Friday, August 10, 2012

A Hopeful Future, Weeding Out Old-Fashioned Stigmas

Texas Democrats recently released their party's platform for 2012. Their platform included a better focus on education, strengthening small businesses, improving wages and working conditions, and decriminalizing the use of marijuana. This last part is especially interesting to me. In 1994, a poll was taken to determine Texans' attitude of what they thought was the most important issue to address concerning the state. The second most substantial issue that Texans in 1994 were fretting about was drugs, the illegal use of controlled substances, totaling 17% of the Texas population. The same poll was taken in 2000, and drugs only totaled up to 8% of Texans' worries. Now, in 2012, an entire party campaigning for upcoming elections advocates for the decriminalization of marijuana and over 50% of the American population believes marijuana should be decriminalized. I am in agreement with the Democratic party for this particular issue. By decriminalizing the use of marijuana, it'll allow law enforcement to use their time more efficiently for the greater good for more heinous crimes. Also, by decriminalizing marijuana, that'll address the issue of the drug cartels reigning from Mexico and creating catastrophic corruption while crossing into our borders just for money, power, and ensuring a supply and demand for Americans' marijuana desires. If we decriminalize it, it may prevent some violence occurring between the United States and Mexico from the drug cartels. Since the War on Drugs began, citizens of the United States pay $12 billion annually just for criminalizing marijuana. Also, 85% of the arrests regarding marijuana have just been for possession, alone. The Democrats state, "There is no evidence that marijuana is a 'gateway' drug leading to the use of more lethal drugs." Of the population arrested for marijuana, 75% is under the age of 30. Which means, a good majority of those arrested for the use of marijuana is being convicted at a young age and will never overcome this major setback once they are released and need to face the outside world and find a job. That conviction will remain on that individual's record from their youth and will damage their integrity, worth, and self-respect when attempting to find a prestigious and well-respected job. Although, Texas will probably be the last state to instill this Democratic reform to its policy due to its predominantly Republican and conservative perspective of any drug, the fact that Democratic Texans are advocating for this unique and controversial policy reform is astounding and gives me hope. Our prisons are already overcrowded enough, it's time to lighten the inmate list by releasing those that are convicted of charges related to marijuana. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm really glad I came across this blog. It's a relief for me to see that there are people out there who see this side of the argument. Decriminalizing marijuana will without a doubt do good things for Texas. Especially, as you mentioned, it will give the police time to focus on more important issues, and put our tax money to better use. It is ridiculous that American citizens pay 12 billion dollars a year. Can you imagine how many other places that money could be going to? Not to mention the amount of money Texas could make if they found a way to tax it.

    It's interesting that polls show that the citizens on Texas are worrying less and less about drugs over the years, because the issue of drug cartels among the border is a growing concern. If people could put two and two together, they'd realize as you said that if marijuana was legalized, the drug cartels would have no reason to smuggle it over the border.

    Unfortunately, it is true that the state of Texas as a whole is predominantly conservative-minded, especially when it comes to the topic of drugs. Although I fear Texas will never change it's ways, I still will continue to hope that Texas wakes up to all of these facts about marijuana you've presented.