Dr. Sanjay Gupta, respected medical advisor for CNN, has finished an in-depth analysis of 20 years of worldwide marijuana research. His conclusions? The US has been totally, completely, 100% wrong in its characterization of marijuana as a schedule 1 drug.
How much irreparable damage has been done to families by America's relentless prosecution of marijuana use and distribution? Families torn apart, children in foster care while their parents languished in prison, poverty resulting from the inability to get a job with a record?
How many BILLIONS of dollars has been spent in enforcement and incarceration of marijuana users and distributors? Money which could be used to shore up our education system, repair our crumbling infrastructure, protect the most vulnerable of our citizens?
Not only is it time for the federal laws prohibiting recreational use to be overturned, it is BEYOND time for medicinal use to be legalized. As a schedule 1 drug, it can't even be studied in the US, but around the world, it is recognized as an effective treatment for myriad illnesses, most specifically chronic pain.
The other benefit of finally coming to our senses about marijuana? The legalization of the hemp industry. Hemp could be a billion dollar boon to American agriculture, with more than 25,000 currently documented uses, from renewable Hempcrete building products to ethanol and everyday products like cellophane.
It's time for marijuana to become a revenue stream for government (sin taxes, income taxes, license fees, etc.), rather than being a billion dollar annual expenditure for local, state and federal governments.