Decriminalizing Pot Will Reduce Prison Population, Have No Adverse Impact On Public Safety, Study Says

Medical Cannabis Club

A new study is out by the JFA Institute, a Washington DC criminal justice think tank.

“The report states, “[V]iolence that surrounds drug trafficking in the United States is largely absent” in Western European countries that have liberalized their drug possession policies. The authors further note that the decriminalization of drugs, particularly marijuana, in regions that have enacted such reforms has not been associated with an increase in crime rates.

The report speculates that decriminalizing illicit drugs, along with enacting modest reforms in sentencing and parole, would save taxpayers an estimated $20 billion per year and reduce the prison population from 1.5 million to below 700,000.”

It is still crazy to me that it is a crime for someone to smoke marijuana. Marijuana is no worse for people than tobacco or alcohol and yet for some reason the U.S. Government would rather let pot fuel organized crime than tax it and allow it to be sold at the corner liquor store.

Some of this may be due to the fact that older generations of voters who never experimented with marijuana and powerful alcohol and tobacco lobbies oppose decriminalization — but I’ve got to believe that at some point as aging voters continue to die off and are replaced in the AARP with baby boomers that the voters in this country will eventually realize that we’d be better off decriminalizing pot. The stigma with marijuana use/experimentation is going away. First Bill Clinton smoked it but didn’t inhale. Now Obama smoked it and actually did inhale.

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11 Comments

  1. Vandyll.net says:

    It’s even worse that many times, being busted with marijuana can get you more jail time than more serious crimes.

    It just seems like there is some archaic stigma attached to it scares so many of the older generations.

  2. The worst side effect of the demonization of pot is this: Once kids figure out the authority figures are lying about how dangerous pot is, they assume they’re lying about other drugs too.

    By the time they understand they were more-or-less told the truth about the evils of coke, crystal and heroin they’re already addicts.

  3. All I can say is, remember prohibition? Al Capone? The gangsters? All of that? Because the government banned alcohol. As soon as the 21st Amendment was passed and prohibition was repealed, all the gang violence that revolved around liquor started to die out, and the government found a new product they could tax to death.

    The same thing would happen today if they’d legalise marijuana. I have no interest in the stuff myself (though I wouldn’t mind trying it) but if you want to use it, you should be able to.

  4. I’d be cautious before applauding this report. According to Reuters, not normally considered a conservative news source, “[the report] was funded by the Rosenbaum Foundation and by financier and political activist George Soros’ Open Society Institute.”

    This means simply that there was an agenda behind the report. The information becomes suspect – as suspect as a report against Global Warming funded by Big Oil.

    Meanwhile, research on the medicinal properties of Marijuana goes forward around the world. Even today the internet is buzzing with the news that a compound in Marijuana has been found helpful to fight breast cancer. In time, the positive aspects of this plant will be harnessed and utilized safely without the dangerous side-effects of the current forms of usage. (Despite consensus here in the comments section, there are dangers to marijuana usage. I personally know people affected by the memory-loss problem from extended usage)

    ~Douglas
    The Splintered Mind – Overcoming Neurological Disabilities With Lots Of Humor And Attitude

  5. Biggest issue for me is in western countries where the gov. pays for the health care, they will need to start paying up for all the people who take up smoking weed and suffer healthwise and usage will def. rise if it is legal.

    This could potentially cost tax payers more as well as having an overall less healthier society.

    Why isn’t alcohol and tobacco illegal? It would be if they were “discovered” in recent decades, but tradition has gotten in the way. Tobacco is being more and more rejected by society, eventually I reckon it will be illegal because its negative effects are so visible – with alcohol its harder because its negative effects “wear off” to some extent so it isn’t seen as bad.

  6. Interesting points, Hitesh. I find it humorously ironic that while the pro-marijuana movement is picking up steam the anti-smoking movement is steamrolling forward across the US. The issues for decriminalizing marijuana may be moot by the time the anti-smokers get finished.

    Smoking as a vector of delivery is not really going to be supported going forward because of the health issues you menion. That’s why I feel that the future of medicinal usage of Marijuana lies within the pharmaceutical industry where they can extract the healing elements from marijuana.

    As for recreational usage, I don’t really believe that older generations are holding that up. Newer generations are against marijuana’s health risks as well.

    ~Douglas
    The Splintered Mind – Overcoming Neurological Disabilities With Lots Of Humor And Attitude

  7. draconian57 says:

    So wait a second, are you saying it’s OK to smoke marijuana. This is a drug, why legalize it?

  8. Bob says:

    I do not teach my children to emulate what Bill Clinton did/does. There are positive role models; he is not one.

    Your argument would be more persuasive without citing Clinton.

  9. Thomas Hawk says:

    Your argument would be more persuasive without citing Clinton.

    Bob my point in citing Clinton was not that he should be considered a role model, but to point out that probably for the first time acknowledging marijuana use was not a barrier to being elected to the U.S.’s highest office.

    This speaks to a cultural shift with voters regarding marijuana useage. Candidates are realizing that marijuana useage is not the deal killer that it used to be.

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  11. V.Robertson says:

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