Attorney General to Debate Marijuana Activist
Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 88 percent -- some 696,074 Americans -- were charged with possession only. The remaining 90,471 individuals were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use.As the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) points out:
Arresting hundreds of thousands of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly needlessly destroys the lives of otherwise law abiding citizens," [NORML Executive Director Allen] St. Pierre said, adding that over 8 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges in the past decade. During this same time, arrests for cocaine and heroin have declined sharply, implying that increased enforcement of marijuana laws is being achieved at the expense of enforcing laws against the possession and trafficking of more dangerous drugs. St. Pierre concluded: "Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers between $10 billion and $12 billion annually and has led to the arrest of nearly 18 million Americans. Nevertheless, some 94 million Americans acknowledge having used marijuana during their lives. It makes no sense to continue to treat nearly half of all Americans as criminals for their use of a substance that poses no greater - and arguably far fewer - health risks than alcohol or tobacco. A better and more sensible solution would be to tax and regulate cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco."I think legalizing adult possession of small amounts of pot will result in greater law enforcement resources being available to target dealers of more dangerous drugs, like meth and heroin. SAFER Colorado's blog is here.
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