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Canada and Cannabis Prohibition Paper

The prohibition of cannabis needs to stop, now. In Canada, possession of any quantity of cannabis is illegal and punishable by up to six months in federal prison, unless it has been prescribedby a doctor. Recreational cannabis should be legalized in Canada because it will reduce criminal activity, it is already very commonplace in society, it is a very effective and safe alternative to many modern medications, and it will bring in billions of tax dollars to the government.

The legalization of recreational cannabis use would drastically alter the criminal justice system. It is no secret all prisons are overcrowded. According to an infographic recently released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, over 50 percent of inmates currently in federal prison are there for drug offenses. To put things into perspective, in 1970, only 16 percent of inmates were drug offenders. “Between October 2012 and September 2013, 27.6 percent of drug offenders were locked up for crimes related to marijuana, followed by powder cocaine (22.5 percent), methamphetamine (22.5 percent), crack cocaine (11.5 percent), heroin (8.8 percent) and other (7.2 percent), according to the Sentencing Commission.” (Miles ). Legalizing recreational cannabis would cut down on half of all drug-related arrests. Instead of having these mostly innocent men and women locked up, they could be could be contributing to society and paying taxes. If any skepticism arises when the fact that legalizing cannabis would have a positive impact on the criminal system, just ask Colorado. All forms of cannabis use were legalized in January of 2014 in the state of Colorado, and they are enjoying the benefits: “Just three months after Colorado voters helped pass the legalization of cannabis, Denver is enjoying a 14.6% decrease in crime from the same time last year” (Sarich ). Legalizing recreational cannabis would reduce crime rates and save the failing prison system.

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