Hosted By: Nate Mannier
Co-host/Producer: Merle Cox
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 58:40 — 54.9MB)
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Welcome to our sixth PODCAST! In this episode we have a guest who will talk about the legalization of marijuana. List to Nate and Merle discuss this and so much more!
Please join us as we bring you today’s politics from an “Average Joe’s” perspective.
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2 states have already legalized recreational marijuana – Colorado and Washington State.
20 states have legalized medical marijuana – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State, Washing D.C.
STATE: Possession / Sale / Transporting / Cultivation – D=decriminalized / I=illegal / M=misdemeanor
Ohio D I I I
NY D M I M
In 2001 Portugal became the 1st European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.
- Jail time was replaced with the off of therapy
- Incarceration is more expensive than treatment
- People found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, a social worker, and a legal advisor for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment)
Does it work?
In the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.
“Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success,” says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. “It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does.”
Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10% compared to people in America over the age of 12 coming in at 39.8%.
Additionally, 5 years later drug overdoses dropped from around 400 to 290 annually, and the number of new HIV cases caused by using dirty needles to inject drugs plummeted from almost 1,400 in 2000 to about 400 in 2006. (according to a report released by the Cato Institute (Libertarian think tank)
Financially in the U.S.
In the U.S. we spend more than $51,000,000,000 (billion) annually on the ware on drugs.
2012 there were 1.5 million people arrested for nonviolent drug charges.
- About 14 million Whites and 2.6 million African Americans report using an illicit drug
- 5 times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites
- African Americans represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those in state prison for a drug offense.
- African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months). (Sentencing Project)
Effects of Incarceration
- Jail reduces work time of young people over the next decade by 25-30 percent when compared with arrested youths who were not incarcerated
- Jails and prisons are recognized as settings where society’s infectious diseases are highly concentrated
- Prison has not been proven as a rehabilitation for behavior, as two-thirds of prisoners will reoffend