Jump to content

Same Old Song And Dance.


Recommended Posts

US NJ: Edu: OPED: Same Song And Dance

 

facebook.gif stumble.gif diggit.gif reddit.gif delicious.gif

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v12/n489/a01.html

Newshawk: Herb

Votes: 0

Pubdate: Mon, 01 Oct 2012

Source: Daily Targum (Rutgers, NJ Edu)

Copyright: 2012 Daily Targum

Contact: oped@dailytargum.com

Website: http://www.dailytargum.com/

Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/715

Author: Joe Amditis

 

 

SAME SONG AND DANCE

 

Swimming Upstream

 

I found myself engaged in several conversations this week concerning the "War on Drugs" and the residual effects it has on various aspects of our society, and I discovered that many of the people I spoke with had very little -- if any -- knowledge about the subject. Even worse, those who actually had something to contribute to the discussion often seemed to simply regurgitate wildly inaccurate and dangerously propagandistic "facts" that I suspect they picked up from scattered mainstream news broadcasts or their child's DARE pamphlets from the 1990s. In order to prevent the continued spread of these misunderstandings and to keep them from being propagated throughout the population during a crucial election year, I decided to do some research to find out the truth about the impact of the "War on Drugs."

 

One of the most common statements I have heard when discussing the prohibition of drugs -- specifically marijuana -- usually goes something along the lines of, "Yes, I guess pot should be decriminalized and, at most, it should be regulated like alcohol. But really, in the grand scheme of things, it's just pot. Who cares?"

 

As it turns out, a lot of people care. Furthermore, it's not just the pizza delivery drivers and the garage-rock jam bands that are affected.

 

For example, there are currently about 557,700 medical marijuana patients who are hassled on a daily basis for taking the prescribed medication, yet they are treated as criminals instead of sick people who need care. The taxpayers of the United States also have quite a stake in the legality of marijuana. Taxpayers shell out millions of dollars in taxes every year in order to fund the massive-scale marijuana-related police operations in support of the ongoing prohibition. New Jersey spends about $183 million, New York spends $654 million, North Carolina spends $120 million, and Texas spends about $330 million every single year just to fund state-level prohibition efforts.

 

Sounds like a lot of money, right? Not to mention those are just some of the figures at the state level. Those same U.S. taxpayers will likely be surprised to find out that the federal government spends an additional $10 billion on marijuana-related activity every year, which amounts to roughly 72.5 percent of the $13.8 billion the federal government spends annually on all prohibition enforcement activity.

 

Money isn't everything though, right? That may be true, and in that case, consider this: Millions of people are incarcerated for marijuana-related charges ( an overwhelming majority of whom are non-violent offenders with mere possession charges ). Those numbers add up. Roughly 1,885,044 people in California, 371,831 in Colorado and 1,136,891 in Indiana are all facing time behind bars right now. That adds up to more than three million people in those four states alone and, while money may not be everything, consider that it costs an average of $31,286 a year to house each inmate at state prisons.

 

Lastly, there have been more than 47,515 people killed in the last five years alone because of Mexican drug cartel violence. The cartels are able to exploit the high-stakes market for drugs prohibition has created across the U.S. border.

 

The risk of getting caught and being sent to jail creates an artificial inflation of the price of drugs. This increases the amount of risk involved in smuggling, distribution and use, thereby increasing the price and the lengths the cartels will go to make sure they make a profit. If marijuana is legal, there is no risk and therefore, no reason to charge such a high price, which results in less violence.

 

On the bright side, however, the legal regulation of marijuana is projected to bring an estimated $9.5 billion in revenue from both the taxation on regulated sales, and the agricultural and industrial benefits of marijuana ( not to mention the money that will be saved through the reduction in prohibition-related expenditures ).

 

The point is that there is a serious deficit of knowledge today surrounding the actual costs and consequences of marijuana prohibition. Spreading the truth about the effects of marijuana prohibition is the first step toward fixing a problem that effects more people than you may realize.

 

 

 

 

Joseph Amditis is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in criminal justice and political science with minors in psychology and criminology.

MAP posted-by: Matt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lastly, there have been more than 47,515 people killed in the last five years alone because of Mexican drug cartel violence. The cartels are able to exploit the high-stakes market for drugs prohibition has created across the U.S. border.

 

 

The point is that there is a serious deficit of knowledge today surrounding the actual costs and consequences of marijuana prohibition. Spreading the truth about the effects of marijuana prohibition is the first step toward fixing a problem that effects more people than you may realize.

 

 

 

Time to change that tune, GB ! Just tell 'em to hold the Cheddar .

 

Something should be said of these priorities here I think. Maybee we could do a survey?

Seriously we have legal cannabis, whats more important Legalization or 47,515 * human beings? hmmm that's a tuffy ...

 

ps an update on that bogus * count here:

August 22, 2012

Mexico: 95,632 homicides in five years

The National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) has released figures on overwhelming insecurity in Mexico: 27 199** homicides were recorded in 2011, a rate of 24 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

 

LeMonde

That's 75 / day 365 **, anybody here remember Vietnam ?

Edited by solabeirtan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...