Hundreds of Economists: Marijuana Prohibition Costs Billions, Legalization Would Earn Billions
Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, April, 30th 2012 by THCFinder
Over 300 economists, including three Nobel Laureates, recently signed a petition that encourages the president, Congress, governors and state legislatures to carefully consider marijuana legalization in America. The petition draws attention to an article by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, whose findings highlight the substantial cost-savings our government could incur if it were to tax and regulate marijuana, rather than needlessly spending billions of dollars enforcing its prohibition.
Miron predicts that legalizing marijuana would save $7.7 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement, in addition to generating $2.4 billion annually if taxed like most consumer goods, or $6 billion per year if taxed similarly to alcohol and tobacco. The economists signing the petition note that the budgetary implications of marijuana prohibition are just one of many factors to be considered, but declare it essential that these findings become a serious part of the national decriminalization discussion.
The advantages of marijuana legalization extend far beyond an opportunity to make a dent in our federal deficit. The criminalization of marijuana is one of the many fights in the War on Drugs that has failed miserably. And while it's tempting to associate only the harder, "scarier" drugs with this botched crusade, the fact remains that marijuana prohibition is very much a part of the battle. The federal government has even classified marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance (its most serious category of substances), placing it in a more dangerous category than cocaine. More than 800,000 people are arrested for marijuana use and possession each year, and 46 percent of all drug prosecutions across the country are for marijuana possession. Yet this costly and time-consuming targeting of marijuana users by law enforcement and lawmakers has done little to quell use of the drug.
The criminalization of marijuana has not only resulted in a startlingly high number of arrests, it also reflects the devastating disparate racial impact of the War on Drugs. Despite ample evidence that marijuana is used more frequently by white people, Blacks and Latinos account for a grossly disproportionate percentage of the 800,000 people arrested annually for marijuana use and possession. These convictions hinder one's ability to find or keep employment, vote or gain access to affordable housing. The fact that these hard-to-shake consequences – bad enough as they are — are suffered more frequently by a demographic that uses marijuana less makes our current policies toward marijuana all the more unfair, unwise and unacceptable.
Eight mayors call for end to marijuana prohibition
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, April, 27th 2012 by THCFinder
The call to end marijuana prohibition is now being made by a coalition of B.C. mayors.
In a letter Thursday addressed to provincial political leaders, eight mayors representing municipalities across B.C. cited gang violence, ongoing risks to the community and soaring policing costs resulting from the illegal marijuana trade.
They urged provincial politicians to support the regulation and taxation of cannabis.
"We see the detrimental effects of marijuana prohibition in our com-munities on a daily basis," Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said in a news release.
"Huge profits for organized crime and widespread gang violence in our cities are the result of this failed policy."
In the letter, the mayors point to an Angus Reid poll showing a vast majority (66 per cent) of constituents support the taxation and regulation of pot, while only 12 per cent support the current approach.
"We stand together as B.C. mayors because we think our communities will be safer and our children better protected from criminal elements if we overturn marijuana prohibition," City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto said Thursday.
Marijuana Legalization Efforts Fail in California, Thanks to The Feds
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, April, 24th 2012 by THCFinder
Few successful political movements count their finest hours a loss. Yet 2010 will remain the high water mark of the marijuana legalization movement for at least another two years -- or longer, if the federal situation worsens.
Buoyed by Oaksterdam University founder Richard Lee's cash and energy, Proposition 19 -- which would have legalized possession of up to an ounce of pot for adults 21 and over, and allowed cultivation of small gardens -- lost in November 2010. It garnered a historic 4.6 million votes, or 46.2 percent of ballots cast. Following the loss, Lee declared on election night that legalization was inevitable, and that legalization would return in 2012 "stronger than ever" with a new ballot measure.
While Lee bowed out -- and the Prop. 19 redux committee instead focused on reforming medical marijuana -- the 2012 election cycle began with four competing legalization measures.
But what was inevitable became official on Friday, when all committees missed the deadline to qualify their initiatives for the November ballot.
So now we have to wait until 2014, and pray the movement finds a new leader -- and new benefactor.
To qualify for the ballot, would-be liberators of the magic plant needed to collect over 500,000 valid signatures and submit them to the Secretary of State by April 20 (yes, that April 20).
Of the failed efforts, one -- Regulate Marijuana Like Wine -- came closest, according to proponent Steve Kubby, a South Lake Tahoe-based activist. That measure managed to collect about 200,000 signatures, Kubby said on Monday. Other efforts like Repeal Cannabis Prohibition, sponsored by a coterie of attorneys in Mendocino County and the Bay Area, waved the surrender flag much earlier.
"We're full steam ahead for 2014," said Kubby. "Some of the funders are telling us that [donating then] won't be a problem."
As for Prop. 19's successor committee, it also withdrew its efforts well before the deadline. A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, (D-San Francisco) is nearly identical to that bill and is in committee in Sacramento.
So what killed the legalization movement? Money, mostly.
Poll Position: Should marijuana be legalized?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, April, 20th 2012 by THCFinder
Today is considered “Weed Day” by marijuana smokers because the date, 4/20, corresponds with the numbers they use to refer to the drug. The actual origins of the term “420″ are not as widely known, but you can count on thousands of college students gathering — in some cases, together, and in very public locations — to celebrate doing something that’s illegal.
For now, anyway.
Should marijuana be legalized?
There is a growing shift in public opinion about whether marijuana should be legalized, even in the South, with as unlikely a proponent as Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson arguing that particular drug shouldn’t be treated any differently than alcohol. Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico and erstwhile GOP presidential candidate now seeking the Libertarian Party’s 2012 nomination, has called for legalizing and regulating marijuana, citing the ineffectiveness and costliness of enforcing the ban.
People in favor of keeping the current law argue that marijuana can be a “gateway drug” that leads users to experiment with harder, more harmful substances. Georgia’s legislators haven’t gone as far as legalizing pot, but this year they did pass an overhaul of the state’s criminal code that calls for people in possession of small amounts of the drug to face alternatives to jail time.
Marijuana Legalization Support
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, April, 19th 2012 by THCFinder
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