On January 1, Colorado became the first state in the nation to legalize the retail sale of marijuana for recreational use. Maybe this is why the voters turned their back on at least this aspect of the War on Drugs:
In 2012, “there was a pot-related arrest every 42 seconds,” according to US News & World Report. About 750,000 were arrested for simple possession. Most arrested for simple possession are never convicted, which means the police and the justice system waste billions per year arresting and prosecuting people who juries tend not to convict. Still, the incarceration of those who ARE convicted for pot offenses costs taxpayers over $1 billion per year. The majority of those incarcerated for pot possession are black or Latino, despite the fact that whites are arrested for the same crime at the same rate.
Pot arrests ruin lives, don’t prevent people from using marijuana, and persecute people for partaking of a centuries’ old activity that’s arguably no more dangerous than smoking or drinking. In addition, just like Prohibition did with booze, the War on Drugs creates a black market that promotes and enriches organized crime. The only winners in Richard Nixon’s counterproductive “war on drugs” are the criminals and the prison-industrial complex.
If you want to know more about the hidden causes, motives and ramifications of America’s “war on drugs,” Netflix the film “The House I Live In,” by Eugene Jarecki. Here’s the trailer: