Last week (7th June 2013) saw the release of a report featuring new facts about the American war against cannabis. According to the report, it is apparent that the battle against cannabis use – a part of the overall War on Drugs – is a huge fiasco.
The term ‘War on Drugs’ was introduced by U.S. President Nixon in 1971. He declared this war, and introduced a range of anti-drug measures aimed at reducing drug trade by attacking the production, distribution and consumption of drugs. Over 40 years later, increasing numbers of people percieve that this war has totally failed.
Global Commission on Drug Policy
A recent sign with significant impact came via a report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy. This commission is composed of (former) politicians such as previous Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan and several ex-presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil (among others). In 2011 the Global Commission on Drug Policy presented the results of research demonstrating that the War on Drugs has failed to meet targets and is a significant waste of money. In short, there are scarce benefits and a great many disadvantages. Despite the facts, the U.S. and Mexico do not recognize these findings.
Sensi Seeds recently published a blog with a positive update on the current state of affairs in America reguarding cannabis. Progress is being made. An increasing amount of states are legalizing medicinal marijuana, or considering doing so. Colorado has recently become the second state in the U.S., following Washington, to completely legalize cannabis for adults (21 years and over). The cannabis battles of the widely debated War on Drugs are being slowly but surely called to a halt by a growing number of states, frequently on the basis of the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant. This sends a powerful signal.
Despite more and more states relaxing their cannabis policies, the federal government is not yet convinced. Sensi Seeds hopes that the report ‘The war on marijuana in black and white’ will give the American administration a push in the right direction. Namely, this report focuses specifically on cannabis use in the U.S. and the failing anti-cannabis policy.
Some statistics from the report. Between 2001 and 2012 around eight million cannabis-related arrests took place. 88% of these incidents involved mere possession. Cannabis-related arrests make up 52% of alll drug-related arrests in the U.S. and in 2010, someone was arrested for a cannabis-related offense every 37 seconds. In the same year, all the states combined spent a total of 3.6 million dollars to maintain the laws against cannabis. These laws regularly bring the health and safety of U.S. citizens in danger, while the use and possession of cannabis has not lessened, but has actually increased.
The American government seems completely irrational in fighting the least dangerous substance on their narcotics list, which is remarkable to say the least. In a time when the shortfallings of this policy only mount up, and the country is suffering an economic crisis, legalization should be seriously considered – this would immediately save the administration 3.6 million dollars and deliver a further 8.7 million dollars in tax revenue every year.
But the report brings more remarkable and shocking discoveries to light. One of the most important conclusions is that non-white people are arrested for cannabis offenses 3.73 times more often than white people. In some states, this is as high as six times more often! This is despite the fact that the statistics for cannabis use and possession are the same for the black and white populations of America. The racist nature of these statistics is something that America, 48 years after the abolition of slavery, should be deeply ashamed of.
Hopefully this report will contribute to more American states, the federal government and an increasing number of countries reviewing their cannabis policies. Sensi Seeds sees this process as a positive response and hopes for further progress in ending the fruitless war on cannabis and its users.