Wednesday, October 31, 2012

FBI: Someone is Arrested for Pot every 42 Seconds

By the time you finish read this post, about four people would have been arrested for a marijuana-related crime. A study from the FBI found someone is arrested every 42 seconds for crimes related to cannabis.

Most of those arrests, or about 87 percent, are for possession reports. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a pro-legalization group made up of former law enforcement officers, are using the study as proof that the decades-long war against drugs is a quagmire. They claim there were about 1.5 million drug arrests in 2011, or one arrest every 21 seconds.

Neill Franklin, a former narcotics officer and the current head of LEAP said, "Even excluding the costs involved for later trying and then imprisoning these people, taxpayers are spending between one and a half to three billion dollars a year just on the police and court time involved in making these arrests.

"That’s a lot of money to spend for a practice that four decades of unsuccessful policies have proved does nothing to reduce the consumption of drugs. Three states have measures on the ballot that would take the first step in ending this failed war by legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana. I hope they take this opportunity to guide the nation to a more sensible approach to drug use.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Marijuana Majority

Conor Friedersdorf, a writer for The Atlantic, penned an article about the growing acceptance of marijuana and the growing call for reforming drug laws that are falling on the deaf ears of politicians

Citing the legalization referendums in Washington state, Colorado and Oregon as well as two additional states voting on allowing medical cannabis, the article ("The End of Laughing at Marijuana Reformers") also notes that according to a Gallup poll a majority of Americans support legalization for the first time.

Most telling of all are supports who come from literally every political stripe and background. Comedian and Daily Show host Jon Stewart, actors Morgan Freeman and David Duchovny are on board for legalization, but so are ultraconservative pundits Glenn Beck and Bill O'Rielly, televangelist Pat Robertson and David Koch, the money man behind many Republican candidates.

Though the political process is accepted to be slow when it comes to change, there continues to be no movement in at least acknowledging marijuana reform — even with all the support it has from liberals and conservatives. The article poses a puzzling question in that while Bill Clinton admitted to smoking but not inhaling, and Barak Obama admits to smoking and inhaling, both have so far continued the "war on drugs."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I-502 Assumes Tokers will Consume '2 Grams Per Use' (Head Scratch), Has Ramifications for Revenue Projections

Washington state NPR affiliate KPLU took note of a sharp-eyed observation from a Reddit user that the consumption assumption in the Washington Voter's Guide for Initiative 502, which would legalize pot, pegs it at two grams per use.

To put that in perspective, the user commented that the amount I-502 is assuming per smoking session would amount to "Cheech and Chong sized monster joints."

However, casual users report smoking about a quarter to half a gram per session in a pipe with joints coming in at about .7 grams. Though some users claim to use as much as 1.5 grams per session, they added it was rare and they were not functional.

Individuals using two grams a day would probably be serious medical users with grave health conditions, the article noted.

The overestimation of use has a serious impact on the revenue projections of I-502. The assumption of two grams per use versus the reality of most users reporting a quarter to an eighth of that assumption means the actual taxes the initiative will bring in (if it's voted into law) will be much less than expected.