Why We Have to Support Prop 19

History & Politics

This is not a ploy to get folks to make weed legal for my personal use. This is, rather, a plea to make marijuana legal so we can keep less black men out of jail.

Census data showcases that although blacks make up only 12% of the U.S. population, we make up almost 50% of the prison population – and 20% of that number are behind bars for non-violent crimes. State data analyses in California show that blacks are four times ┬ámore likely to be arrested for marijuana violations than their white counterparts, and the number imprisoned far outweigh the number entering four-year colleges or universities.

With this many of our men locked away on petty crimes such as marijuna possession, it’s a wonder the community has thrived in any capacity. Furthermore a blind eye is turned on all the illicit drug use that happens behind prison walls which, in turn, create ex-convicts (should they be released) to enter society with a greater desire to feed their addiction. That desire is enough to make drug consumption greater and also lead to user to experiment with a variety of drugs.

The fact is marijuana has been shown to have medicinal properties when consumed within reason, and with the government taxing it you can best believe that with its legalization will come a set of rules. As much as Californians might dream of a hippy-esque world where we are all toking up on the way to work, that won’t happen. Marijuana will most likely be treated in the same way as alcohol: not safe for work, high priced, and for those 21 and over. The ease of purchasing it will lesson the business of small-time dope dealers and narrow its access to minors. Furthermore, men and women who smoke occasionally won’t have the fear of getting arrested should the police pull them over with a nickel bag on their person.

Let’s support this initiative as it keeps law enforcement focused on the crimes that really matter – and keeps more of us from behind bars.

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