huge empires. Likewise, they fear that with the legalization of marijuana, more people will start using pot extensively, leading to negative health consequences. However, for the time being, though legalization has not been allowed, decriminalization will be a reality soon, starting July 2019.
Seeking treatment for marijuana abuse
Marijuana is an addictive substance and if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to marijuana and are looking for reliable marijuana addiction rehabilitation centers, feel free to reach out to Invictus Health Group by directly calling our 24/7 marijuana detox treatment helpline 866-548-0190. Our drug rehab centers offer comprehensive evidence-based treatment plans for marijuana addiction treatment.
Invictus Health Group offers various addiction treatment programs at its state-of-the-art marijuana addiction rehabs to help people deal with addiction and embrace long-lasting recovery. The detox process at our facilities are designed to minimize the patient’s discomfort and result in a shorter treatment cycle. You can also chat online with our experts who can guide you in choosing the most suitable detox programs available at our facilities.