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Can the legalization of marijuana and hemp in the United States help to counter the effects of today's down-turned economy? Is there any reason to believe that the decriminalization of the drug and it's commercial counterpart could have a positive effect on our nation and our nations current situation?
If studies are correct and 1 in 3 people have or are currently smoking marijuana why not make it a profitable situation for the country rather than let it continue to drain the country and it's resources?
We spend more to track down the plants, lock up the casual user, storm through the fields and national parks, engage law enforcement in tracking down small time dealers and court time to prosecute what appears to be (if statistics are correct) 1/3 of the population of the United States.
It doesn't make sense!
There have been over eight million marijuana related arrests in the United States since 1993. Marijuana users have been arrested at the rate of 1 every 40 seconds. Approximately 88% of all marijuana related arrests are for simple possession, not growing, cultivation, manufacturing or distribution.
As President Jimmy Carter acknowledged: "Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use."
More than 700,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges last year, and more than 5 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses in the past decade. Almost 90 percent of these arrests are for simple possession, not trafficking, distribution or sale.
Let me rephrase that for you - approximately 4,500,000 Americans are currently in jail for possession of marijuana.
This is a major misapplication of valuable law enforcement resources that should be focused on serious and violent crime.
Let's just look at the monetary costs for a moment.
If the average DEA or Narcotics officers salary is $60,000.00 how much of a savings could quickly be realized simply be reassigning them to tracking down terrorist cells in our country or finding street gangs and larger more organised violent crime families and removing them from society?
Would you rather feel safe from the pot smoking junk-food devouring guy down the street that is threatening to eat all the Ho-Ho's in 7-11 or the dirt-bag hoods in the neighborhood who want to break in and steal everything in your house so they can get better guns and cars with deep tints and loud audio systems?
Click here to read Part II of this article: Don't alcohol and tobacco use already cause enough damage to society?
Click here to read Part III of this article: What about industrial hemp and the value it could add to our economic situation?
Click here to read Part IV of this article: The Economic Case for Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana
Click here to read Part V of this article: The cost of the war against marijuana - the devil weed
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