Marijuana Decriminalization is Long Overdue
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Marijuana Decriminalization is Long Overdue
Posted by CN Staff on July 22, 2018 at 05:43:53 PT
By Jeffrey Miron and Sietse Goffard
Source: Hill
USA -- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill late last month to decriminalize marijuana nationally. It’s high time that happened. Ending the federal prohibition on marijuana — and the disastrous War on Drugs more broadly — is decades overdue.As of today, nine states — Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Nevada, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts — have legalized marijuana for recreational use. As Congress debates decriminalization, it’s worth asking: How are those states faring?
Frankly, just fine. Critics often argue that liberalizing marijuana spurs drug or alcohol use, increases crime, diminishes traffic safety, harms public health and lowers teen educational achievement. However, a growing body of research concludes that none of those outcomes have materialized in states where marijuana is now legal.In a recent paper, co-authored jointly with Angela Dills, we find that legalization in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska had only a slight impact on marijuana use overall and no discernible impact on other outcomes such as traffic accidents, public health and violent crime rates — a far cry from marijuana opponents’ dire depictions.In contrast to the idea that legal marijuana may be driving the current opioid addiction crisis, we find preliminary evidence in another study that legalization may actually be associated with reduced teen usage of heroin and cocaine. While each of those four legalizations occurred recently (meaning before-and-after comparisons are limited), the available data consistently suggest that states have had enjoyed positive outcomes after liberalizing marijuana. Other studies find a similar relationship between states with medical marijuana and lower opioid prescribing.Nevertheless, federal decriminalization of marijuana is necessary to clear up legal uncertainties and give states greater freedom in regulating the substance, without fear of reprisal from the government.Individual states have liberalized marijuana in various ways over the past few decades, yet conflicts have often arisen between federal and state law enforcement agencies working under different legal regimes. Decriminalization would obviate the need for legal run-ins, and it would give states greater autonomy in safely regulating (and taxing) the substance.More importantly, marijuana decriminalization would free up federal law enforcement resources to fight crime that’s actually pernicious, and it would help bring an end to the colossal racial injustices that pervade drug policing.Absurdly, police arrest more people for marijuana violations in the U.S. than for all violent crimes combined. An ACLU study found that between 2001 and 2010, police made over 7 million arrests for marijuana-related activity — one apprehension every 37 seconds.During this same period, blacks were four times more likely than whites to be apprehended despite almost equivalent use rates.Those in favor of marijuana prohibition may like to think that such widespread drug policing is necessary because it primarily targets and catches drug smugglers and traffickers. This could not be further from the truth.Data from the Drug Policy Alliance reveal that 89 percent of arrested individuals are charged with possessing small amounts (usually no more than a few grams) of the substance.Make no mistake: The longer our federal policies continue to criminalize marijuana, the longer our nation continues to suffer from excessive, costly and disproportionate federal prosecution against petty marijuana possession.Regrettably, many members of the Trump administration are deeply hostile toward sensible marijuana policy reform. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has expressed a particularly flawed understanding of the drug and its effects.He has repeatedly made inaccurate assertions that legalization causes greater use of opioids and that law enforcement is seeing “real violence” due to higher marijuana use.In January, Sessions announced the reversal of Obama-era policies shielding states with legal marijuana from federal prosecution, citing the need to reduce violent crime, fight the nation’s drug overdose crisis and weaken criminal organizations.Ironically, this policy reversal threatens to worsen these very outcomes, needlessly strain law enforcement resources and cause confusion in states where legal marijuana has already generated hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue.But as our elected officials debate decriminalization, we urge them to look past this fear-mongering and focus on data-driven evidence about marijuana. The facts so far are clear: State marijuana legalizations and medicalizations have had little-to-no impact on marijuana use, other drug abuse, alcohol consumption, violent crime and traffic accidents.Meanwhile, our nation continues to suffer from excessive and racially unjust marijuana policing. Reforming our outdated drug laws is long overdue.Jeffrey Miron is director of economic studies at the Cato Institute and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University. Sietse Goffard is a researcher at the Department of Economics at Harvard University.Source: Hill, The (US DC)Author: Jeffrey Miron and Sietse GoffardPublished: July 20, 2018Copyright: 2018 The HillContact: editor thehill.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on August 19, 2018 at 10:07:36 PT
Yes, Talking, not Sensationalized Propaganda 
Talking About Cannabis.
