Marijuana law reform: “Eliminating penalties for low-level marijuana possession will prevent tens of thousands of people from becoming enmeshed in the criminal justice system in the first instance. Moreover, decriminalization will have the added effect of keeping people out of jail for probation and parole violations, and will eliminate the many collateral consequences that flow from marijuana arrests, thereby reducing the gross number of people entering or otherwise harmed by the criminal justice system.” -ACLU
” The prohibition of marijuana is an utter failure. The United States wastes billions of dollars enforcing marijuana laws even for low-level offenses, incarcerating and penalizing marijuana users, and denying seriously ill patients access to beneficial treatment. Prohibitionist laws have led to unprecedented levels of violence and corruption, while marijuana remains widely consumed and almost universally available to young people. Even as public opinion has shifted in favor of marijuana law reform,arrests for marijuana possession have swollen over the last decade, with disproportionate targeting of blacks and Latinos at the heart of that enforcement surge.” – Drug Policy Alliance
“In 1972, the US Congress placed marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act because they considered it to have “no accepted medical use.” Since then, 17 of 50 US states and DC have legalized the medical use of marijuana.
Proponents of medical marijuana argue that it can be a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, pain, glaucoma, epilepsy, and other conditions. They cite dozens of peer-reviewed studies, prominent medical organizations, major government reports, and the use of marijuana as medicine throughout world history.
Opponents of medical marijuana argue that it is too dangerous to use, lacks FDA-approval, and that various legal drugs make marijuana use unnecessary. They say marijuana is addictive, leads to harder drug use, interferes with fertility, impairs driving ability, and injures the lungs, immune system, and brain. They say that medical marijuana is a front for drug legalization and recreational use.” – ProCon.org on Medical Marijuana
- Marijuana Policy Project: http://www.mpp.org
- Why marijuana is illegal – top 7 reasons: http://civilliberty.about.com/od/drugpolicy/tp/Why-is-Marijuana-Illegal.htm
- The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws: http://www.norml.org
Drug law reform: The United States’ 40-year war on drugs has sent millions of people to prison for low-level offenses, contributing to the United States’ status as the world’s largest incarcerator and seriously eroded our civil liberties and civil rights while costing taxpayers billions of dollars a year.
- Backgrounder, international context: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_reform
- Drug Policy Alliance: http://www.drugpolicy.org
- Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii: http://www.dpfhi.org
- American Civil Liberties Union: http://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/drug-sentencing-and-penalties
- National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys: http://www.nacdl.org/criminal-defense/drug-law-reform/
- DrugSense: http://www.drugsense.org/cms/
- Criminal Justice Policy Foundation: http://www.cjpf.org/links/drug-policy-reform (good round up of national and international organizations)
- Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: Marijuana Policy Project: http://www.leap.cc
- Current penalties for marijuana in Hawaii: http://norml.org/laws/penalties/item/hawaii-penalties
- Text of the Federal Controlled Substances Act: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/legislation/ucm148726.htm