According to a recent report by the American Civil Liberties Union and Humans Rights Watch, at least 137,000 men and women sit in jail for simple drug charges on any given day. A lot of these “criminals” sit in local jails because they cannot afford to post bail. Last year, law enforcement agencies made approximately 574,641 arrests for small drug quantities that were intended for personal use. For marijuana arrests, that’s 13.6% more than the 505,681 arrests that were made for violent crimes such as assault, rape, and murder.
Wait, what? Does anyone else think that logic is flawed? That says to me that there are more murderers and rapists on the streets than marijuana users. Even if you don’t smoke marijuana, would you rather have a neighbor who commits violent crimes in the area or a neighbor that decides to smoke a little weed here and there in the confines of their own home? It seems like a no-brainer to me.
Whether you like it or not, the rate of support for marijuana legalization is on the rise. According to a report done by the Pew Research Center, 57% of U.S. adults believe that marijuana should be legalized as opposed to 37% and this trend should continue to increase. I think that Americans are starting to realize that going after medical and recreational marijuana users is just not worth the time and effort anymore when there are bigger problems at hand.
Over the years, more and more states are legalizing medical marijuana as well as starting to decriminalize small amounts of the substance. It’s not like if it becomes legal Americans are going to become the Pablo Escobar of marijuana sales. It’s small quantities that are being decriminalized. If you legalize it, then the government can regulate marijuana consumption, tax it, collect revenue, and create jobs. I feel like that’s a politician’s dream right there. “An idea that the government can regulate and create more jobs from it.”
It’s 2016. It’s time to wake up and use our heads. Let’s trade the small marijuana users in jail for the violent criminals on the streets. I’ll make that trade every day of the week.