Colorado marijuana amendment not the end of drug war
Though both Colorado and Washington passed legislation Tuesday to legalize recreational use of marijuana, the battle to decriminalize the drugs use has not ended. Many Colorado citizens cheered as official results were announced, but their merriment will be short-lived, as the federal ban on the substance has not changed.
Though the legislation is not the end of the war against marijuana, the continued effort to change state laws is still a step in the right direction for those in favor of decriminalization.
Regardless of ones views toward marijuana whether it is a horrible drug or a recreational party favor the legality of the drug is a completely different issue.
The U.S. spends an abundance of money and resources fighting marijuana use that, in the end, just ends up incarcerating mostly young minority males. Between 1996 and 2010, there were more than 10 million arrests for possession of marijuana, according to drugwarfacts.org, and that number does not include arrests for trafficking or selling.
According to CBS News, though drug use among blacks and whites is the same, three of four people incarcerated for drug possession are black.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws said legislation, like that passed in Colorado, would save the $10 billion in taxpayer money every year that is used to enforce marijuana laws.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, marijuana is still a Schedule I Controlled Substance meaning it has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use in treatment along with drugs such as LSD, heroin and ecstacy. The classification has not changed since it was created in 1973.
In 2007, only 288,000 people reportedly received medical treatment for marijuana use, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, while more than 775,000 people
were arrested for possession that year. While both the rehab and imprisonment scenarios use public resources, one comes with care and treatment while the other comes with a metal cell and a criminal record.
Drug use will undoubtedly be a subject of much debate for years to come. But the way marijuana legalization is viewed needs to change: high minority incarceration rates must not be ignored when considering the issue.
Though legalizing marijuana may not be in Americas best interests, the severity of the crime needs to be reevaluated so that the U.S. can better work toward racial equality, incarcerate less Americans and allow law enforcement to spend time and resources on more important issues.
Robert Scime is a senior majoring in mass communications.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- Quinton Flowers wins AAC Offensive Player of the Year
- BOT formally approves Genshaft bonus
- Top 10 moments of the fall semester
- Netflix: No Wi-Fi needed
- USF Health Services sees spike in clients as exams near
- USF System President Genshaft up for performance-based stipend
- USF students reflect on fall semester
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Three Simple Swaps for a Healthier Lunch
- Epilepsy Awareness Day 2016 Largest Turnout Ever
- Give the Gift of Connectivity, Without the Stress
- New Cancer Treatment Continues to Progress By Filing for...
- How Many Years Does it Take to Become a Doctor of...
- Many Working Mothers Can't Afford Their Health Insurance...
- A Date with Destiny: Video Games Teach Kids Life Lessons
- The Magic Number for Millennials: $51,000
- A New Read on Literacy: The 3 Keys to Building Lifelong...
- Celebra una fiesta de Posadas inolvidable para tu familia...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- PEPSICO AND 21ST CENTURY FOX ANNOUNCE "THE SEARCH FOR HIDDEN FIGURES"
- The Most Popular Entry-Level Jobs and Companies for College Graduates
- National Meningitis Association Urges Students to take Pledge2Prevent
- American Cancer Society and CVS Health Foundation Award Grants to Help 20 Colleges and Universities Go Tobacco-Free in Largest Initiative of Its Kind
- BPU Offers Sentiment Analysis Free to Universities