Pubdate: Thu, 21 Jul 2016
Source: Chico News & Review, The (CA)
Copyright: 2016 Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: William Todd-Mancillas


One of the benefits of ending the bankrupt war on marijuana would be 
making money available for truly needed programs.

Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on investigating, 
arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating marijuana "criminals," we 
could instead upgrade infrastructure (roads, bridges, buildings), 
further beautify parks and beaches, support sustainable energy 
research, hire more teachers, reduce tuition, award scholarships, 
more effectively steward natural resources, safeguard retirement 
portfolios, improve and expand drug abuse rehabilitation services, 
increase medical research, award grants to the arts, museums and 
other nonprofits, subsidize Medicare for All, etc.

Those presently employed in occupations dependent upon the drug 
wars-DEA and allied agencies, for-profit prison staffs, prison 
guards, probation and parole personnel-would take financial hits 
until alternative employment became available. However, that would be 
a good problem to have.

We incarcerate more and a higher percentage of citizenry than any 
other country, nearly 2.2 million. Moreover, a hugely 
disproportionate percentage of California's prisoners are black or 
Hispanic, an injustice requiring extensive remedy. As with all wars, 
ending this one would be triumphant.

William Todd-Mancillas

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