Marijuana use in the United States has become so common that legalizing it is the only sane option left before legislators. As a bill for the legalization of this drug gets under way, hopes for the prison population to decline have gone up too.
Senator Daylin Leach presented a bill on the legalization of marijuana in Pennsylvania. This bill will render legitimate the regulation and taxation of marijuana. A comprehensive report was issued by the American Civil Liberties Union. The NAACP lent its moral support towards the passing of the bill too. It is a hot issue. Most of the illegal drugs racket took place in marijuana, stated the LEAP (Law Inforcement Against Prohibition). Legalizing it would solve this secretive and covert behavior in a jiffy. Throughout the Noughties, over eight million incarcerations took place due to illegal marijuana possession. A net total of $3.6 billion gets wasted on the implementation of the anti-drug trafficking laws.
Nevertheless, there is no surcease in the sale and use of marijuana. It is truly a hopeless case. The use of the weed is about the same in blacks and whites. Blacks get caught more often though and hence the arrest rate is 3.73 times higher for them. The anti-drug policy has done a lot of damage to people who use marijuana in limited amounts for recreational purposes. The fact that it is forbidden makes it even more attractive. It also allows many shady dealers to enter the equation as middlemen. Then when the law enters there is all-out chaos.
Part of the problem is the rising prison population. These people are wasting away in their cells. They merely possessed a small amount of marijuana and were incarcerated for the crime. The US prison population is the largest in the world. It is in fact comparable to Russia’s prisoners. The war on drugs which began with Bush Senior was a grave mistake. All the prohibitions only drove the trade underground and made things all the more dangerous. Today more than half the
Americans favor legalizing marijuana. The violence and dodgy behavior involved in an illegal racket is too much to handle. Marijuana usage is relatively harmless and crimes that matter ought to be given real attention. The negative image of the police will be erased by this one move too. By legalizing marijuana, the illicit drug trade will suffer. Tons of dollars will get saved and put to far worthier purposes. And finally, people will have an alternative to criminal activity. Once drug use is regulated the question of abuse vanishes into thin air. The Prohibition, during which alcohol was banned, turned out to be a failure. Similarly, the marijuana ban too must be annulled to solve this conundrum.
Image Credit: Getty Images