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Should Marijuana Be Decriminalized?

Delaware has become the 18th state to decriminalize marijuana. Should the Federal Government follow suit?

a full 92% of writers and pundits say yes
see all 13 opinions below

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Should Marijuana Be Decriminalized?  

Writers and pundits who say or about the topic, "Should Marijuana Be Decriminalized?"
last 24 hours | fool
Here's Why Marijuana Probably Won't Be Legalized by the Federal Government ... - Motley Fool
"...Yet, in spite of this momentum, marijuana being legalized nationally looks to be far from a reality.The simple reason marijuana won't be legalized nationally anytime soon"Why?" you wonder? Look no further than the upcoming presidential election, where candidates have begun to weigh in with largely apathetic or negative commentary toward the currently illicit drug.Among the one dozen serious (early) contenders for president of the United States from either party, just one -- Rand Paul -- can be implied as being in favor of legalizing marijuana, or at least decriminalizing the drug. While Paul hasn't exactly given marijuana any ringing endorsements, he firmly believes that the federal government should stay out of the states' choice of whether or not to legalize marijuana. ..." see full article

1286 days ago | csmonitor
Why more states are considering marijuana legalization - Christian Science Monitor
"...The economic argument, in particular, has been a potent one. It is estimated that a taxed and regulated marijuana industry could reel in approximately $10 billion for the government in upcoming years, VICE News noted. "You're starting to see not just liberal Democrats, but also some very conservative Republicans recognize [prohibition] doesn't make sense, including sort of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party," Obama said."They see the money and how costly it is to incarcerate. So, we may actually be able to make some progress on the decriminalization side."But it's not just the potential financial gains that have made lawmakers reconsider prohibitions on marijuana consumption. While many states still strongly oppose the decriminalization and legalization of its use, public opinion seems to be moving in the opposite direction...." see full article

1296 days ago | alternet
Why Decriminalization of Marijuana Isn't the Endgame When It Comes to Drug ... - AlterNet
"...Decriminalization might overthrow decades-long problems of prohibition. But it hardly acknowledges the centuries-long history of racism and elitism that has helped sustain marijuana use, and the biased responses to it.What can be done? Society should explicitly link causes of marijuana use to the consequences of decriminalization. Decriminalized marijuana markets generate tax revenues. Some of this money should be spent to challenge institutional racism, by improving mental and physical health services in poorer neighborhoods and training police to avoid racial bias.Marijuana is joining alcohol, tobacco and various prescription drugs as legal means for people to cope with the difficult realities of daily life. Right now, society has a brief opportunity to address meaningfully the social problems marijuana represents, and shouldn't let this opportunity slip away...." see full article

1297 days ago | nytimes
State Marijuana Laws Complicate Federal Job Recruitment - New York Times

"...Another State Department official, who joined the diplomatic corps a few years ago, said he had decided to grow a few marijuana plants in his backyard. He had tried to grow his own in college, but his landlord spotted the plants and quickly halted the project, saying it was illegal.Now, the official owns his home here in Washington, where it is legal to grow up to six plants. If discovered, he said, he would claim that the plants belonged to his wife, who does not work for the government.But he was not eager to test that excuse. He asked not to be identified, and added: I don't think I'm going to be having my boss over for a cookout. Mr. Obama, who wrote in his 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father, that he had frequently used drugs during his youth, is not alone. Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, two Republicans who hope to become president, have admitted they smoked marijuana in the past...." see full article

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1298 days ago | thinkprogress
The Surprising Environmental Reason Weed Should Be Legal - ThinkProgress
"...Legalizing the cannabis industry would give states the ability to track these things and understand how they are affecting the overall environmental picture, West said. According to West, the industry is independently looking for ways to improve its environmental impact, particularly with energy issues. In Colorado, for instance, where marijuana cultivation happens almost entirely indoors using grow lamps, growers have worked with the local electricity company to improve energy efficiency of greenhouses. An organization called Greening Corporate Cannabis focuses on reducing the carbon footprint of marijuana growers, which is also a significant issue. In California, for example, indoor marijuana accounts for 9 percent of residential electricity consumption. It would be a better situation all around if, in places where sun growing is possible, that was an option, West said...." see full article

1301 days ago | baltimoresun
As states loosen marijuana laws, veterans still face obstacles to therapeutic ... - Baltimore Sun
"..."If proven it could help sick or disabled veterans, then the feds should consider it," said Joe Davis, a spokesman for Veterans of Foreign Wars. "More research needs to be done."But there have been recent efforts in Congress to open the way for VA doctors to prescribe marijuana. Last month, a Senate committee adopted an amendment to a funding bill that would undo the 2011 rules and allow VA physicians to make recommendations in line with state law. Supporters in the House of Representatives have pushed for a similar measure.Michael Collins of the Drug Policy Alliance said veterans should be treated the same as any other resident of a state where marijuana is allowed for medical reasons...." see full article

