Monroe Anderson, in today’s Chicago Sun-Times, has It’s time to legalize marijuana in Illinois.
In the past year, the pot prohibition has produced record devil-weed arrests and a bumper crop of American POWs in our nation’s prisons. In 2005, there 786,545 marijuana arrests — 696,074 just for possession. About 34,000 state and 11,000 federal inmates are incarcerated for marijuana offenses. We’re spending $1 billion a year to put them there and another $8 billion a year to keep them there.
We could regulate, license and tax marijuana. Instead we blow billions on busting and jailing peaceful citizens from whom we could collect millions in tax revenue — much like we do with alcohol.
For our nation’s lawmakers to not grasp such a commonsense approach, you’ve got to wonder what they’ve been smoking.