Dear President Obama:It is time for American’s, as a nation, to have a mature discussion in regards to our failed drug policies, in particular with Marijuana. These policies have torn apart families and communities by imprisoning segments of our society, primarily males, many for minor drug offences. By taking a more enlightened and common sense approach to America’s War on Drugs we can raise revenue, create jobs, and rebuild communities, one family at a time.
The past 40 years have proven that drug sentencing guidelines of imprisonment as a means to stop and prevent the illegal drug trade has not worked. Instead of rehabilitation, as a nation we come in 1st with the highest number of our citizenry being incarcerated because of these sentencing guidelines and drug policies. We currently have 2.5 million people in prison along with 5 million on probation. This is not only extremely costly in regards to budget deficits, but has lead to the disenfranchisement of many members of our communities who, once having served their time, can’t find jobs or vote.Additionally, as a business model, the drug trade is following the basic law of supply and demand. Because of this failed policy, we have become a nation of addicts, hooked on much more dangerous and lethal drugs such as meth, opiates, and heroin. Such drugs are finding their way to our borders with the blood of thousands of innocent women, children, and men on our hands. Not only on our own soil but more importantly those of our neighbors to the south, victims not just in Mexico, but Central and South America as well.
The benefits of correcting our policy will be:
1. Take away the incentive for profit and violence from criminal elements and put much needed revenue back into local, state, and federal coffers to the tune of 45-100 billion dollars.
2. It will lower the prison population thereby saving some states as much as $45k to $60k per year per inmate.
3. Those funds can instead be used to construct rehab centers for those inmates and others with difficult to treat dependencies for as little as $7000 per month.
4. This in turn will create more jobs in construction, medical, clerical, and facility maintenance.
5. It will be regulated like alcohol with age restrictions, THC levels, and penalties for abuse. And many studies have shown that Marijuana is far safer than alcohol.*
History tends to repeat itself when we don’t learn from our moments of ignorance as in the case of Prohibition in the 20’s. Our failed Marijuana drug policy is one of those moments that can’t wait for another decade of broken families, communities, and diplomatic relations with our neighbors to the south and around the globe.
So are you with me on this common sense solution to our drug problems? If you legalize the smoke you have my vote!