I remember as recently as the beginning of this decade when supporting marijuana reform was considered to be political suicide. But more and more elected officials are getting on the right side of history every day it seems. Many local elected officials are particularly supportive of marijuana reform. A recent survey of mayors in the United States by Politico magazine found the following results;
The mayors are enthusiastic supporters of the federal government taking a larger role in issues of police and criminal justice reform. One much desired area of reform: The surveyed mayors, themselves uniquely positioned to feel the brunt of the federal drug policies, overwhelmingly encouraged the decriminalization of marijuana, with 79 percent of the mayors suggesting that the federal government follow the lead of an increasing number of cities like Washington, D.C., and even whole states like Colorado.
Of course, it’s worth pointing out that cities like ‘D.C., and even whole states like Colorado’ have done more than decriminalize marijuana – they have legalized it altogether, although D.C. decriminalized prior to legalizing. But I get what the authors are saying. They should have offered up cities like Philadelphia as an example to make it more clear I think. Philadelphia decriminalized marijuana and saved roughly one million dollars in the first year.
Arresting people for marijuana is not only expensive, but it’s also immoral, and a very poor use of law enforcement resources. With just about every city in America strapped for cash, marijuana decriminalization is a no brainer. More and more cities should follow in the footsteps of cities like Philadelphia and decriminalize marijuana. Or even better, they should legalize it altogether so that not only can law enforcement resources be saved from not enforcing marijuana prohibition, but legal sales could also occur and generate tax revenue and jobs.