Regardless of Modern day Efforts to Legalize, Marijuana Remains a Gateway to Mass Incarcerations


U.S. police are generating an escalating quantity of cannabis arrests every year.  It is legal to consume cannabis in some type in additional than half the states in our nation but according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the total quantity of persons arrested in the U.S. for violating marijuana laws rose for the third consecutive year, outpacing arrests for all violent crimes.  Marijuana arrests preserve going up in the U.S. even even though additional states are enacting cannabis legalization laws. What offers? 

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, police produced 663,367 arrests for marijuana-associated violations in 2018.  That total is additional than 21% larger than the total quantity of persons arrested for the commission of violent crimes (521,103).  Of these arrested for marijuana crimes, some 90% (608,776) have been arrested for marijuana possession offenses only.

Marijuana-associated arrests have been least probably to take place in western states — most of which have legalized the substance — but have been specifically prevalent in the northeast, exactly where they constituted 53% of all drug arrests.

The new numbers are portion of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report technique, and come with the caveat that they only represent arrests from these nearby police agencies who participate by sending in information to the federal government.

A survey discovered that a single in seven men and women had applied marijuana in 2017, with smoking becoming the most typical manner of consumption, according to a report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.  All of these men and women have committed a federal drug crime. 

The vast majority (75%) of U.S. voters across all demographics and celebration affiliations oppose federal government enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized marijuana for health-related or adult use. 

A handful of added truths to preserve in thoughts when discussing marijuana and criminal law: 

  • Criminalization has disproportionately punished black men and women and other minority classes
  • Criminalization has wasted billions of dollars
  • Criminalization has enriched the illicit marketplace
  • Criminalization has undermined people’s faith in the government

Marijuana prohibition was a tragic error. Unless reform happens at the federal level, state-level “legalization” faces continual threats. To be certain, the reality that impeachment appears realer than actual against our orangutan president is a excellent point for cannabis advocates. 

Prison, Jail, Detention, Fence, Wire, Barbed, Metal

Presently marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. As lengthy as it remains a Schedule I drug, the government and scientists can’t appropriately study the effects or prospective rewards of cannabis as the drug faces important federal restrictions due to this classification.

The struggle more than marijuana regulation is a single of the most essential federalism conflicts in a generation.  This struggle swells as states move from prohibition to regulation of marijuana

With expanding majorities of Americans in favor of legalizing cannabis, the tension amongst state and federal law will not resolve itself.  We want the subsequent (Democratic) president of the U.S. to act in favor of civil rights and human rights by legalizing cannabis at the federal level. 

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