January 28, 2013

Time to Decriminalize Marijuana

Marijuana small
Marijuana small (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to the FBI, more people in the U.S. were arrested for the possession of marijuana than for violent offenses during 2011. Given that violent offenses are less common than marijuana possession, this information is not terribly surprising. However, I cannot help but think that it reflects a problem with our law enforcement priorities and the manner in which law enforcement resources are being allocated.

The possession of marijuana should not be a criminal offense. Public support for decriminalization has reached record levels, and it has been clear to most of us for some time that our law enforcement resources would be better utilized elsewhere. Our nation has far more pressing problems with which to contend than marijuana.

I have heard some opponents of decriminalization say that it would send the wrong message to our children. I'm not sure how losing a "war on drugs" and harming countless people in the process sends a better one. I have also heard opponents say that marijuana and other drugs are harmful because they prevent people from dealing effectively with reality. Perhaps, but couldn't the same point could be made about religion?

H/T to Think Progress