1306 days ago | freep
Potholes loom on road to legal marijuana - Detroit Free Press
"...You don't need a crystal ball to understand that champions of legalized pot have achieved critical momentum. State governments are too desperate for revenue, and recreational users too rich a potential source of it, for prohibitionists to hold the line much longer.Absent the discovery of some previously undisclosed health hazard, marijuana is virtually certain to become more widely available, and its users more rarely the targets of criminal prosecution, in the decade ahead.But prohibitionists still have plenty of ways to register their disapproval of the way the issue is playing out. And until conflicts between state and federal law are resolved once and for all, they'll likely make marijuana users pay a price for their newly won privileges...." see full article

1309 days ago | thenation
You Cant Fix Broken Windows, So End It Now

"...Yes, body cameras, inspector generals, and better training may help change the tenor of policing. And in New York City, the gradual decriminalization of marijuana possession and the diminished use of stop-and-frisk are having an impact. But after a year of public scrutiny over policing's excess in black neighborhoods, what's required now is a more fundamental break with the past.Instead, the most prominent defender of broken windows, NYPD Chief Bill Bratton, has descended into absurdity. Recently, he complained that he can't hire more blacks as cops because so many of them have spent time in jail. At the same time, he steadfastly defended the very policy that created this inequity. This circular logic cannot be squared by incremental reform. The politics will be tough, but it is time our leaders acknowledge broken windows as an immoral, ineffective, and racist idea and toss it into the dustbin of history...." see full article

1310 days ago | communitynewspapers
"...The usual arrest for possession costs $1,000 and provides the involved party with a criminal record, and a fine for a similar case would only cost $100, which is comparably a slap on the wrist. Though some full legalization advocates are against this measure, due to its existence as a waste of taxpayer money and a slippery slope of loopholes for police exploitation.On a positive note, this change in policy could save a great many deal of people from an unjust criminal record, both for medical purveyors and recreational users alike.In my mind, this is a good move for that community that allows for a deeper sense of freedom but also opens the door for legal uses of the substance. Without the higher risk for criminal charges, medical users can breathe easier when they walk around with their small amount to aid their conditions. New breeds of medical marijuana could surface and help those with pre-existing conditions handle their lives a bit better, which is a plus...." see full article

1322 days ago | huffingtonpost
Reform New York: Untangling the Future of Marijuana Policy in the Empire State

"...Speakers at the event include these elected officials in Albany leading the charge for reform: Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, sponsor and champion of the medical marijuana law and proposals to expand it; Senator Daniel Squadron, and Assemblyman Robert Rodriquez, the sponsors of the Fairness and Equity Act, a robust human rights and racial justice bill that would decriminalize marijuana; and Senator Liz Krueger, sponsor of Marijuana Regulate and Tax Act -- a bill that would end prohibition in New York.All around the country and around the world, people are recognizing the failure of marijuana prohibition and enacting sensible reforms. It's time for New York to leave behind the broken mess of our existing policies and help lead the movement for reform...." see full article

1324 days ago | host.madison
Decriminalize, don't legalize marijuana 
"...Decriminalize marijuana. Get the kids out of detention, get everyone else out of jail and prison and you will save money. Some look at legalizing marijuana as a way to get tax revenue. That's just greed and not very smart.If you want to do something, decriminalize. But do not legalize...." see full article

1325 days ago | stevenspointjournal
Stevens Point should decriminalize marijuana possession
"...We live in a free society, and as long as we are not harming others, we should be able to decide whether or not we use marijuana. We are already able to do this with alcohol and tobacco, substances that have been linked to many more health problems and deaths than marijuana. If anything, marijuana has been proven to be beneficial to the health of many people, as it is already a prescribed medication in 23 states and Washington, D.C.What we propose is a new ordinance in Stevens Point that mirrors Milwaukee's. Possession of 25 grams of marijuana or fewer should lead to a forfeiture of $50, with subsequent possessions of the same amount resulting in the same forfeiture, with none of the above resulting in a felony...." see full article

1329 days ago | guardianlv
Marijuana Legalization May Get Boost, DEA Backs Off
"...However, states that have legalized marijuana for use by residents would say otherwise. Not only have researchers worked to prove that the drug has medical benefits, they also have well reaped the monetary benefits. States that have legalized sales of the drug are bringing in millions in tax dollars. D.C. is the only place that has legalized that does not see this reward, as they only legalized the personal growing and intake of weed, but did not set up their own dispensaries, or legalize public sales.This measure will give a boost to the marijuana industry and to the fight for legalization, as with the DEA backing off of criminalizing those who use the drug, states may see that even some government organizations believe there is no harm in it. Though the recent statements made about the DEA alone are not enough to persuade states to go through with legalization, the recent move by a committee of the Senate may also help in the matter. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill last week that would allow doctors to prescribe and recommend use, medically, without repercussions...." see full article

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