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IMPROVE my paper and look other alternatives that other states have used when passing recreational marijuana. All of the edits should be on the paper. Also, he wants APA format and citations in the paper. I added Assignment#1 that should be my introduction to the paper and blend in well with Assignment 2. He says that I talk about two different topics in each but they will eventually get blended in together so they need to be ironed out. Look over assignment 2 to see how to improve assignment 1. Please also add to assignment 2 AND FOLLOW HIS FEEDBACK FOR BOTH!


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Legalization of Recreational Marijuana for Women in Rhodes Island
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Too Many People
Incarcerated because of
Recreational Marijuana
PSC 524 Public Policy
Olga Encarnacion
There should be more depth in explaining what your problem is here. See the notes that I have written to help you
along with this. 3 points.
I think this is a good start, but you can improve your presentation of the scope of the problem by drawing on
statistics as evidence of the problem. Also, because you have not adequately framed the problem with precision it
is hard to describe the scope of the problem. You can also go into some effort in finding some better sources here.
Only one policy alternative is considered. See my notes on this point. 3 points.
Moving forward I would like to see a more dedicated effort into developing these exercises into
examples of high quality work. 3 points.
This exercise will consist of three paragraphs. In the first paragraph, you should state the
problem that you are interested in studying and give a little bit of background about that problem.
Here you will want to explain the scope of the problem, while describing some of the implications of
the problem. While you are writing this part of the exercise, make sure that you provide supporting
evidence that reinforces your claims about the scope of the policy problem. [For example,
“Stormwater is an increasingly challenging issue that is affecting waterways across the United
States because rainstorms are becoming more violent due to climate change and sea-level rise.”].
Marijuana has been a hot topic for some time now. Yet, the state of Rhode Island has not
legalized recreational Marijuana. Instead, there is a Medical Marijuana Act of RI that allows for
the legal use of medical cannabis for patients in need (“Chapter 21-28.6,” 2007). The Providence
Journal, for instance, identified marijuana as one of RI’s top 10 issues.
In the second paragraph, you should explain why this problem matters to us. Perhaps the
scope of the problem is one that is a problem here in Rhode Island or in one of our towns or
municipalities. [For example, “Stormwater is a problem that is national in scope, but right here in
Rhode Island too much contamination that is caused by stormwater is affecting our watersheds.”].
A debate exists as to whether there will be a way of regulating recreational pot if a law
was to pass legalizing it (“R.I. General Assembly: Top 10 Issues and Outcomes,” 2016). Today,
it is punishable to possess recreational marijuana and too many people are getting incarcerated
because of this. After the Medical Marijuana Act passed, drug incarceration rates declined by
about 59% (“Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Population Report,” 2017). There still remains many
people being incarcerated because of marijuana. The use of recreational marijuana is an issue
because of regional marijuana landscape that is growing around Rhode Island. States like
Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont have legalized marijuana recreationally and have opened
stores (Mooney, 2018).
In the third paragraph, describe some of the policy alternatives that might be considered as
viable responses to the problem that you have identified. [For example, “One alternative for
addressing the problem of stormwater contamination is to create a stormwater utility district for
managing the problem. A stormwater utility district would charge fees to property owners for the
amount of impervious surface located on the property owner’s property.”].
One alternative to solve the problem of incarceration women will be to legalize
recreational marijuana. Once it is legal, the drug rates for incarceration will most likely lower as
it did with the Marijuana Medical Act. Like Massachusetts, Rhode Island can open pot stores and
make revenue selling marijuana. The revenue made from selling marijuana can be used for other
programs or to fix other political issues.
Chapter 21-28.6. The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act. (2007). State of
Rhode Island General Laws. Retrieved from
Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Population Report. (2017). Rhode Island Department of Corrections. Retrieved
Mooney, Tom. (2018, Dec 4). “R.I. Considers Marijuana Legalization as New England Turns Green |
Poll.” Retrieved from–poll.
