Target: Attorney General Eric Holder
Goal: To uphold recreational marijuana use measures in Washington State and Colorado
The war on drugs has resulted in approximately 733,000 cannabis-related arrests according to crime reports compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Allowing cannabis use in Washington State and Colorado could make a small impact in that number and ease stress on the massive and overburdened United States penitentiary system. Tell Attorney General Eric Holder to begin the end of the drug war in the United States and allow residents in these two states to use marijuana for recreational use. As Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper wrote in a statement, “The voters have spoken, and we have to respect their will.”
These statewide experiments would be valuable in helping to find out if the price of criminalizing the sale and use of marijuana is worth the cost in money and prison sentences. Questions that remain about the legalization of marijuana could be answered such as whether the government would collect a sales tax and how the state-run drug market would work. Another crucial aspect that many around the world will be looking at is the impact on the cash flow to drug suppliers outside of the United States in Mexico and elsewhere. The money that is going to go to state governments under these new laws will be going to new school construction in Colorado while Washington State will use the added revenue to fund health programs. By allowing these states to experiment with these laws, the United States can get a head start on the seemingly inevitable government takeover and regulation of the illegal drug market.
While Eric Holder has not commented yet on these new measures, President Obama has said that he will look to change the face of the drug war in his second term. He would do well to start by advising Holder to wait on rushing into these states with federal authorities. Sign this petition and ensure that the voters in Washington State and Colorado are not ignored.
Dear Attorney General Holder,
You must allow for the voices of voters in Washington State and Colorado to be heard. Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado said in a statement, “The voters have spoken, and we have to respect their will.” Colorado’s Amendment 64 and Initiative 502 in Washington State give your department an opportunity to began scaling down the drug war against casual drug users. This decrease will allow resources within the DEA to be allocated to places where they will be more useful. It will also decrease the number of prisoners in American jails for simple drug use.
By letting these measures be enacted, we all may see how the regulation of the drug market will work. The money raised through the taxation of marijuana will raise money for new schools in Colorado and health care needs in Washington State. For me, it is better to build schools and improve health care rather than to have that money find its way into someone else’s pocket.
Mr. Holder, respect the votes of the citizens in Colorado and Washington State and do not interfere in the implementation of Amendment 64 and Initiative 502.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: LancerenoK via Flickr