Ending the war on drugs is extremely important. People who suffer from addiction should have their problem treated as a medical issue instead of as a criminal one. Nearly one third of all people in jails and prisons are nonviolent drug offenders, who only made a choice to affect their own bodies. More than half of those incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses was for the use or possession of marijuana. Legalization of marijuana would eliminate 1/6 of jail residency. Then we could shift the focus and resources to treating addiction. With the freed up resources, we can help rehabilitate those who suffer from addiction. Then our neighbors once afflicted by addiction can rejoin society and help contribute to their communities once again.
Legalization of Marijuana
It is my belief that marijuana should not only be legal for medicinal purposes, but it should also be legal for recreational use. Obviously, I believe that similar restrictions like impaired driving and age limits should be in effect. It is time for the stigma of marijuana use to fall to the wayside.
Ending the Drug War on marijuana will take away the cash flow crop from the cartels in Mexico. In turn, we will see a decrease in violence at the border. Legalization also has the potential to create thousands of jobs in the United States. This will improve the economy drastically. The money being spent will no longer be spent underground in a violent black market. Instead, the sale of marijuana products will be treated no differently than the sale of alcohol.
Drug Users Are Not Criminals
Most drug users are not criminals. They are people who unfortunately started using a substance that is addictive and harmful. One thing we need to look at is rehabilitation for people who want to break the cycle and become whole again. We spend approximately $33,000 per year to just lock someone up for engaging in drug use. This takes care of a temporary symptom but does nothing to cure the disease. Putting peaceful individuals in prison for drug can only make their life worse.
Once these people are released from jail, their criminal record makes it much harder to become a productive member of society again. When you have drug charges on your record, it is difficult, at best, to find gainful employment. We should focus on helping those afflicted by addiction with the money normally spent on incarceration. The current system we have ruins lives of otherwise peaceful individuals. All Americans have the desire to improve their quality of life. Let’s better use our resources to help those who are struggling with addiction, instead of locking someone up in a cage. We can offer hope of a real future to those who want to break away from the bonds of addiction. Let’s treat our struggling neighbors like humans instead of like a stain on society.