By Roland Sebestyén
The Surgeon General of the United States is not a fan of strict cannabis policies that see people incarcerated for the use or possession of the drug.
According to The Hill, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has revealed that he does not support the idea of sending people to jail for cannabis-related offences.
Murphy reportedly stated: “When it comes to decriminalisation, I don’t think that there is value to individuals or society to lock people up for cannabis use. I don’t think that serves anybody well.
“I do think that, in terms of our approach to cannabis, I worry when we don’t let science guide our process in policy-making.”
Although Mr Murthy added there are some harms with connections to cannabis that they cannot ignore, he is working with scientists and experts to find out what cannabis can offer for the community and.
Mr Murthy’s comments come after the release of a high-profile draft federal bill, introduced by three Democrat Senators, that would legalise recreational and medical cannabis in the United States if approved.
The bill was proposed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, alongside Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Senator Cory Booker.
The proposed bill, named the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, has been released as a discussion draft – designed to spark conversation and debate with Congress as well as the public before the submission of the final legislative proposal later this year.
Proposals laid out in the draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act include the federal decriminalisation and de-scheduling of cannabis and the implementation of provisions for communities most affected by the War on Drugs.
In addition, the document proposes that cannabis should be regulated and taxed in a similar way to alcohol and tobacco.
According to the discussion draft, the legislation would introduce a 10% tax on cannabis products which would increase to 25% within five years after the bill becomes law.
Recent polls have suggested that over two-thirds of US citizens now support the legalisation of cannabis. Furthermore, around one-third of Americans now live in a state where recreational, adult-use cannabis is legal.