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The injustice of marijuana arrests can be measured in dollars, years, and lives, says Jesse Wegman at the New York Times. "Each year, enforcing laws on possession costs more than $3.6 billion, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. It can take a police officer many hours to arrest and book a suspect." And the benefit to public safety is meager: "According to a 2012 Human Rights Watch report that tracked 30,000 New Yorkers with no prior convictions when they were arrested for marijuana possession, 90 percent had no subsequent felony convictions."
What's the Big Idea?
The Times joined a growing chorus of federalists and anti-prohibitionists when its editorial board recently called for the federal government to defer to state law on the marijuana question. What may be most harmful about marijuana laws are how they are enforced disproportionately on minorities, particularly African-Americans. "Whites and blacks use marijuana at roughly the same rates; on average, however, blacks are 3.7 times more likely than whites to be arrested for possession, according to a comprehensive 2013 report by the A.C.L.U."
Read more at the New York Times
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