The Current Situation:
That doesn’t describe cannabis. In truth, multiple studies show cannabis is far safer than alcohol, and has never been linked to an overdose death. Cannabis does not belong on the DEA’s list of controlled substances.
Cannabis prohibition has been far more devastating to individuals and communities than cannabis use.
All criminal penalties for selling, growing, or possessing cannabis should be ended immediately.
The Libertarian Party has endorsed an end to all drug laws since 1972.
- Nearly half of Americans have tried cannabis, and a 60%+ majority of Americans say it should be legal.
- 25 States and DC have already legalized cannabis for recreational or medical use. Government reports confirm it is safer than cigarettes, alcohol, or the addictive prescription painkillers the DEA claims are LESS dangerous. These Schedule II drugs, like morphine, oxycodone, and Vicodin kill thousands of Americans each year, but the FDA okayed them for kids as young as 11.
- While officially denying any medical benefit, the US Government owns a patent on Marinol, a synthetic cannabis compound.
Unjustly Outlawing Cannabis:
- Denies Americans a safe and effective treatment for many medical conditions causing unnecessary suffering and preventing critical medical research.
- Fills our prison with non-violent offenders. Over 330,000 people, nearly one in every thousand Americans, are imprisoned for drug offenses. Nearly HALF of federal prisoners are charged with drug crimes – compared to 8% for violent crimes. The most common charge is simple possession of cannabis.
- Creates a black market, resulting in violent crime, cartel power, and global health crises far disproportionate to any risk presented by the plant itself.
- Criminalizes average Americans which robs communities of wage earners and parents; and denies families access to public services, student loans, and employment.
- Targets Black and Latino persons, who use drugs no more than whites, but are more likely to be searched, arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated for a drug “crime.”
- Creates a hostile relationship between law enforcement and citizens, at the cost of civil rights and privacy.
- Wastes $20 Billion a year on enforcement, weapons training, and armed raids on civilians.
- Kicks back billions to cronies, campaign contributors, and lobbyists. The leading contributors against legalization are:
- Pharmaceutical companies fighting a safer, homegrown alternative to their expensive pills. Medical cannabis states have falling rates of opiate consumption (and fewer overdoses!) which means less profit.
- Police unions who realize ending marijuana prohibition would disrupt federal awards to police departments ($2.4 Billion in 2014), and cut into marijuana-related civil asset forfeitures, which police departments get to keep.
- Private prisons and prison guard unions who profit from high incarceration, especially of nonviolent citizens.
- Alcohol companies hoping to block competition for Americans’ leisure dollars. Beverage manufacturers contribute to state campaigns against legalization.
Sources and Statistics
Fact sheet of pre-screened sources for your discussions and advocacy.