Decriminalizing Marijuana in Massachusetts
Marijuana, also known as “weed” or “pot” is one of the most used drugs in the United States today. Marijuana involves all age’s majority being ages 13 and older. Weed typically looks like brownish/greenish dried up leaves which can be rolled up into a joint or a cigarette. And even though weed might look harmless, it has become a serious altercation. Our campaign deals with the decriminalization of marijuana in Massachusetts, which removes the user of marijuana from the criminal justice system. By decriminalizing marijuana it will save the state a lot of money, would help the overcrowding issue in Massachusetts jails, and help regulate the drug so that minors can not get it.
Implementing this policy is crucial because it costs a lot of money to enforce the prohibition of marijuana in which it was estimated that taxpayers pay about $10 billion annually in result of arresting over 829,000 people per year. This is way more arrests than murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault combined. And because of this it has led to an overcrowding of jails. Since more and more jails are becoming overcrowded, what are they supposed to do with criminals who commit more serious crimes? They cannot just let them walk away because there is not enough room for them. Something has to be done. By implementing that marijuana should be decriminalized, overcrowding of jails will drastically decrease and we will have more space for criminals who commit higher offenses which is the way a jail should operate. By decriminalizing weed, we could also help out our economy and bring it back on its feet. Taxing marijuana would be one of the many ways we could bring our economy back. Some people will argue that marijuana users, teenagers and adults, will not want to pay a tax on marijuana if it becomes legalized. But in reality we already have a tax on cigarettes and cigarettes users still find a way to buy their cigarettes when they need it. The same would go for marijuana. If people really wanted to smoke marijuana they will pay the extra tax. When this policy becomes implemented, it will become a part of federal jurisdiction. It would not be fair if only certain states were legal and others were not. This policy has to be fair game for everyone. Marijuana is almost nearly harmless compared to heroin, cocaine, or alcohol so why do we even put people in jail for such petty things? We as a society are paying for them to be in jail. According to Goon “It costs approximately $62.05 to house a state or federal prisoner for one day. The annual cost of incarcerating one inmate is over $22,000 and rising. The prison budget is $8.2 billion, and an additional $2 billion to $4 billion is needed to "build out" the overcrowding problem. This is more money than the state spends on higher education” ( Why would you want to pay extra for someone who only smokes weed? That is more money that we could be using to fix our economy. And even though marijuana is a gateway drug, no one in their right mind could ever stop someone from using it. In fact, according to NORML, “More than 14 million Americans smoke regularly, regardless of the laws” ( People will do what they want whenever they want. Even so, the majority of the U.S has or is still experimenting with weed so why can’t it just be legal? Thousands of people die each year due to alcohol related incidences and hundreds of thousands of deaths are related to smoking tobacco. There has yet to be a case involving overdosing of marijuana and there is no possible way you could die from smoking marijuana. Many laws regarding marijuana use, their penalties and such were created decades and even centuries ago. Times have changed over the years and laws need to accommodate the ever changing lives of Americans. By legalizing marijuana, society and marijuana users will stop becoming the victims. Society is greatly affected by the way the police and jails...
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