Why We Need to Legalize Pot

Our war on marijuana does more harm than good
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2010 12:35 PM CDT
Philanthropist George Soros speaks during an interview with the Associated Press, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – What will happen if we legalize marijuana? Simple: Police will be able to “focus on serious crime instead,” writes George Soros in the Wall Street Journal. The liberal billionaire and philanthropist outlines his reasons for supporting California’s Prop 19, with the bottom line being that “our marijuana laws are clearly doing more harm than good.” The people benefiting the most from keeping pot illegal, he argues, are “the major criminal organizations in Mexico and elsewhere that earn billions of dollars annually from this illicit trade.”

We are certainly not benefiting: Billions of dollars are wasted on enforcement and incarceration (the latter of which, arguably, does more harm than the drug itself to young people); legalizing marijuana would reduce “the violations of civil liberties and human rights that occur when large numbers of otherwise law-abiding citizens are subject to arrest.” Many teenagers already “find it easier to buy marijuana than alcohol.” Let’s take the money we save and “invest in effective education” instead of “ineffective arrest and incarceration.” Click here to see why many Republicans agree with Soros.
(Read more marijuana stories.)

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