Public policy includes the decisions and actions that governments take in order to address certain public issues and problems. These policies are made in accordance within the set legal government guidelines, regulations, procedures using public resources. One of the issues and problems that public policy is meant to address is crime. The issue of crime in most societies is addressed through the legal system and criminal justice institutions which outline and enforce set consequences and actions taken for particular crimes. The fact that certain crimes attract certain penalties or punishment is assumed to deter criminals from committing these crimes. The increase in a particular crime say the use of drugs will therefore tend to attract stiffer penalties or regulations. Criminal justice therefore involves the threat of sanctions which include the loss of freedom, property and at times life (Ismaili, 2010).
This has been the basis upon which criminal justice policies and the criminal justice institutions operate. This form of criminal justice though fair and effective in most instances has however failed in providing long term solutions to the prevention of crime. It has been viewed as a short term solution to the prevention of crimes. For long term effects crime prevention strategies should involve collaboration between the criminal justice and the public institutions. This collaboration will enable these institutions to come up with criminal justice policies as part of public policy that will offer long term solutions towards the prevention and alleviation of crime in the society (Joseph, 1995).
Criminal justice and public policy are therefore interrelated in that; it is through public policy that the criminal justice system gains legitimacy. Public policy also outlines criminal justice policy which acts as a guideline for criminal justice institutions. It is also through the criminal justice institutions that the public policy on crime is enacted. One of the major crimes that affect our society today is the use and peddling of drugs. Drugs have also become the major cause of other crimes such as violence, robbery and theft, murder, fraud among others. To deal with this issue of drugs, the government has criminalized certain drugs in an attempt to control their use. Possession and use of these drugs could therefore lead to incarceration, a criminal record or payment of heavy fines.
[...] One of these criminalized drugs is Marijuana. As a result, strict policies have been put in place regarding the use and possession of this drug. The criminalization of marijuana has however generated great controversy as some people consider it to be medicinal and therefore view its illegality as unfair and as an infringement on their rights while others view it as a fairly mild drug similar to alcohol or tobacco which should not warrant the stiff penalties put in place. [...]
[...] With the legalization of the drug therefore the society will not only be able to protect the non user but also the user. Its legalization will also help to curb the violence and criminality associated with underground drug peddling thus making the society safer. It will also provide the government with an alternative source of revenue through taxation and regulatory fees and fines and stop the drain in resources associated with cannabis prevention (Husak, 2002). References; Fox, s., Armentano, P., & Tvert, M. [...]
[...] Legalizing marijuana. ABDO. Room, R. (2010). Cannabis Policy:moving beyond stalemate. Oxford Univeristy Press. Rosenthal, E., & Kubby, S. (2003). Why Marijuana should be legal. Running Press. [...]
[...] A campaign towards disadvantages of the illegalization of the drug would also help change the people's misconception about the drug. Sensitization on the vast amounts of revenue spent and the ill effects to the users during and after arrests will open the minds of the people and the policy makers towards the legalization of cannabis. The comparison between the effects of legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco and marijuana will also help clear any bias and misconceptions about marijuana use. [...]
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