The local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Greater St. Louis NORML) announces a Drug War Victims Vigil to take place on Friday, the 12th of February 2016 at the St. Louis County Justice Center at 100 S. Central, Clayton, Missouri 63105. Members, supporters, and victims will gather outside the county jail from 11:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. to peacefully protest the arrest and incarceration of marijuana users. The vigil will continue at the Mel Carnahan Criminal Courthouse at 1114 Market Street in the City of St. Louis from 4:30 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Greater St. Louis NORML is calling for a total reform of marijuana laws, especially in situations that are non-violent and victimless in nature. NORMLs mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty.
The continued prohibition of marijuana costs the federal government approximately twenty-one billion dollars annually with a total cost over seventy years of approximately three hundred billion dollars. The greatest harm caused by marijuana prohibition is the effect of prohibition itself - the governmental expense, the stigma of arrest and loss of liberty, the loss of driving privileges, the loss of educational and employment opportunities, the availability to children, and the increase in crime and violence caused by the black market drug trade.
There is also a racial disparity in the enforcement of drug laws - while whites are five times as likely to use drugs, blacks make up approximately sixty-three percent of those imprisoned for drug crimes.
Seventeen years ago on Valentine's Day the United States prison and jail population surpassed two million individuals. Again this year NORML will peaceably assemble outside of centers of incarceration in support and memory of those serving non-violent drug related sentences.
Terri Zeman, Director - 314.995.1395
Greater St. Louis NORML