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On November the 2nd of 2010, during the same day as the mid-term election in Congress, the Californian voters had the opportunity to vote to a referendum about the proposition 19 also known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act. We want also explain you what happened before this date about cannabis in the USA and what was this proposition about.
History of the question of cannabis inamerican laws
History of the prohibition of cannabis at the federal level
The prohibition of cannabis started in the USA in the 1900s. By the mid-1930s, cannabis was regulated in every states by laws instituted through the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act. In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act, which was the federalisation of this laws passed at the state level, was passed on the federal level.This act taxed every actor of the production and consommation of cannabis : imports, productors, but also prescriptors such as dentists or doctors... Without criminalizing the use and consommation of cannabis, this law dissuaded its use because people risked an amend of 2000$ and jusqu'à 5 years of jail.
But in 1965, Timothy Leary was condamned to 30 years of emprisonment because of illegalpossession of cannabis in vertu of that Marihuana Tax Act. He sued the Supreme Court claiming that this law was unconstitutionnal because of the Fifth Amendment, that protects the rights of accused people and especially he used the sentence “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”. In fact, the person that should pay the tax had to condamn himself of possession ofcannabis. The Supreme Court declared that law unconstituionnal in 1969, that is why the Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1970.
At the federal level, the Congress of the USA passed a law in 1970 called Controlled Substances Act. This act was the title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. This act created the Controlled Substances Agency (or Administration ?) thatis the federal US drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain substances is regulated. This act created also two federal agencies, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration. This agencies decide which substances are added to or remove from the five schedules (means classifications) of drugs created by the act.This act classified cannabis as having high potential for abuse, no medical use and not safe to use under medical supervision.
In the 1970s, many states in the US started to decriminalize cannabis, and in the 1990s many places began to legalize medical cannabis. But this entered in opposition with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and with its classification of cannabis : states tried also toreschedule cannabis but this have failed : the Supreme Court had for example ruled in United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Coop and Gonzales v. Raich that the federal government has a right to regulate and criminalize cannabis even for medical purpose, and I will explain that with the example of the state of California.
Multiple efforts to reschedule cannabis have failed and the UnitedStates Supreme Court has ruled in United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Coop and Gonzales v. Raich that the federal government has a right to regulate and criminalize cannabis, even for medical purposes.
Le 23 février, Tom Ammiano, député de Californie, a déposé un texte proposant une légalisation du Cannabis. En mai 2009, le gouverneur de Californie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, s'est dit prêt à undébat sur ce sujet. Il a précisé y être tout de même personnellement opposé. Une telle démarche permettrait à l’État de récolter plus d’un milliard de dollars d’impôts par année (pour un déficit budgétaire de 20 milliards de dollars). Arnold Schwarzenegger a en outre estimé que la décision ne devrait pas être fondée uniquement sur des motifs fiscaux, en effet des études seront faites sur les...
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