The marijuana ban now costs $ 53 billion each year
There are many reasons why we should end the ban. Perhaps ending the marijuana ban, along with better access for those who need it, will greatly benefit the economy.
A shocking report posted on AmericanMarijuana.org found that we as a country lose $ 53 billion every year to prohibiting cannabis. The main reason it sends money down the drain is because the government is instead spending money on cannabis enforcement as well as wasted tax revenue.
That sizeable amount could do many important things for the population: treat the flu, fund treatment for COVID-19 patients, get health insurance for over 42 million Americans, buy a pack of alcohol disinfectant for every American, and much more.
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Otherwise, why do we need to end the marijuana ban as soon as possible?
In the first place it doesn’t work.
What more can you say about the ban other than that it is a BIG time? So many Americans already use cannabis that it is considered mainstream. The ban means nothing more than using up public funds like the police, which end up wasting time arresting cannabis offenders. And speaking of perpetrators, the law sends millions of Americans to jail for countless lives. Even then, a conviction will seriously affect a person’s ability to find work, housing, food aid, student loans, drivers’ licenses, and more. All for what A drug that has been shown to save lives.
The ban does the opposite: it ruins lives and even encourages violence. Just look at how the alcohol ban caused violence, especially due to the underground market that ended up thriving. Consumers and retailers are vulnerable to attack when they cannot resolve disputes properly.
What is the government doing?
President Biden’s changed attitude towards the legalization of cannabis is now well known. He has been adamant about drugs in the past, but during his 2020 Democratic Party platform he said they would “decriminalize marijuana use and reschedule it through federal executive action. It would support the legalization of medical marijuana and believed that states should be able to make their own decisions about recreational use. “
With the Democrats in control of the White House and Congress, it is expected that Congress will take the issue of cannabis legalization seriously soon. “Ending the federal marijuana ban is necessary to correct the wrongs of this failed war on drugs and end decades of damage inflicted on color communities across the country,” Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement last year February 2021.
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However, last month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to reveal whether Biden would sign or veto a bill that would legalize marijuana should it hit his desk. “The President supports letting states make decisions about legalization for recreational use, rescheduling cannabis as a List II drug so researchers can study its positive and negative effects, and at the federal level supports the decriminalization of marijuana use and the automatic expulsion of previous criminal records, ”said Psaki. “He also supports the legalization of medical marijuana, so he has his point of view on this.”
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“The war on drugs was too often a war against people, especially people with skin color,” said Schumer during a speech that day. “It doesn’t make sense – it’s time for change. I believe the time has come to end the federal marijuana ban in this country, and I’m working with Senators Booker and Wyden to do just that. “
Federal Drug Agency agrees
The director of the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), Nora Volkow, agrees. She recently wrote an essay for Health Affairs magazine advocating an end to the detention of people for low-level drug crime and instead viewing it all as a major health crisis. Although she does not openly say she supports decriminalization, she says in the essay that the current system only causes disproportionate arrests directed against people of color.
RELATED: Federal legalization of marijuana could mimic the end of the alcohol ban
More than the message, it’s important to note the source: NIDA has long been known for its stance of endorsing the ban. However, its director seems firmly convinced that substance abuse is not a crime.
“Drug use continues to be punished, although the punishment does not improve substance use disorders or related problems,” says Volkow. “Detention, whether for drug or other criminal offenses, actually leads to a much higher risk of overdose on release.”
“We’ve known for decades that addiction is a disease – a treatable brain disorder – not a character flaw or some form of social deviation,” she says. “Despite the overwhelming evidence to support this position, drug addiction continues to be criminalized. The US must now take a public health approach to drug addiction in the interests of population wellbeing and health equality. “
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Volkow’s statements suggest harm reduction, though Volkow doesn’t directly say lawmakers should decriminalize cannabis. She says more research “is urgently needed to determine the effectiveness and impact of public health-based alternatives to criminalization, ranging from drug courts and other diversion programs to measures to decriminalize drug possession.”
From there, NIDA will “double its focus on vulnerabilities and the progression of substance use and addiction in minority populations,” says Volkow. “We are exploring research partnerships with state and local authorities and private health systems to develop ways to remove systemic barriers to addiction care.”
With the government listening and Congress taking action with the support of the President, decriminalizing cannabis shouldn’t be such a far-fetched pipe dream. With $ 53 billion, decriminalization and ending the ban should be taken more seriously than it is now.
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and was republished with permission.