Libertarians: Yes to Marijuana Legalization – The time has come
July 30, 2014 – Atlanta GA: As marijuana (cannabis) continues to make headline news, Georgia Libertarians say it’s time to reform Georgia’s marijuana laws.
In July, Washington became the second state in the nation to legalize cannabis (marijuana) for recreational use following Colorado’s move just six months ago. Nearly half of the states have some form of medical marijuana laws and a growing number of states have lessened the penalties for possession. The New York Times has generated a fresh debate by coming out in support of legalization and Libertarian Party of Georgia’s gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hunt said as governor he would sign marijuana reform legislation.
So is Georgia ready to consider such a move?
YES – says Libertarian Party of Georgia chairman Doug Craig.
According to Craig, Georgia makes around 30,000 arrests each year for marijuana. It’s a policy that has done little to enhance public health or safety.
“Georgia voters should be allowed to vote on the issue”, said Doug Craig. “If the voters were allowed to vote we believe they would vote to legalize.”
Craig points to a Georgia poll conducted earlier this year that showed 62% of voters support marijuana decriminalization and 55% indicated they would support a Colorado / Washington form of legalization.
“Rights should never be determined by popular vote, but polling gives us a good indication on where the public stands on the issue. As Libertarians, we support giving the public the freedom to choose. Lawmakers should study the issue and allow public input into forming a better policy that stops treating otherwise law abiding citizens as criminals.”
Twenty eight (28) grams of marijuana is considered a felony in Georgia with penalties up to ten years in state prison.
Libertarian Party of Georgia chairmen Doug Craig offers a three point approach to reform
1. Allow whole plant use of cannabis as medicine and allow doctors and patients to determine the best use of the plant
2. Decriminalize marijuana use and stop arresting citizens who choose to responsibly use it
3. Enact legislation to allow for industrial use of cannabis hemp as a cash crop
The Libertarian Party supports free market solutions to public policy. Prohibition has been a failure. The question now is what policy should replace it. As the nation moves toward reform of existing marijuana laws, Georgia should not be the last state in the nation to debate this issue.
State hearings on medical marijuana will begin this summer and the Libertarian Party will be offering recommendations toward reforming current marijuana policy.
For more information contact Doug Craig at 770-861-5855