by Gary Barnes
For some industries, the upcoming battle for the legalization of marijuana is a game ender. Privatized prisons and the Big Pharma Opioid drug pushers are deathly afraid of nationwide legalization.
Donald Trump has promised to maintain a state’s right to decide, while Hillary Clinton’s campaign is pushing a narrative that marijuana is deadly still.
The narrative will surely change once the regime change takes place in Washington D.C. and this should cause a great state of panic to those that believe in the healing qualities of marijuana.
Now an alarming note, and a warning of the future, there are more people arrested for simple marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined. With violent crimes and murder rates increasing at an alarming rate, when will the United States learn to stop wasting resources on this drug that is now being praised for its medicinal use. The United Kingdom, actually declared marijuana a valid medical drug recently, acknowledging that Cannabidiol (CBD) has a “restoring, correcting or modifying” effect on “physiological functions” when administered to humans. This recent decision is leaving many to wonder what reason the United States is sitting on these antiquated laws, leading to a racially biased arrest record and wasting tremendous resources, while violent crime sky rockets.
On any given day in the United States, at least 137,000 men and women sit behind bars on simple drug possession charges, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch. According to the report, most of these jailed inmates have not been convicted of any crime: They’re sitting in a cell, awaiting a day in court which may be months or even years off, because they can’t afford to post bail.
“It’s been 45 years since the war on drugs was declared and it hasn’t been a success,” lead author Tess Borden of the Human Rights Watch said in an interview. “Rates of drug use are not down. Drug dependency has not stopped. Every 25 seconds we’re arresting someone for drug use.”
In Texas, for instance, 116 people are currently serving life sentences on charges of simple drug possession. Seven of those people earned their sentences for possessing quantities of drugs weighing between 1 gram and 4 grams, or less than a typical sugar packet. That’s because Texas also has a habitual offender law, allowing prosecutors to seek longer-than-normal sentences for people who have two prior felonies.
“In 2015, more than 78 percent of people sentenced to incarceration for felony drug possession in Texas possessed under a gram,” the report found.
Just remember, the US has 4.4% of the world population and 22% of the prison population.
It is time to address this injustice.
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About the author Gary Barnes