washington dc decriminalization marijuana possession
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Survey: 79% Of U.S. Mayors Support Marijuana Decriminalization

washington dc decriminalization marijuana possessionMarijuana reform is a very popular political topic these days. I remember as recently as the beginning of this decade when supporting marijuana reform was considered to be political suicide. But more and more elected officials are getting on the right side of history every day it seems. Many local elected officials are particularly supportive of marijuana reform. A recent survey of mayors in the United States by Politico magazine found the following results;

The mayors are enthusiastic supporters of the federal government taking a larger role in issues of police and criminal justice reform. One much desired area of reform: The surveyed mayors, themselves uniquely positioned to feel the brunt of the federal drug policies, overwhelmingly encouraged the decriminalization of marijuana, with 79 percent of the mayors suggesting that the federal government follow the lead of an increasing number of cities like Washington, D.C., and even whole states like Colorado.

Of course, it’s worth pointing out that cities like ‘D.C., and even whole states like Colorado’ have done more than decriminalize marijuana – they have legalized it altogether, although D.C. decriminalized prior to legalizing. But I get what the authors are saying. They should have offered up cities like Philadelphia as an example to make it more clear I think. Philadelphia decriminalized marijuana and saved roughly one million dollars in the first year.

Arresting people for marijuana is not only expensive, but it’s also immoral, and a very poor use of law enforcement resources. With just about every city in America strapped for cash, marijuana decriminalization is a no brainer. More and more cities should follow in the footsteps of cities like Philadelphia and decriminalize marijuana. Or even better, they should legalize it altogether so that not only can law enforcement resources be saved from not enforcing marijuana prohibition, but legal sales could also occur and generate tax revenue and jobs.

  • Lawrence Goodwin

    That $2 billion figure cited as the current value of the legal “marijuana” industry gives us a very clear glimpse of the economic activity that has been suppressed by federal, state and local officials for almost 80 years. Add in the estimated value of all domestic cannabis production, including hemp, which would span four broad economic sectors: Manufacturing; Medicine: Nutrition; and Recreation. No wonder Thomas Jefferson wrote that cannabis is “…of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.”

    • You are right that it is clear but also alas! you are right that it is just a glimpse. Like the men who could only see portions of the elephant from between the pickets of the fence, there are areas where we still cannot look. What of industrial hemp? What of use of hemp as a fuel source, or as a food source (hemp seeds are second only to soy in the quality of their vegetable proteins)? These are just a couple of examples of economic activity that has been suppressed by federal, state and local officials for almost 80 years. The opportunity costs of outlawing industrial hemp are mind boggling, and that’s not even taking into consideration the atrocities we’ve endured owing to the war on drugs!