Essay on The Problem Of Prison Overcrowding

1504 Words 7 Pages
Prison overcrowding has become a major problem in the United States. As per, Issues and Controversies, “The United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population, but holds 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.” Housing the growing prison population is putting a strain on the federal government’s budget, costing roughly $80 billion a year. Crime rates are down, but prison populations are a growing concern. In light of these facts, we need to explore ways of reducing crime that does not involve incarceration, but still protects society. Changing times require changing laws. Legalization of marijuana for personal use would be a major step in reducing arrest and incarceration. Twenty states have legalized medical marijuana and 4 states have legalized medical and recreational usage, as long as it is purchased at a state licensed facility. Prior to the legalization of marijuana, critics stated that the change is law would cause an increase in violent crime and escalating drug abuses. This clearly has not been the case. According to Marijuana Policy Project, the state of Colorado has seen a 90 percent decrease in marijuana possession charges, a 2.9 percent decrease in violent crime and a whopping tax revenue of 135 million dollars last year. The state is investing it’s windfall into programs to aid drug addiction and fund education. The State of Colorado is a prime example of the benefits that can come from legalizing marijuana in tax revenues and reduction of crime that does…

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