New York, NY: The criminalization of cannabis is an abject failure and should be ended as a federal public policy, according to the findings of a new report issued by the National Lawyers Guild.
States the report: "[E]nding the prohibition of cannabis would offer multiple benefits. Legalization would help transform the marijuana industry ... into a stable regulated one. It would significantly reduce infringements on civil liberties and lower the arrest and incarceration rates of people of color. Changing the criminal status of marijuana would lower the costs of law enforcement and protect people from entering the criminal justice system. Finally, legalization would remove restrictions currently impeding [the] study of medical marijuana and allow more users to acquire treatment if necessary. Each of these goals is consistent with sound economic, criminal justice, and public health policies."
The report's authors recommend reclassifying cannabis from its present Schedule I illicit classification, revisiting the United State's involvement in international drug control treaties, and ending the practice of civil asset forfeiture by law enforcement agencies. They also call for the passage of additional statewide legislative and initiative efforts depenalizing marijuana use and possession.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the report, "High Crimes: Strategies to Further Marijuana Legalization Initiatives," appears online at: http://www.nlg.org.