Happy 4/20! The State of Marijuana In Our Country Today

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by Robert J. Bentley

Today is the day celebrate by marijuana aficionados as a time to celebrate the usage and consumption of marijuana products. It is regarded as a day of freedom and celebration of our ability to make free decisions for ourselves and bodies.

A lot has changed over the course of a few years in relation to the state of marijuana in the United States. More and more states across this country have chosen to legalize the recreational use of the “drug” and more are in the process of considering in the future.

The past decade has experienced a rise in personal freedoms and a changing culture surrounding products like marijuana.

However, there are still leaders in this country that have made it a life mission to see that legalization at the federal level does not happen and that enforcement continues against states that chose to legalize this plant. Jeff Sessions, our current Attorney General, is putting up the fight against legalization. In the Washinton Times yesterday it was reported that Sessions still believes that marijuana leads to criminal activity and crime organizations:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that marijuana is a significant part of international criminal enterprises, as he declared that the Justice Department has “zero tolerance” for gang violence from groups like MS-13.

“We [did] have quite a bit of marijuana being imported by the cartels from Mexico. This is definitely a cartel-sponsored event,” Mr. Sessions said at a crime committee meeting.

He said there’s a lot of violence around “marijuana distribution networks,” including in the D.C. area.

“So it is a financial money-maker for them,” he said. “I returned from the border last week and they told me that quite a number of the people they arrest are hauling marijuana across the border.”

“So it … remains a significant international criminal organization, the marijuana network,” he said.

The problem with Sessions statements here is that he fails to concede that he might be wrong. It has been proven in Colorado, one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational usage, that crime has gone down in the state. Usage has also gone down.

From the Colorado Statesman:

Colorado alone has compiled several research studies demonstrating that legalization has not facilitated a spike in violent crime. During the first year of the implementation of Amendment 64, Denver experienced a 2.2 percent decrease in violent crime rates and an 8.9 percent reduction in property crime offenses, according to research conducted by the Drug Policy Alliance.

Many other reports have corroborated that data, including findings by the Colorado Department of Public Safety, the FBI Uniform Crime Report and a study conducted by a student research group from Metropolitan State University.

The Colorado Department of Public Safety report showed a 6 percent decrease in the violent crime rate statewide from 2009 to 2014.

So, on this 4/20 the state of marijuana in the United States is good. Despite the criticisms from groups that suggested a wild rampant increase in violence from high criminals, the evidence suggests otherwise.

As somebody who lives in Colorado, I can attest to this fact.

#LegalizeFreedom!

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