For the best part of a century, American regulators have locked themselves into what many have recognised as an unwinnable war against a hardy plant that is cheap and easy to grow, with a wide variety of uses and end products.
Despite a mountain of evidence within that time to indicate that prohibition and its ancillary policies just do not work, an obsession with marijuana has fed the rise of a draconian criminal justice framework designed to get weed off the streets and criminalise the entire supply chain of what is basically a naturally occurring plant.
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden Proposes Bill to Legalize Weed
Things, however, seem to be taking an exciting turn with the news that for the second time in 2019, a bill has been filed in Congress seeking the federal legalisation of marijuana.
What are the implications for the American justice system and the millions of lives impacted by decades of prohibition? On a different note, what does this mean for pot stocks?
‘420’ Bills Seek to Undo a Century of ‘Willie Horton’ Politics
While the damage caused by cocaine and opioids is well documented, much less understandable is the extent to which marijuana has been criminalised in the U.S. over the past 80 plus years. The U.S., which already has more than 2.2 million prisoners – by far the world’s largest prison population – puts the percentage of its prisoners locked up on drug charges at 46 percent. According to the ACLU, 52 percent of all drug arrests in 2010 were for marijuana, the vast majority of which were for possession.
The U.S. thus expends incredible amounts of effort and law enforcement budgets on tackling possession of a plant.