Sunday, May 31, 2015

The ACLU Supports Legalizing Marijuana

ACLU - American Civil Liberties Union Logo

The criminal act of possessing marijuana leads to more arrests in America than all violent crimes combined. Blacks are 4 times more likely to be arrested than whites for marijuana possession. White and black people consume marijuana at an equal rate. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) advocates for influencing public policy and defending citizens against unequal liberties. The prohibition of marijuana has resulted in a disparity of arrests and liberties against American citizens.

In 2013 the ACLU released a report called “Marijuana in Black and White”. The report shows that blacks in some regions of the United States are arrested up to fifteen times more than whites. The report also focused on the amount of money wasted on the arrests. A survey found that 9 out of 10 people believe that minor possession of marijuana should not face any jail time.

It is estimated that marijuana arrests cost the taxpayers ten billion dollars annually. In 2010 the minor marijuana possession arrests in New York City alone were $75 million. On an individual level a conviction can lead to a lost job, suspended license and ineligibility for public assistance.

The ACLU supports the legalization of medical marijuana including regulation and taxation. ACLU advocates for legislation like Colorado and Washington to decriminalize marijuana. They support citizens who pose no danger to public safety.


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