How marijuana legalization benefits the criminal justice system
Cannabis users and enthusiasts only ever want to focus on the medicinal and recreational benefits of the plant, which is excellent, but there is more to understand about marijuana.
For example, you cannot separate marijuana use from the political decision-making process, including legalization and the criminal justice system. These government issues are fundamental as they affect how we all use cannabis.
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If the government in your state is hostile to cannabis use by putting in place policies that restrict your access to this super plant, you will be frustrated. So always pay close attention to what is going on in the law and government regarding cannabis.
PoLitics and cannabis
During the 2020 election campaign season, candidates had to share their thoughts on reforming marijuana policy. For candidates like Bernie Sanders, he believed that marijuana laws should include its legalization. He also promised to eradicate all marijuana-related beliefs, which made families of imprisoned families happier.
Other political candidates like Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren approve of Sanders and support the Marijuana Justice Act.
The law provides for the removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, removing all convictions related to marijuana. The law also prevents federal funds from being sent to states that enforce cannabis in a discriminatory manner.
Current President Joe Biden does not support this idea of full legalization of cannabis at the federal level. He claims that states should legalize. Some experts argue that his reluctance is to see marijuana as a way to get drugs. But over the years Biden’s claim about cannabis has been proven false. While he appeared to be embracing the idea of full cannabis legalization ahead of the elections, recent developments in terms of the laid-off workforce raises the question of where he really stands. One thing is certain, however, there are more and more political figures getting on the legalization train and they are pushing to make it happen.
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Research has exposed much of the negative propaganda about cannabis. Marijuana has already been proven to be beneficial to our criminal justice system, and the Marijuana Justice Act is good policy for America.
Link between cannabis and the criminal justice system
The background to the American President’s views on cannabis puts the challenge in perspective. Marijuana is helpful to many people because of its medicinal properties, so more and more people are looking for it.
Cannabis enthusiasts advocate that marijuana should be legalized at the federal level so that people can have easier access. However, the federal government believes that such a move will result in people abusing marijuana in society.
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However, when people are not given legal access to marijuana, they are only encouraged to get cannabis illegally, especially in states where it is not allowed. This process is more damaging to the justice system because if caught they will be locked up.
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The government has continued to give marijuana a rotten name by associating it with a surge in crime. They allege that criminals use marijuana as a drug with other substances such as alcohol to continue violence and crime. Anyone caught with marijuana in states where it is not legal will be sent to jail!
The more people are incarcerated, the more taxpayers’ money the country spends on the criminal justice system. When these people are released from prison and unable to reintegrate into society because of their “criminal record”, they become a threat to society.
First, let’s set out the facts: marijuana is not causing the country’s drug use crisis, nor is it linked to an increase in violence and crime rates. Marijuana is also not linked to an overdose risk or contributing to the opioid epidemic that has ravaged America.
Legalize marijuana and educate people (especially in minority groups like black and latino areas). Once marijuana is legalized, the government can put in place the regulatory tools to curb its abuse. When abuse is curtailed, people will use marijuana responsibly, reducing or eliminating the number of people jailed for illegal marijuana possession.
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America’s famous “war on drugs” is a war on marijuana because the majority of arrests were for pot offenses. The system does not do it justice as a larger percentage of those detained and affected are color communities. The targeted fight against colored people for “drug crimes” simply because they possess marijuana must be stopped for an effective criminal justice system.
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There is also an alternative that depends on stopping the waste of resources through ineffective strategies that do not help the justice system. Instead of the government spending money on enforcing these so-called “marijuana laws” and convicting “marijuana criminals,” funds should be allocated to more effective prevention and rehabilitation programs.
Banning marijuana is NOT the solution: it’s expensive, ineffective, and wreaking havoc on the criminal justice system. States are better able to regulate and educate minority communities about the proper use of marijuana.
The immense benefits and incredible potential of cannabis are enough to convince anyone to go down the right path. But when American leaders and politicians use marijuana to get political points, the criminal justice system suffers.
Despite attempts to sabotage marijuana, its demand has increased, meaning that legalization has significant potential for increasing tax returns. A portion of the tax revenue from cannabis can be used for correctional facilities, drug rehabilitation, and crime prevention centers / programs.
The ban on marijuana damages the legitimacy and credibility of the criminal justice system. Such bans are undemocratic, racially discriminatory, costly, ineffective and an obvious waste of resources. The resources wasted on the ban will be better used when they go into criminal justice reforms.
Reforms should focus on legalizing marijuana in all states as this move will reduce street crime and reduce the financial burden as the judicial system will not be legalized.
Some policy makers fear that marijuana use will harm the population, but if marijuana isn’t legalized it will do more harm because people will try to get it through illegal means. Let the Marijuana Justice Act flourish in America: it’s good policy that is valuable to the criminal justice system.
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and was republished with permission.