Debate Magazine

At 4:20, 4/20, Rally to Legalize Marijuana at the State Capitol

Posted on the 21 April 2015 by Doggone
It is time to follow the example of Colorado and other states, in being progressive about marijuana the way we have been progressive about the minimum wage and gay marriage. Marijuana is NOT a 'gateway drug'; that is obsolete thinking, as science has shown us that both tobacco and alcohol have greater roles in leading to subsequent heavy use of drugs, and stronger drugs.
In that context, there was a rally at the Minnesota Capitol to push for full legalization, not just limited medical marijuana legalization which goes into effect in July of this year.

We need to further explore the potential to control the component ingredients of marijuana, and we need to address the racial disparity in arrests. I would argue that we would all benefit from releasing prisoners in our corrections system who are non-violent criminals with only marijuana possession convictions. African American and Hispanics are disproportionately arrested while it is affluent white people who are in fact the biggest users of marijuana (and other drugs).
More than 100 million people have used marijuana at least once; our total population of 321,000,000; making users of pot as slightly less than 1/3 of the population.
People of color are 11 arrested for marijuana use or possession ELEVEN TIMES more often than white people, in spite of the fact that they actually represent a smaller percentage of users of pot.  The graph below is from the NORML blog, reflecting federally gathered statistics:
Racial / Ethnic breakdown of only American adults who have used cannabis

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