Cannabis Doesn’t Increase Creativity but Rather How Creative You Think You Are
by Chane Leigh
From the cost associated with arresting people for cannabis to the lives lost to incarceration, the cost of prohibition is elevated at all angles. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers surrounding the various costs associated with the prohibition of cannabis.
The monetary costs associated with prohibition are off the charts. It is estimated that since the war on drugs started in the 1970s, the United States alone has spent more than $1 trillion trying to eradicate cannabis and other “illicit drugs.” On average, the U.S. spends roughly 47 billion dollars of taxpayers’ money annually in a war against drugs that they are obviously losing. According to a report by the Office of the Federal Register per data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, “the fee to cover the average cost of incarceration for inmates was $34,704.12 ($94.82 per day) in 2016 and $36,299.25 ($99.45 per day) in 2017.” As you can imagine, that cost falls on you, the taxpayer.
While countries like Portugal, Uruguay, the Czech Republic, and Ecuador have taken steps to end jail time for all or nearly all drugs, the United States continues to mass incarcerate its citizens in their attempt to combat illicit drug use, including that of a beneficial natural plant. It is estimated that someone is arrested in the U.S. every 25 seconds for a drug charge.
In 2017, there were 1,632,921 people arrested for violating drug laws. Of those arrests, 1,394,514 or 85.4% were for possession only. Of all the arrests, 659,700 were for cannabis violations with 90% or 599,282 of them being for possession. This excessive incarceration has led the U.S. to have the highest incarceration rate in the entire world.
When individuals are arrested for cannabis charges, the consequences that come with it are much more than just time lost, monetary charges and incarceration. Many times, the consequences last long after they have paid their fines and/or served their time.
Some of the challenges that “drug offenders” face include the ability to find good jobs, access to housing assistance, and eligibility for financial aid to continue their education. According to DrugPolicy.org, over 200,000 students have lost their federal eligibility for financial aid because of drug offenses. This includes individuals that were arrested for cannabis.
Despite consuming cannabis at similar rates, consumers in minority communities are arrested at a much higher rate than caucasian consumers. African Americans and Latinos account for around 32% of the U.S. population, and studies have shown that they utilize cannabis at the same rate as Caucasians. However, they are arrested at disproportional rates in comparison. Nearly 50% of drug law violations that result in an arrest result in minorities being detained. The Drug Policy Alliance states the following;
“Black Americans are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana charges than their white peers. In fact, black Americans make up nearly 30 percent of all drug-related arrests, despite accounting for only 12.5 percent of all substance users.”
Not only are minorities more likely to be arrested for a cannabis charge, but their punishment is also more likely to be harsher than that of Caucasians. According to statistics, the average minority arrested for a cannabis offense will serve just two years less time for a drug-related offense than a caucasian defendant will for violent crimes such as rape and murder.
Unfortunately, even though more states are legalizing cannabis, the atrocities remain due to federal prohibition. This is quite sad considering that if we were to follow suit with what has been done in other countries and were to legalize all illegal drugs and tax them at comparable rates of tobacco or alcohol, the U.S. could bring in nearly $58 billion in taxes each year.
It is estimated that if cannabis alone were legal at the federal level, it would save almost $8 billion annually in law enforcement costs and result in more than $6 billion in annual tax revenue. Combined, that nearly $14 billion could do a lot of good in repairing the damages done by cannabis prohibition. Like, send more than 650,000 cannabis offenders to public universities to continue their education!
What has the prohibition of cannabis cost you? Let us know in the comments below.
Cannabis and nuns are two things that aren’t normally lumped together, but a group of Californian women is changing that. A nun can be described as “a woman who belongs to a religious order and takes vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience,” reports Catholic Education. A nun’s vows are publicly accepted by religious superiors, and…
Medical cannabis is legal in 37 states, including our nation’s capital, Washington, DC. Nineteen states have legalized recreational or adult-use cannabis. Just because medical cannabis and recreational cannabis are legal in so many places doesn’t mean that the programs are uniform across the country. There are many existing differences between medical cannabis programs from state…
These days cannabis consumers have a lot of variety when choosing what cannabis strain they want to purchase. There are rare cannabis strains and more common cannabis strains, like with any other product. There is a plethora of Indica, Sativa, and hybrid cannabis strains available on both the recreational and medical cannabis markets. As research…
Cannabis has been making waves as an effective botanical approach to therapeutics and medication, but there is another substance worthy of just as much attention for its benefits and uses. The concept of adaptogens was first introduced in 1947 despite having been used by royal families from 2500-2700 BCE. Dr. Nicolai V. Lararev was a…
A pair of boxing legends teamed up for an unexpected collaboration, Texas’ medical cannabis program saw big gains, and a hemp study revealed troubling signs for the industry. Let’s dive into this week’s cannanews. Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield Announce ‘Holy Ear’ Edibles 25 years ago, boxer Mike Tyson infamously bit off a part of…
Whether you live apart from loved ones or simply want a breather from the drama and political debates, spending Thanksgiving alone can…