In a major stance focused on encouraging the widescale use of marijuana, the United States House of Representatives, on December 4, gave its approval on a bill that decriminalized the use of marijuana for the users. This welcoming decision will pave the way for the discontinuation of non-violent marijuana-based convictions prevalent in the country. The legislation will bring a sigh of relief for marijuana customers who were hesitant to use the drug earlier because of the legal framework.

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CDN) eliminated marijuana from the list of strictest control schedules citing its medicinal and therapeutic uses against various health issues. This path-breaking decision was a turning point in the fight of organizations and institutions that advocated the use of marijuana for medical complications. Interestingly, the reasons for imposing a legal restriction on marijuana use by the defenders during the hearing were quite racist and unjust.

These citations became the base for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 that aimed to regulate the use of marijuana drug in the state. Later, the disputed substance was officially outlawed under the Controlled Substance Act 1971 passed in the rule of Richard Nixon of Congress party. The step restricted as well as criminalized the use of marijuana. However, the recent change in the US and the United Nations’ drug policy will serve as a benchmark for other governments across the globe, urging them to reconsider their national drug policies.

Malaysia, that is famous for having the strictest drug laws globally, is expected to review its policies taking inspiration from the US. The country has severe punishments and fines for those possessing or consuming marijuana, even in the smallest volumes. The occupancy rate of the convicts in prisons is extremely high in the country, with the majority of them being non-violent and minor drug users. This caused the worsening of jail facilities drastically. During the pandemic, the overcrowding created the Tembok cluster that grew behind the Alor Star Prison, accounting for 224 cases.

There exists a confusion between the words: decriminalization and legalization. Decriminalization states that the possession of small marijuana volumes will attract minimum or no criminal penalties though fines will have to be paid by the people. The use of medical marijuana or CBD can help in pain relief, nerve pain, nausea, and depression. The marijuana market is a billion-dollar space, and with the government’s regulation, it falls in the grasp of illegal drug cartels that dwindle the taxes.