The United States of America is a good example of a country that has embraced federalism in its entirety. It has managed to find a way of making it work effectively and keep most, if not all of its people happy. Federalism, by definition refers to a situation where several states come together to create one unified government but still leave out the provision to be able to handle their own internal affairs independently. This essay takes a closer look at federalism in the United States by analyzing a case study and viewing the impact that the practice has on the people and the nation at large.
An article published by CNN states that 20 licenses were awarded to 20 marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts. This came after the people of the state had voted in that law and it had been approved and put in effect in 2013. The department of health and human services of the state reported that about 100 finalists had applied for the licenses, but they came up with rigorous and thorough vetting techniques for the applicants which resulted in 20 people being awarded the licenses. They did this to ensure that the people awarded the licenses could meet the needs of all the patients but still maintain safety.
The department also put in place an online system where all patients that had obtained written certification from a qualified physician to receive the marijuana could be registered. The medical marijuana is to aid patients who suffer from various diseases ranging from aids to cancer and even chronic pain. The article also states that eighteen other states have either decriminalized or allowed the use of the drug for medicinal purposes while fourteen states allow the medical marijuana dispensaries.
Numerous questions arise on who should have control of the laws passed. Some believe it should be left to the state, some believe it should be under federal control while others believe it should be a shared responsibility. In my opinion, I believe that the matter should be a shared responsibility. As we all know, two heads are better than one. Such matters are exceedingly sensitive and the wrong course of action can have disastrous results. It is therefore necessary to divide the responsibility equally amongst the state and the federal control to ensure that there is a lot of dialogue and consultation before such decisions are made.
So far, the direction that the affair seems to be going to is towards the state control. I say this because of the fashion in which the medical marijuana has been handled. In some states it is still completely illegal to consume marijuana regardless of one’s health status yet in some states it has either been legalized or decriminalized. If it was up to the federal government, the medical marijuana would have been legalized in every state because the illnesses that are being treated or made comfortable by the drug are spread all over the country. Some people have moved from the different states to the states where medical marijuana is legalized to access the drug. It is different from what the framers intended in the sense that they have all the control an power to make decisions but what was intended was that the power will be shared between the state and the central government.
In conclusion, federalism is a measure that makes it convenient for the people to carry out their affairs in a manner in which they see fit for themselves without affecting the whole country. It is an effective system of governance and should be adopted all over the world.
Also Study: Advantages and Disadvantages of Federalism
Malloy, A. (2014). The First Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Licensed in Massachusetts. Retrieved February 1 2014 from www.edition.cnn.com/2014/01/31/health/Massachusetts-medical-marijuana-dispensaries