Pubdate: Mon, 08 Jun 2015
Source: Tribune Review (Pittsburgh, PA)
Copyright: 2015 Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
Author: Jade Garth


I am writing to express my disgust with the U.S. criminal justice 
system giving harsh sentences for possession of marijuana and the 
federal government still not passing a bill for medical use.

According to a report released by the American Civil Liberties Union 
last year, there are 3,278 people serving life sentences without 
parole for nonviolent crimes, including marijuana offenses. By 
putting these low-level offenders behind bars, we are devastating 
communities, with the disparities largely affecting those of color.

By regulating and taxing marijuana like states such as Colorado and 
Washington, the money spent on putting people behind bars can go to 
funding educational programs, substance-abuse programs and research 
for diseases such as cancer and childhood illnesses.

Also, there are many proven medical benefits to marijuana, but many 
people are afraid to admit use out of fear of prosecution and the 
many stereotypes that accompany marijuana use.

The U.S. needs to catch up with the rest of the world and explore the 
medical benefits of marijuana.

Jade Garth

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