R.I. General Assembly: Top 10 Issues and Outcomes. (2016, June 19). Retrieved
Legalization of Marijuana for Women in
Rhode Island
My biggest concern is not that you didn’t review the topic, it is that I’m not sure what the
problem is that you are trying to address. In one of your papers you describe the problem as
women being incarcerated and then in others you describe incarceration in general. You need
to hone in on the problem that you are exploring and providing advice for. 12 points.
This is another example of the missing link between the problem and the evidence gathering
exercise. The topic of your paper is the problem of women being incarcerated, however you
never examined how other states may have addressed this issue. 12 points.
Legalization of Marijuana for Women in Rhode Island
Legalization of recreational marijuana in some American states is based on the fact
that it is safer than tobacco and alcohol. Marijuana relieves stress, anxiety, and has been
proven to relieve pain and symptoms in cancer. Also, other patients that have been diagnosed
with HIV and epilepsy have benefited from using this drug, but since marijuana is
criminalized it is expensive (Weisblot, 2018). The increase in tax revenue has proven to be an
economic boost especially in the states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana
(Mock, 2016). However, the use of recreational Cannabis (most widely known as marijuana)
is one of the most pressing issues for the residents of Rhode Island. The debate of legalizing
marijuana has been an ongoing debate on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use
or not. The state of Rhode Island wanted to legalize marijuana for recreational use to solve
the country’s existing issue- increasing incarceration rates of women. However, there is a lot
of opposition from some Rhode Island residents who do not approve of recreational
marijuana because of the effects that the law once it passes. As a result, it is hard for the
government to make a decisive decision.
Incarceration Rates
Over the years, incarceration rates have increased rapidly in different states, especially
those on states that have not legalized marijuana (Sensale, 2014). American Civil Liberties
Union, or ACLU, analysis found that more than half of all drug-related arrests made in the
United States are marijuana arrests. Between 2001 and 2010, there were more than 8.2
million marijuana arrests, with approximately 80% of the offenders were in possession of
marijuana. The arrest statistics demonstrate that a black person is 3.73 times more likely to be
arrested for marijuana compared to a white person (ACLU, n.d). The penalties for marijuana
charges in Rhode Island are that a first possession offense of less than one ounce of marijuana
is deemed a simple crime and a civil violation. As a result, the fine ranges from $150 to $600
(Marin, 2018). This charge does not result in a criminal record since it is not charged as a
criminal offense. However, if this is the third offense of marijuana possession within the time
frame of 18 months, there is a possible jail term as the offense has been deemed as a
misdemeanor. On the contrary, when a person is arrested with marijuana possession of more
than one ounce (as their first offense), they are charged with a misdemeanor where fines
range from $200 to $500 along with a criminal conviction of up to one year in Rhode Island
(Marin, 2018). Any arrest made where more than one kilogram of marijuana is confiscated as
a first-time offense; the individual is fined up to $500,000 or incarcerated for up to 50 years.
Third possession offenses come with a fine and possible incarceration of up to thirty days in
Rhode Island (Marin, 2018).
Medical Cannabis Usage
Medical cannabis is known as a relaxing and pleasurable substance without the
presence of addictive stimulants and is used in RI as a medical drug. Physicians
recommended the use of medical cannabis for several reasons (Bostwick, 2012; Marin,
2018). Medical marijuana has positively impacted women’s emotional and physical health.
Women who use medical marijuana conclude that it has helped their emotional health,
physical status, and psychological problems. In her article on marijuana usage, Rose
Eilenberg (2018) explains that people often use pot because of hormonal imbalances. She
also stated that the hormonal imbalances are experienced more by women. The hormonal
change could result in behavioral differences, which significantly improve the hormonal
imbalance. A report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicience
concludes that medical marijuana is used for chronic pain and that there is evidence of
effective treatment of chronic pain using the marijuana plant (Eilenberg, 2018). Different
types of muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis can be relieved using medical cannabis
where trials have shown that people suffering from muscle spasms respond well to marijuana.
