Not Hot for Pot

The Story

Enthusiasm for legalizing marijuana is growing across New York State, though it’s uncertain whether such a measure will be passed as part of this year’s budget. Delaying legalization would be a good thing. Despite decades of propaganda suggesting that marijuana is a harmless, non-addictive substance that can create a fat new revenue stream for state governments, the facts about pot paint a less rosy picture.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Violence: Violent criminals are, overwhelmingly, users of marijuana, and regular pot use is associated with a stronger likelihood to use cocaine. Read more.

  2. Legal: Despite widespread claims of racial bias in marijuana enforcement, New York does not disproportionately target nonwhites, and almost no one is in jail for simple possession. Read more.

  3. Revenue: Tax receipts from legal pot have fallen short in some jurisdictions, as higher prices have fostered the untaxed black market. Read more.

“Social justice is a big cover. The only way they can sell it is with social justice. But if there is more pot on the streets, it’ll set us back.”

New Jersey State Senator Ronald Rice

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

The Myth of Criminal-Justice Racism By Heather Mac Donald (October 22, 2015)

“Drug enforcement is not the driving factor in the prison system, violent crime is. Even during the most rapid period of prison growth from 1980 to 1990, increased sentences for violent crime played a larger role than drug sentences in the incarceration build up.”

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