Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Murderers, Rapists, and uhhh Marijuana Users?

There are 69 million individuals over the age of 12 that are criminals in this country. They didn’t commit murder, or fraud, or rape, or even steal. So what did they do? Well they used marijuana. According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse this is the figure for Americans that have tried weed. Over 10 million Americans had taken the drug within the last month before the survey.

As a result of the "war on drugs" introduced by President George H. W. Bush in the 1980s the U.S. has jailed over 500, 000 non-violent “criminals.” While the U.S. possesses only 5% of the worlds population , the U.S. feeds, houses, and is ultimately responsible for 25% of the worlds prisoners.

The criminalization and illegality of marijuana is a major contributing factor in the overcrowding of our prisons. Marijuana offenders do not deserve to be lumped in with dangerous and violent criminals as result of their refusal to abide by antiquated laws similar to those introduced during the prohibition of alcohol. If marijuana users suffer from an addiction, which is something the government defines as a disease. Then why are their punitive damages associated with using marijuana? Many times users are sentenced to rehab and jail time, or just jail time. We don’t give other sick people jail time do we? Could it be that the idea that marijuana should be illegal stems from the idea that its use is immoral? Much like drinking is viewed by many religious sects?

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