Contrary to the belief that smoking it is bad for the lungs, studies show that medical cannabis
improves the lungs as long as one does not smoke tobacco as well (Lorin, 2018). Published in
the Journal of American Medical Association, the studies found that medical marijuana does
not impair lung function but instead increases lung capacity. Medical cannabis is used
medically to treat patients during glaucoma treatment where it is used to treat and prevent the
disorder that results when pressure is exerted on the eyeball. Moreover, ailing patients
showed that the intraocular pressure inside their eyes significantly decreases, thus aiding in
more comfortable management of the disorder (Lorin, 2018). Individuals experiencing
treatment-resistant epilepsy are also benefiting from medical marijuana as it helps in seizure
control; especially in children suffering from epilepsy and Dravet’s Syndrome. Finally,
Cannabidiol, or CBD, a chemical found in marijuana helps prevent cancer from spreading
and slows down aggressive tumors. It is also an anxiety reliever and slows down the
progression of Alzheimer’s disease (Lorin, 2018). In Rhode Island, registered medical
marijuana cardholders are allowed to possess a reasonable amount of marijuana that includes
up to twelve seedlings. The law states that these individuals should not be denied any
privilege, right, or service based on their use of medical marijuana (Lorin, 2018).
Government Practices
Representing the Rhode Island Police Force Chiefs’ Federation at the press
consultation led by Attorney General Peter Kilmartin opposing the legalization of
recreational marijuana, Hopkinton Police Force Chief David Palmer added, “Make no
misconstrue about it; where there are drugs and money; there are guns and assault… and
feel that herb is a heavy and well sought-after drug. I would ask that masses take heed of the
forceful content that Colorado and Washington’s prosecutors send to every state: get all
stakeholders involved and all ordinances in place long ago considering legalization of
recreational herb (Targeted News Service, 2017).” The government has not yet assisted
those who have become dependent on marijuana and instead jailed them because of their
race, criminal records, and history of usage. It would be best practice to get the people
involved and weigh pros and cons and how it will affect the stakeholders. As incarceration
rates increase for illegal marijuana use, more people in Rhode Island are still using it
(Targeted News Service, 2017). However, the law supports registered medical marijuana with
dire medical needs. Users who need medical marijuana have to be registered and possess
identification cards so they are protected from the penalty, prosecution, and arrest. Registered
patients will not get penalized as long as they possess an amount of marijuana that does not
exceed 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and 12 mature marijuana plants. Legalizing marijuana
will benefit both the government and the users if the government confirms the legal use of it
(Marin, 2018; Mock, 2016). As a result of solving this matter concerning marijuana, it will
also reduce the responses among women users resulting in going to prison. According to
Fickenscher, more than half of women get incarcerated due to sex and drug use. The study
surveyed 119 inmates in an Oregon prison where they were asked about their demographics
and their criminal offenses. In the study, 46 out of 199 women reported being arrested for
possession of drug, but more than 40% of the inmates were in there because they traded sex
for drugs or money. The women in this study also reported health issues, low salaries, and
lack of resources when accessing health care (Fickenscher et al., 2011). Once the drug is
legalized the authorities will most likely focus on crimes not relating to marijuana and
women can avoid imprisonment.
