- The use of cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, even though a large majority of Americans are in favor of legalization.
- Cannabis prohibition has failed in its stated goals and resulted in the loss of valuable resources at the federal, state, and local levels.
- Cannabis prohibition has served as a cover for our government to wage war on our fellow Americans, resulting in mass incarceration and political alienation.
- We will pardon all individuals who have been charged with non-violent offenses related to cannabis and expunge their records.
- We will work to end the prohibition of cannabis and fully legalize it.
- We will reschedule cannabis to remove it from the DEA list of scheduled drugs and substances.
- We will sign an executive order barring all federal agencies, particularly the Department of Justice, from pursuing any cases for crimes related to cannabis possession, use, or distribution.
- We will renegotiate international treaties to facilitate the international and domestic legalization of cannabis.
Despite polls showing that two-thirds of Americans support cannabis legalization, America’s federal government continues to promote cannabis prohibition, classifying cannabis as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, alongside heroin. The prohibition of cannabis not only disregards the will of the majority of Americans, it also results in unnecessary and inhumane enforcement practices and mass incarceration. Annually an average of 820,000 people are arrested for the victimless, nonviolent crime of cannabis possession, with a disproportionate number of arrestees being people of color.
Over 300 economists, three of whom are Nobel Laureates, have signed a petition urging the federal government and all state governments to legalize cannabis, in light of the substantial economic and social costs of cannabis prohibition. According to analysis by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, the U.S. government spends approximately $7.7 Billion in taxpayer dollars annually on enforcing cannabis prohibition. Additionally, being incarcerated has been shown to reduce an individual’s rate of wage growth by approximately 30% over their lifetime, making it more difficult to attain gainful employment and reintegrate into society. Legally defending a single marijuana arrest in the justice system costs between $2,000 and $20,000 in taxpayer dollars.
By federally legalizing cannabis, our government can stop wasting billions of dollars on a failed, impractical policy. Recent cannabis legalization efforts across the country have shown the viability and extensive benefits of legalization. If done correctly, cannabis legalization can generate billions of dollars in tax revenue and economic growth, making America a global leader in the medical and recreational cannabis industries.
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