Thousands of California misdemeanor marijuana convictions could be expunged soon in an effort by leaders in two cities to correct the damage to some communities by a decades-long, failed “War on Drugs.”
Some of the obvious pros for marijuana legalization include economic opportunities, increased taxes flowing in to the state coffers and fewer jails and prison packed with non-violent drug offenders . California is already beginning to experience these perks since the passage last month of the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The drug is still deemed a Schedule I narcotic under the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.
The issue of non-violent drug arrests and convictions has been a controversial one in recent years, with some politicians clinging to the illogical argument that a failure to crack down on low-level possession leads to widespread and dangerous use. This just isn’t true, but this flawed thinking and aggressive enforcement of arcane laws has dearly cost individuals, families and communities (particularly those that are majority minority). Continue reading