By Michelle Ruby, Brantford Expositor on August 18, 2018.
Education is key as the public gets ready for the legalization of marijuana on Oct. 17, say the members of a panel at a forum held this week in Brantford.– Read the entire article at Brantford Expositor. Shows Cannabis Users Are Safe Drivers.
By	Dana Larsen	on	April 25, 2017
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on August 17, 2018 at 20:52:07 PT
Don't Just Decriminalize. Remove Cannabis from CSA
God smiled and said it is "very good." 70,524 views|Aug 16, 2018,1:20 pm.
DEA Wants More Marijuana Grown And Fewer Opioids Produced In 2019. Really.
Tom Angell, Contributor.
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on July 22, 2018 at 15:54:00 PT
Decriminalization only?
You have to be kidding!But hey, I found out the USA is a colony of the UK and was NEVER 'independent'!It's all a joke! Soon global warming and Yellowstone will kick our collective a**es and then it's game over for us stupid greedy humans!Here's a quick summary:» The Bar attorneys in the United States owe their allegiance and pledge their oaths to the Crown. All Bar Associations throughout the world are signatories and franchises to the International Bar Association located at the Inns of Court of the Crown Temple.
» The Inner Temple holds the legal system franchise by license that bleeds Canada and Great Britain white, while the Middle Temple has license to steal from America.
To have the Declaration of Independence recognised internationally, Middle Templar King George III agreed in the Treaty of Paris of 1783 to establish the legal Crown entity of the incorporated United States, referred to internally as the Crown Temple States (Colonies). States spelled with a capital letter ‘S,’ denotes a legal entity of the Crown.
» At least five Templar Bar Attorneys under solemn oath to the Crown, signed the American Declaration of Independence. This means that both parties were agents of the Crown. There is no lawful effect when a party signs as both the first and second parties.
The Declaration was simply an internal memo circulating among private members of the Crown. Most Americans believe that they own their own land, but they have merely purchased real estate by contract.
Upon fulfillment of the contract, control of the land is transferred by Warranty Deed. The Warranty Deed is only a ‘color of title.’ Color of Title is a semblance or appearance of title, but not title in fact or in law. The Warranty Deed cannot stand against the Land Patent.
» The Crown was granted Land Patents in North America by the King of England. Colonials rebelled at the usurious Crown taxes, and thus the Declaration of Independence was created to pacify the populace.
» Another method used to hoodwink natural persons is enfranchisement. Those cards in your wallet bearing your name spelled in all capital letters means that you have been enfranchised and have the status of a corporation.
A ‘juristic personality’ has been created, and you have entered into multi-variant agreements that place you in an equity relationship with the Crown.
» These invisible contracts include: birth certificates, citizenship records, employment agreements, driver’s licenses and bank accounts. etc. etc. etc.You have been duped and will forever be fleeced as a servant of the Crown, i.e. the UK or the Queen of England!End of story!
We Are All Enslaved!
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on July 22, 2018 at 08:45:43 PT
Well, well, this is just what we have been ADVOCATING FOR DECADES… cannabis prohibition is STUPID, and counterproductive. More importantly it wastes time, money, and resources on an activity that is not harmful and in many cases (in terms of medical cannabis) can be extremely helpful. After several years of observation, “things are fine” in the legal states. People haven’t gone crazy. Business is good. Hasn’t it been proven by now that cannabis is not the “boogey man” prohibitionist claimed it was? It is past time for nationwide cannabis relegalization. Let every adult reclaim their right to grow their own, or buy from a convenient retail outlet. 
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