Decriminalization of non-medical cannabis in the United States
Decriminalization of non-medical cannabis in the United States has been attempted since the 1970s. As views on cannabis (or marijuana) have liberalized, over half of the states have either approved it for medical use, decriminalized it for recreational use, or completely legalized it and approved it for retail sale.Proponents of decriminalization argue that legalizing cannabis would free billions of dollars now used to prosecute users, provide several billions in tax revenue, free a substantial amount of law-enforcement resources which could be used to prevent more serious crimes, free a substantial amount of prison resources, and reduce the income of street gangs and organized crime who grow, import, process, and sell cannabis. Opponents argue that cannabis on the street today has a much higher percent of THC with a stronger drug effect, and that decriminalization will lead to usage, increased crime, and abuse of actual dangerous illicit drugs.Cannabis remains on the Schedule I list of controlled substances under U.S. federal law. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Gonzales v. Raich that the Commerce Clause and Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution allowed the federal government to ban the use of cannabis (including medical use) because federal law is ""supreme"" and trumps state law to the contrary.