Friday, March 22, 2013

Go Home, Drug War, You're Drunk!

Read the story: NYPD Spent 1 Million Hours Making 440,000 Marijuana Possession Arrests Over Last Decade
"We cannot afford to continue arresting tens of thousands of youth every year for low-level marijuana possession,” Alfredo Carrasquillo, a civil rights organizer with the activist group VOCAL-NY, said in a release. “We can't afford it in terms of the negative effect it has on the future prospects of our youth and we can't afford in terms of police hours."
It's bad enough that the United States alone has already squandered over a TRILLION dollars fighting The War on Drugs; now we get a glimpse of all of the time that is wasted on it as well.

Just think of all of the other things that could have been properly addressed with this kind of precious time and tax-payer money!
  • Schools
  • Health Care
  • Elder Care
  • Veteran Support
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Mental Illness Support
  • Substance Abuse Rehabilitation
  • The Environment & Green Jobs
  • Homelessness and Affordable Housing
  • Infrastructure
  • Fraud
Law Enforcement Officers could be solving exponentially more homicides, assaults and cases of child abuse and paedophilia.  Instead of building and staffing more jails we could be funding laboratories and skilled workers that process crime scene evidence and expedite the processing of sexual assault forensic exam kits. (Something that is obviously lost on the likes of Ol' Sheriff Joe!*)

We must evaluate where our priorities lie as citizens of our communities and as members of the Human Race.  Ask yourself where *you* want your hard earned taxes to go.  Where do *you* want police to focus their attention?  "Herbal" offenses?  Or on actual crimes that really do hurt us all?

Visit the updated website for the NORML Women's Alliance of Canada and get involved!

Along with the NORML Women's Alliance of Canada, there are many, many organizations working to reform and change our drug policy laws.  Check them out today!

Marijuana Majority

*Sheriff Joe! ~ Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office spent so much time and money seeking out non-violent people that he prompted an internal investigation which discovered at least 32 reported child molestations in which the sheriff's office failed to follow through, even though suspects were known in all but six cases.  El Mirage, a community near Phoenix, alleged there were many cases in which sheriff's investigators wrote no follow-up reports, collected no additional forensic evidence and made no effort after the initial crime report was taken.  Arpaio's office eventually reopened more than 400 of its sex-crime cases countywide after finding they were inadequately investigated or not examined at all. Read about this tragedy here at THINKPROGRESS: Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Failed To Investigate Over 400 Sex Crimes, Including Molestations Of Undocumented Children

Additional Info

Count the Costs - 50 Years of the War on Drugs

Unless present policy is redirected, we will perpetuate the same problems, tolerate the same social costs, and find ourselves as we do now, no further along the road to a more rational legal and social approach than we were in 1914. - "Drug Use in America: Problem in Perspective", issued 40 years ago today. (March 22 1973 - March 22, 2013) From "Shafer Commission Report on Marijuana and Drugs, Issued 40 Years Ago Today, Was Ahead of its Time"
by Eric E. Sterling.  Please read this, it is an amazing article! 

"Ironically, these policy failures are often cited by law enforcement as a justification for continuing current policies. Just as the costs of enforcing marijuana laws are cited as a cost of drug abuse rather than public policy, these social problems are misrepresented to the public as evidence that marijuana use requires criminal sanctions rather than regulation. Policy failures brought about by this lack of effective controls is not a valid justification of current policies. The statistical data cited in this report on the supply, availability, use, price, and value of marijuana demonstrate that the amount of lost taxes and other fiscal costs of current policy are increasing and proliferating over time."
From Lost Taxes and Other Costs of Marijuana Laws by Jon Gettman - Read the full report of the tremendous annual cost of marijuana prohibition in the October 2007 issue of the Bulletin of Cannabis Reform

14 Reasons Why Marijuana is Good for the Economy (HuffPo Slideshow, scroll down the page)

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