Keeping Marijuana Illegal in Texas




Hayden, Kenneth

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



The current American political climate is experiencing a push toward the legalization of marijuana, with 23 states implementing policy changes concerning cannabis legislation. Prohibition of marijuana has been enacted through five phases, stretching from 1915 to 1972. Now, researchers have investigated the potential impacts of marijuana use on future narcotic use, cognitive processes, and other health related repercussions. Research indicates that marijuana is a gateway drug and an addictive substance, and its prolonged use can cause negative health effects that outweigh any potential medical or recreational benefits. Because the legalization of marijuana puts the public, both youth and adult, at personal risk, Texas law enforcement should oppose the decriminalization of marijuana. Proponents of marijuana’s decriminalization claim that the drug’s usage supports medicinal practices, is without negative health effects, would lead to lower crime and free up the court system as well as alleviate jail overcrowding. However, research from areas that have decriminalized marijuana in the U.S. suggests that these claims are unfounded. In fact, after decriminalization of marijuana in Colorado, crime rates increased. Based on the current political climate and evidence presented in research, Texas law enforcement should oppose the legalization of marijuana. Additionally, educational programs should be implemented that target at-risk populations in support of current Texas policy. By opposing marijuana’s decriminalization and devoting resources to educating the public about the drug’s harmful effects, Texas law enforcement can be a positive influence in protecting the public from marijuana’s potentially destructive impact.


Drug legalization, Marijuana