Texas and the US government should immediately repeal the prohibition against marijuana. To do so would promote justice and fairness. Texas wrongly harms its people and promotes injustice by continuing to arrest and prosecute people over marijuana.
Millions of People Have Been Hurt
Roughly 60,000 people’s lives every year are needlessly and callously marred by being arrested for marijuana in Texas. More than 500,000 people are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the USA. These injustices have a color line, too. Black people are arrested at a much higher rate than white people, despite similar usage rates. None of this is fair or right.
Consequences from criminal convictions can be far reaching, well beyond paying one’s “debt to society”. Collateral consequences of a marijuana possession charge can have a massive negative effect upon a person for a LIFETIME. Baby steps toward legalization simply don’t make sense. Full-on legalization and regulation are the only sensible choice. Piecemeal, incremental decriminalization are wasteful, unnecessary, and an abdication of decision making.
We Have Nothing To Fear
Eleven of the 50 states in the United States have fully legalized marijuana use, no matter the reason for use. Fear of some plague or bedlam as a result of legalization simply haven’t come to fruition. Thirty-four (!) states allow marijuana for medical use, and the sky hasn’t fallen there because of it, either. Six states have marijuana initiatives on the ballot Nov. 3.
Obviously, most states currently accept that marijuana has medicinal use. However, the US government official policy falsely defines marijuana as a “Schedule 1” drug, which means it has “no currently accepted medical use” and a “high potential for abuse”. *
Marijuana addiction issues are relatively mild and are not reasonably compared to “hard-core” drugs. Alcohol is actually more addictive, and more than 40 million Americans are alcoholics. Alcohol’s negative effects are horrifically devastating to life, health, and the overall economy, and it’s legal in every state.
Our neighbors get it. Canada legalized it. Mexico will soon legalize it.
Policy Could Be Changed Soon
Hope for decriminalization here finally exists. Candidate for Vice President, Kamala Harris, recently declared it would happen on a federal level, if the Joe Biden – Kamala Harris ticket wins next month.
Public policy, especially criminal policy, must be based upon reason and facts. If not, we won’t have any semblance of justice. We aren’t doing that in Texas about marijuana, nor is the US government. Our policies are instead based upon long-held false assumptions and hysteria.
Public policy should also reflect the will of the governed. The confidence of the public in the rule of law depends upon rational application of the values of the people. Government and its officials earn resentment and contempt when they try to rule over people, rather than govern.
We Almost All Want A Change
Roughly 2/3 of Americans favor legalization. Almost 95% favor allowing marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Large percentages of Texans across the political support decriminalization of possessing (and using, of course) marijuana and for medical use of marijuana. Democrats in Texas are already sold on the idea, and it’s explicit in their platform. The Texas Republican Party voted by more than an 80% majority to include in its 2018 platform 1) decriminalization of marijuana; 2) to increase medical use of marijuana; and 3) to have Congress declassify it as a Schedule 1 drug. Even the once adamantly anti-marijuana governer, Greg Abbott, has indicated he would sign a decriminalization bill.
No Excuses Are Acceptable
We already have more than enough data available from other states to know legalizing marijuana not only makes sense, it makes many dollars for state coffers, reduces waste of law enforcement resources on non-violent activity, and it’s just good for people. Harming people’s lives for no good reason and without the consent of the governed is reprehensible. The time is overwhelmingly and obviously ripe to change our archaic laws criminalizing possession and use of marijuana.
Few people still need to be convinced it’s the right thing to do. No excuse is good enough to justify failure to legalize marijuana NOW. Texas legislators must make this bi-partisan, overwhelmingly popular change made in 2021.