Non-violent Marijuana Convictions Can Deleteriously Impact Peoples Right To Vote And Their Entitlement To Public Benefits Including Public Housing And Cripple Their Work Prospects.

Some proponents of drug policy reform are optimistic. This is a perfect storm for activists to win, said Adam Eidinger, co-founder of the DC legal marijuana advocacy group DCMJ . This is probably the most important time in all the years Ive worked on marijuana reform. We are literally at the end of the race. Drug Arrests Are Already High Despite Sessions concerns that too little has been done to enforce existing federal marijuana laws, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), half of all drug busts in the United States are for marijuana. Most of the people police are arresting arent kingpins, but people with small amounts of pot, the group said in an analysis of national drug arrest data . According to Common Sense for Drug Policy, annual arrests for marijuana possession are at their lowest levels since 1997 . Still, hundreds of thousands of people are arrested each year, and some years they outnumber those arrested for all violent crimes , like murder, assault, and rape. If the individuals charged are convicted, that can have significant, perpetual effectson their lives. Non-violent marijuana convictions can deleteriously impact peoples right to vote and their entitlement to public benefits including public housing and cripple their work prospects. Historically, this adverse impact has disproportionately affected communities of color. Though both white and black people use marijuana at about the same rates, black marijuana users are arrested almost four times as often as white marijuana users, ACLU data shows.

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