Day 49 – Decriminalizing Marijuana

Though the War on Cannabis—a subset of the notorious War on Drugs—has proven fruitless and wasteful, it still costs U.S. taxpayers about $3.6 billion, according to the ACLU. Between 2001 and 2010, there were over 8 million pot arrests in the U.S. with Blacks 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession. Download their full report.

There were over 663,000 cannabis arrests in America in 2018, accounting for 43 percent of all drug arrests that year. The overwhelming majority of those arrests—89.6 percent—were for possession alone. An estimated 40,000 people today are incarcerated for marijuana offenses even as: the overall legal cannabis industry is booming; one state after another is legalizing; and cannabis companies are making healthy profits. Forbes

Wiki: The medical use of cannabis is legalized (with a doctor’s recommendation) in 33 states while the recreational use of cannabis is legalized in 11 of those states. Although the use of cannabis remains federally illegal, some of its derivative compounds have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for prescription use. Check out the timeline for Cannabis laws in the U.S.

Marijuana laws are changing at a rapid pace across all 50 states, making things a bit confusing at times. In order to keep up with the ever-changing laws, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has provided an interactive map for information on legalization, medical use, recreational use, and anything in between. Another handy state-by-state map can be found at

Benzinga: According to a 2019 CBS poll, 65% of Americans now support legalization. Through advocacy, education, and common sense policy suggestions, these nonprofit organizations fight for the rights of every American negatively impacted by prohibition:

The Hill: The U.S. government is backing a World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation to remove marijuana from the most restrictive global drug scheduling category. The House was scheduled to vote in September on removing cannabis from list of controlled substances. However, the Bill was recently postponed until after the Election.

If you’re wondering where marijuana stands in the 2020 election—specifically, where presidential candidates stand on legalization and decriminalization, and what measures are on the ballot in which states, check out this article. For a guide to pending marijuana policy reform legislation throughout the U.S., visit the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) website.

After reviewing the listed non-profits, my clear favorite was the Last Prisoner Project.