Marijuana Taxation
According to Evans Pat Oglesby, a tax specialist and deputy, creating and improvising
an analysis of an existing proposal on marijuana taxation is essential. Washington State
passed a law where it included policies for advertisement limitations, driving under the
influence restrictions, and three excise taxes that in return generate up to $500 million in state
income (Evans, 2013). Oglesby found that recreational marijuana is being sold privately at a
significantly high price. However, under the state’s legalization plan, marijuana would be sold
at a lower price or a controlled cost. Nonetheless, he admits a significant amount of money
will be made under a monopoly controlled by the state. If marijuana purchases are taxed
based on volume bought, they will produce adequate funds that the government can use to
build facilities and rehabilitation programs for people who suffered addiction and severe
physical problems, specifically on women. If marijuana is taxed through our state, the
economic improvements could be proven rewarding. Economic impacts on taxing marijuana
can increase revenue gains that can drive other programs and projects of government to suit
the needs for development in rehabilitation and medical treatment for marijuana users (Evans,
Social Acceptance
The social acceptance of marijuana users can decrease incarceration rates. Rhode
Island’s past government have been neglecting the issue of legalizing marijuana. Legislators
are worried about future effects that may include rape, driving while under the drug
influence, along with underage usage, and other issues can potentially come from legalizing
marijuana. In terms of a medical standpoint, other physicians utilize the substance of
marijuana as medicine for AIDS and other life-threatening diseases (Geiger-Oneto &
Simkins, 2018). Physicians claim that marijuana can serve as a medicinal herb that can
produce a calming effect on a patient diagnosed. However, other physicians do not agree with
marijuana utilization as medicine primarily because it can cause more severe impacts on a
person. The physicians that oppose the cannabis suggested that the use of marijuana could
result in mental health illness and malfunctioning of organs within the body. Also, physicians
do not have concrete evidence about whether consuming marijuana will cause hallucination
or mental disorder (Geiger-Oneto & Simkins, 2018). There is uncertainty of how to deal with
an issue that not all states have legalized. However, there are benefits to passing the law, it is
just a matter on how it will be regulated once it does.
Examples of States That Have Passed the Law and What Happened To the Folks
That Were In Jail at the Time of the Law Passing
When former President Barack Obama was sworn into office, only 13 American states
had legalized marijuana for medicinal use but not recreational use. During President Donald
Trump’s inauguration, 29 states, including Washington D.C., legalized marijuana use and 8
of those states allowed recreational use. Since then, more states like West Virginia have
followed suit in the legalization (Trumble & Kasai, 2017). However, marijuana use is still
illegal at the federal level, but the attitudes towards its illegal nature are quickly changing as
depicted in policy shifts and opinion polls. As more states fight to legalize marijuana, the
leaders are urging a federal policy change to ensure that the legalization goes hand in hand
with safety and responsibility on the part of marijuana users. In the United States, marijuana
was illegal since the 1970s under the Controlled Substance Act where it is listed a Schedule I
Drug (Trumble & Kasai, 2017). This means that the federal government does not
acknowledge its medical uses considering that it has a high abuse potential like any other
drug. However, since California first legalized it, the number of states who have followed suit
has skyrocketed. While 29 states have legalized medical marijuana, 17 have states allowed
limited use of non-intoxicating extracts of cannabis in treatments like seizure disorders in
children along with other diseases (Trumble & Kasai, 2017). The state of California has a
program in the city of Los Angeles called Prop 64 founded by the Drug Policy Alliance. The
objective of “Prop 64” is to promote the decriminalization of drugs and repair the adverse
effects of the war on drugs on society. The alliance acknowledged that the black community
was negatively affected by drug wars, especially considering that the majority of marijuana
possession arrests were in their communities (Finster, 2018). Therefore, they sought to
oversee the release of convicted marijuana possession offenders after it was legalized in the
state. After the reformed system in California, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana,
there were no more arrests because of it. At the same time, the marijuana offenders
incarcerated had their sentences considered as misdemeanors because of Prop 64. However,
even though the marijuana offenders had their sentences significantly reduced before they
were released, they still had a criminal record since possession of marijuana was still a crime
when they were convicted (Finster, 2018).
Your exercise should roughly use the following outline:
Paragraph 1 – A bold-faced heading, followed by a summary of literature on the basis
of one of the themes that you have identified.
Paragraph 2 – A bold-faced heading, followed by a summary of literature on the basis
of one of the themes that you have identified.
Paragraph 3 – A bold-faced heading, followed by a summary of literature on the basis
of one of the themes that you have identified.
Between these paragraphs, include the following heading: Best Practices
Paragraph 4 – The identification of a best practice that has been adopted elsewhere
and the circumstances surrounding the adoption of that other jurisdiction’s b …
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