U.S. Mayors Tell Feds to End Marijuana War
The U.S. Conference of Mayors – representing 1,309 U.S. cities with a population of 30,000 or more – unanimously approved a resolution
Monday calling on the feds to end their wasteful, futile, 70-year-long war on Americans who use marijuana, and let states and cities implement new solutions to controlling the drug.
The Conference of Mayors notes that 22 million marijuana arrests have occurred in the U.S. since 1965, including 757,969 marijuana arrests in 2011 alone. Marijuana law has criminalized 42 percent of Americans who have used marijuana, including over 18 million people who admit to having used it within the past month. The Mayors called the Marijuana War a waste of money and resources for local cops. The pot war has an overwhelming racial bias, the Mayors noted, and the War also enriches Mexican cartels in more than 1,000 U.S. cities.
Coversely, two states have ended the marijuana war, while 19 have medical marijuana laws, and the United States Conference of Mayors had already adopted resolutions declaring the war on drugs a failure, recognizing medical marijuana.
The latest resolution reads that “states and localities should be able to set whatever marijuana policies work best to improve the public safety and health of their communities; and the United States Conference of Mayors believes that federal laws, including the Controlled Substance Act, should be amended to explicitly allow states to set their own marijuana policies without federal interference; and … until such time as federal law is changed, the United States Conference of Mayors urges the President of the United States to reexamine the priorities of federal agencies to prevent the expenditure of resources on actions that undermine the duly enacted marijuana laws of states.”
The folks over the Marijuana Majority
were instrumental in getting the U.S. Conference of Mayors to pass the resolution. Nearly 7,000 people have sent messages to almost 1,000 mayors across the county, encouraging them to do the right thing by passing this resolution. And this time our elected officials listened to the people they represent.
The resolution was co-sponsored by 18 mayors, including Bob Filner of San Diego (California), Mike McGinn of Seattle (Washington), Carolyn Goodman of Las Vegas (Nevada), Jean Quan of Oakland (California), Steve Hogan of Aurora (Colorado), Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma (Washington), Kitty Piercy of Eugene (Oregon), and William Euille of Alexandria (Virginia), among several others.
“The prohibition on marijuana has been ineffective and counterproductive,” said Mayor Stephen Cassidy of San Leandro, California. “Voters in states and cities that wish to break the stranglehold of organized crime over the distribution and sale of marijuana in their communities by legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana should have the option of doing so.”
A recent Gallup poll found that 64 percent of Americans say the federal government should not enforce anti-marijuana laws in states that have opted for a new approach. A poll by the Pew Research Center found that 72 percent of Americans believe that government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth and that a majority (52 percent) support legalizing and regulating marijuana like alcohol. In November, marijuana legalization got more votes in Colorado than President Obama did.