The Global Commission on Drug Policy admitted that the war on drugs was a complete waste of money. Since the beginning of the war on drugs, our nation has spent over one trillion. The government spends approximately $10 billion yearly in their efforts as it pertains to cannabis. They are wasting our tax money to put “criminals” behind bars for possessing cannabis. Officials are close-minded to the fact that, in legalizing marijuana, they would generate approximately $30 billion (Kampia, 2011). They are losing the battle against marijuana terribly. According to The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana LAWS (NORML) “more than 800,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges last year, and more than 5 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses in the past decade. Almost 90 percent of these arrests are for simple possession, not trafficking or sale.” Arresting American citizens on the basis of possessing a natural flower, that is grown in the ground, created by God, does not give enforcement officials the right to invade our freedoms and “unalienable rights” given to us in the Constitution. This is not only unlawful, but takes people off the street who are not harming society. Last year, in the state of New York, law enforcement used $75 million to bring almost 50,000 cannabis offenders into custody (NORML, 2012). Not only is the country using our tax dollars, the money that are using doesn’t incarcerate robbers, rapists, or murderers, the real dangers are still on the streets. In Miron’s “Legalizing Marijuana Would Save Money and Generate Tax Revenue, he shows how much it costs to keep convicted, non-violent, marijuana-related offenders. “At approximately $47,000 a year, the state’s budgets take a hit.”
I was privileged to speak with Allen St. Pierre, the Executive Director of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), in regards to the legalization of cannabis for both personal and medicinal uses. When I asked him about the public support for the legalization of cannabis, he told me that they have an “overwhelming support” in their efforts to reform marijuana laws. They have “chapters” in every state that help raise awareness of their efforts. He also informed me that there are currently “17 states that allow the sale of medicinal marijuana and seven states are voting on the issue.” States affairs are supposed to be separate from federal affairs and this conflict between the two sides. The government is overstepping its power given to them in the Constitution.
“I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong?” – Willie Nelson
This quote is Willie Nelson’s reference to show how harmless and simple cannabis truly is. He discusses a relevant point in today’s society that is causing American citizens their lives because of the constant battle in cannabis prohibition. Cannabis is something that grows in the ground as was put on earth by God. God did not create the firearms that are allowing people to create a massacre, or alcohol, that can contribute to all of the DUI arrests and accidents, resulting in death. According to the Center for Disease Control, “More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.” We allow cigarettes to be legal, yet there is no evidence that anyone has died from marijuana. Current marijuana laws in the United States are unfair, and needs reform.
If not legalizing; the decriminalization of it should be a minimum !!!
More than five months after two states voted to legalize marijuana — and as a host of other states consider the same — a majority of Americans now say pot should be legal to consume. That’s according to a new survey published Thursday by Pew Research, which reports that 52 percent of people polled by the firm indicated support for legalization, with 45 percent who think it should remain illegal for people to manufacture, sell, and smoke marijuana. Now, that might sound like a swelling victory for pro-legalization advocates — and to a certain degree, it is — but these numbers are part of a fairly steady (if recently accelerating) historical trend, as evidenced by prior polls on the same question:
Today’s poll is a fresh reminder of how, in many states, marijuana is already installed in people’s lives…
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While one of the news agencies published a poll with almost identical results within the past year this poll from Pew is probably the most comprehensive and best poll out yet on the matter.
A full 52% of americans believe cannabis should be legal, while only 45% believe it should not be- leaving 3% undecided.
But more intersting to me in the Pew Poll (here) are some of the more nuanced questions on the issue.
And I guess this is the point where I offer an apolgy to many on the conservative side of the spectrum. Because I, and many in the marijuana movement- as well as I would say many in our local, state, and federal government- from politicians to judges to law enforcement have horribly misjudged their sentiment:
So, it would seem, despite “common wisdom” conservatives are less hypocritical then we have been led to…
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DENVER (AP) – A legislative panel decided Friday that marijuana in Colorado could be taxed at rates above 30 percent. But voters would have to OK the taxes, and some lawmakers fear the state’s tax-skeptical public could reject such high rates.
A House-Senate panel set up to propose marijuana regulations agreed to ask voters to approve a 15 percent excise tax, plus a 15 percent sales tax on the newly legal drug. If the full Legislature agrees, voters would be asked about the taxes in November. Commercial pot sales begin in January.
The panel’s other big decisions included recommending a ban on radio and TV advertising by pot businesses, and suggesting limits on the amount of pot that out-of-state visitors can buy.
Regarding taxes, the first $40 million of the excise tax would go to school construction, something voters dictated last year when they chose to flout federal drug law…
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