Legalization of Marijuana Essay

2932 Words Dec 4th, 2013 12 Pages
Marijuana Legalization in the United States

Elisha Havraniak

Ottawa University

LAS 30012 Writing and Critical Thinking in the Liberal Arts

October 11, 2013

Marijuana Legalization in the United States Marijuana has had a long history as an illicit drug, but is quickly becoming a mainstream issue. Some people use marijuana to ease their pain and treat their illnesses. Many others use it because of it mood-altering effects. Laws have been passed to regulate both of these uses of the drug. Those who advocate legalization favor easing or overturning laws against the possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes, medical use, or both. In
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Key findings in this study by King and Mauer include:
Of the 450,000 increase in drug arrests during the period 1990–2002, 82% of the growth was for marijuana, and 79% was for marijuana possession alone;
Marijuana arrests increased by 113% between 1990 and 2002, while overall arrests decreased by 3%;
New York City experienced an 882% growth in marijuana arrests, including an increase of 2461% for possession offenses;
African Americans are disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests, representing 14% of marijuana users in the general population, but 30% of arrests;
One-third of persons convicted for a marijuana felony in state court are sentenced to prison;
One in four persons in prison for a marijuana offense – an estimated 6,600 persons – can be classified as a low-level offender;
An estimated $4 billion is spent annually on the arrest, prosecution and incarceration of marijuana offenders. (King and Mauer, 2006). The statistics grow even more startling when reviewing the costs of the above mentioned statistics. The growth of marijuana arrests results in substantial costs for law enforcement. Since 1991, the domestic law enforcement component of the federal drug control budget has increased from $4.6 billion (or 42% of the federal drug control budget) to $9.5 billion (or 51% of the federal drug control budget) in

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