"Between 1987 & 2007 Nationwide Spending On Prisons Increased 127%"
While Republicans and Democrats argue over how much money is spent on things like education, there seems to be little mention of the incredible amount of money that is being spent on incarcerating illegal drug users, most of whom are marijuana users.
There is little mention of the private prison industry and how much money they make from locking people up. Twenty five percent of the world’s prisoners are in U.S. prisons even though we only have about 0.5% of the world’s population.
There will be no talk about this in the Presidential campaign unless it’s being done by Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson.
When you out a profit motive on taking away people’s freedom, you get people clamoring to do just that. Most industries perform better when in the private sector, but in the case of prisons, “performing better” means finding more ways to lock someone up.
Private prisons will always fight marijuana law reform because it means less money for them. Marijuana legalization will result in some prisons having to close, as would Gary Johnson getting elected; he has said he will pardon all non-violent marijuana offenders currently serving jail time.
Something has to change or someday there will be no more room to build prisons.
Medical Marijuana Activists in L.A. Submit 50,000 Signatures for Ballot Measure to Overturn Dispensary Ban
Medical marijuana activists in Los Angeles turned in about 50,000 voter signatures to the city clerk Wednesday, hoping to force a ballot referendum to repeal a recently passed ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles. The ban was approved by the L.A. City Council last month.
Now the ordinance must be temporarily suspended, according to election officials in the city clerk's office. The signatures will then be verified against voter registration information. If they are found to be valid, the ban would be further suspended until voters get a chance to decide whether to keep it in place.
As an alternative to a total ban – which now looks very unlikely to stand - Councilman Paul Koretz is pushing for a new law that would allow 100 or so of the city's oldest and most established dispensaries to remain in business.
"The city needs a small number of well-regulated and patient-centered dispensaries," he said Tuesday. Without it, he said, "the city will be stuck with no rules and no protections again."
Leaving 100 dispensaries open is certainly better than closing them, but in the end, how many dispensaries are open should be primarily left to the market. The City Council needs to adopt a set of regulations, then let the market do the rest.
In fact, isn’t that one of the jobs of the city council? It’s certainly not their job to shut down 1,000 businesses and kill thousands of private sector jobs. Would you vote for a person for city council if they promised to destroy a few thousand jobs? Of course not. The voters of Los Angeles need to overhaul their City Council completely; these people are not fighting for you.
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