To The Daily Sun,
State Sen. Jeanie Forrester and Sen. Andrew Hosmer have taken the easy way out with their joint letter to the editor not supporting the legalization of marijuana. The New Hampshire House voted to legalize it, so it can be regulated and taxed. Soon it will go to the Senate for a vote. Two states have legalized it and 15 have decriminalized it so far.
A Pew Research Poll was conducted in March 2013. It showed nearly three-quarters of Americans (72 percent) say that, in general, government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth. The poll also showed that 48 percent of all adults have smoked marijuana at one time or another in their life. This equates to almost 100 million Americans, and that number maybe higher because it is hard to get people to confess they committed a crime.
The FBI recently reported that 750,000 people are arrested for possession of marijuana every year. This number represents half of all drug arrests. The organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (retired police officers), says this fact demonstrates the complete failure of the War on Drugs. This organization claims $1.5 billion to $3 billion are spent annually on police and court time costs just making the arrest and does not include the almost $100 a day to incarcerate each of these people.
A felony drug conviction stays with you for the rest of your life. The current War on Drugs does not help people, but instead destroys them and sentences them to a life of poverty and government dependency. Many people convicted of a felony drug crime will never earn a living wage and will require government assistance for the rest of their life. Convicted marijuana offenders are denied federal financial student aid. Not changing this law will put some of New Hampshire's young people at a disadvantage from attending college or helping them move on with their life.
Our country is running out of money. We do not need politicians that are afraid to change course. We need leaders that are willing to put violent drug cartels and local drug dealers out of business. We can do this by regulating and taxing marijuana. Our resources should be spent on drug treatment and counseling, not prison cells and job destroying felony drug convictions. The end result of the current War on Drugs is angry young people with no future, thus perpetuating drug abuse and crime.
A felony conviction and a welfare check for life is not the American dream these people hoped for.
Please contact Senator Forrester and Senator Hosmer and ask them to reconsider their position.