Marijuana decriminalization is clearly not as good as marijuana legalization/regulation, however, it’s obviously better than treating marijuana possession as a crime. No one should ever be arrested for possessing a personal amount of marijuana. No one should be arrested for marijuana period (any amount), but certainly not for a personal amount. More and more areas are pushing for decriminalization, which is a great step in the right direction. Rahm Emanuel announced yesterday that he is pushing for marijuana decriminalization statewide in Illinois. Per the Chicago Tribune:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today called on the General Assembly to decriminalize marijuana possession statewide and to reduce the penalty to a misdemeanor for those caught with 1 gram or less of any controlled substance.
During 90 minutes of testimony before the House-Senate Joint Criminal Reform Committee in Chicago, Emanuel encouraged lawmakers to challenge the “assumptions that are embedded in the criminal justice system.” The mayor argued that reducing the penalties for minor drug possession would allow the city and state to focus their efforts on more violent crime.
As I stated, marijuana decriminalization is a great step in the right direction, but is definitely inferior to legalization and regulation. Marijuana opponents like Kevin Sabet, knowing that support for marijuana prohibition is eroding by the minute, have changed their rhetoric to say that marijuana decriminalization is enough. Of course, when asked if Kevin Sabet then supports marijuana prohibition, he never answers because deep down he knows that he doesn’t support marijuana reform in any way. I hope Mr. Emanuel’s efforts in Illinois work out, because as I said, no one should ever be arrested for possessing marijuana.