Many families are still feeling the effects of the downtrodden economy. Despite the stock market’s recent gains many communities are still forced to tighten their proverbial belt. Even the government can’t escape the reality that money is tight, and with the States’ current haphazard spending habits communities may have to tighten their belt a few more notches.
There are many places our States could cut cost, but there is one egregious expenditure that stands out. The cost of enforcing laws dictating the use of marijuana is astronomical.
In 2010 it is estimated that States spent a staggering 3.6 billion dollars cracking down on marijuana possession, and that is on the low side of estimations. Upper fences gauge the real expense as high as 6 billion.
What’s worse is the amount of taxpayer money used in these cases will continue to climb. Each arrest for marijuana possession costs the state in which the arrest took place around 750$. Then it costs a little under 100$ a day to keep the offender in jail. Finally, the straw that threatens to break the camel’s back, every community spends two dollars a day on supervision of possible users. Added all up, over the next six years marijuana related expenses will cost an approximated 20 billion- per state That’s over 1 Trillion dollars over the course of the next 6 years!
To think this costly endeavor of preventing marijuana could turn into a lucrative bread winner for governments and the governed alike. Legalization of marijuana would provide ample opportunities to generate revenue for struggling neighborhoods and fiscal budgets, but alas this potential force of good is being used for the opposite of uplifting communities. It is forcing certain portions of the populace down.
Apparently “justice” isn’t as blind as we thought. A new study by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) apply named “The War On Marijuana IN Black and White” finds that nationwide blacks are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than their white counter parts. In some states it’s even more extreme. In Iowa a black person is EIGHT times more likely to be arrested in a marijuana related charge, the highest in the nation.
Communities have been under so much pressure of late. The last thing people need is State governments bleeding them dry to enforce a set of archaic laws, or worse yet, practicing racial discrimination.
The obvious solution of legalization won’t eliminate racism, but it will lessen its destructive hold on our legal system. If marijuana were to be made legal all that money spent in reckless pursuit would be where it rightfully belongs, in your wallet.