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.