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The Decriminalization of Marijuana

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The editors at Top Criminal Justice Schools decided to research the topic of:

The Decriminalization of Marijuana

[1] 18 states have legalized weed for some purposes. 13 states are sponsering bills that ask for the respect of state laws on the matter.

55% of Americans believe that the drug, that has never been a primary cause of death (1997-2005) should be legalized.[3][2]

Many feel that the drug should be legalized, taxed, and regulated like alcohol.

How it stands now

- The law:
- 1970 controlled substances act labels marijuana as a schedule one drug
- Meaning:
- High potential for abuse
- No currently accepted medical use
- A lack of accepted safety
- And placing Marijuana in a more dangerous drug class than cocaine


- A marijuana possession arrest is made every 37 seconds.[8]
- Leading to 46% of drug prosecutions in the U.S. [5]
- You're 3.7 times likelier to be arrested for marijuana possession if black than white.
- Though both races use marijuana at the same rate
- 192/100,000= white arrests
- 716/100,000= black arrests [6]
- Leading to:
- $1 billion+ in yearly processing costs [4]
- For roughly half of our nation's inmates who are serving time for possession.[2]
- $7.7 billion in yearly enforcement/prohibition costs.[7]

Ad campaigns and education:

- $33 Billion spent on "Just say no," or similar campaigns since 1969 [2]
- 12th grade usage rates have remained roughly unchanged for 40 years[2]

In fact, teens aged 12-17 state that it's easier to get marijuana than beer or cigarettes.[2]

- 40% of surveyed high schoolers can get weed within a day.[10]
- 25% can get weed within an hour.[10]

The war on drugs has failed, and with the call for greater gov efficiency, states are looking for new solutions to the drug "problem."

Self reported Marijuana use is nearly double in the U.S. than in more "liberal" marjuana system of the Netherlands.[9]


Netherlands: 19.8%

"Globally, drug use is not distributed evenly and is not simply related to drug policy, since countries with stringent user-level illegal drug policies did not have lower levels of use than countries with liberal ones,"--Researcher Louisa Degenhardt[9]

So what does decriminizaliton mean?...

- Marijuana is a cash crop[2]
- #1 cash crop for 12 states
- Top 3 cash crop in 30 states(including the previous 12)
- Top 5 cash crop in 39 states(including the previous 30)
- Alternatively:
- Top Cash Crop in 12 states
- Top three cash crop in 18 states
- Top five cash crop in 21 states

Enforcement costs plummet

- The 858,000+ arrested on Marijuana charges last year don't have to be
- Processed
- Tried
- Incarcerated
- 758,593 (88%) of whom were prosecuted for simple posession.
- That's more than those arrested for
- murder
- manslaughter
- forcible rape
- robbery
- and aggrevated assault
- combined...

Many violant crimes remained unsolved (rape, sexual assault, assault and battery, burglery). Do we really need to spend this type of money on catching potheads?

- $7.7 government expenditure on Marijuana prohibition.
- +
- $6.2 billion dollars in tax revenue at alcohol or tobacco tax rates.
- +
- $10.5 billion pumped into the economy (est. for what Americans spent on weed in 2000).
- =$24.4 billion in savings and recirculated money.

It's time to end the institutional hypocrisy

Political pot smokers[11]

- George W. Bush
- Barack Obama
- Bill Clinton
- Mayor Bloomberg
- Al Gore
- Newt Gingrich
- John Edwards
- Gary Johnson
- Sarah Palin
- Arnold SChwarzenegger
- Clarence Thomas
- Ed Koch

It took some mind expansion to even get this place started

- Benjamin Franklin
- Andrew Jackson
- Thomas Jefferson
- James Madison
- James Monroe
- Franklin Pierce
- Zachary Taylor
- George Washington

It's obviously the thing to do.


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