The insanity of the war on drugs needs to stop. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use. Roughly 40% of Americans live in jurisdictions where some form of marijuana use is legal– that’s over 130 million people. Marijuana companies trade on stock markets. Former Congressman John Boehner, once a staunch opponent of legalization (“unalterably opposed” were his own words), now makes millions promoting marijuana. The industry generates billions of dollars of revenue and taxes and employs thousands of people. Susan Collins now supports providing marijuana businesses access to banking through the SAFE Act, and banks can hardly wait to start making money on fees. Etc.
Legalization activists are winning the war. But lives are still lost daily.
Seventeen years ago, Allen Russell pleaded guilty to burglary charges and became a felon. After serving over 8 years in prison, Mr. Russell pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a weapon, which added another felony to his record, and he served a couple more years in prison.
In 2019, Mr. Allen was caught up in a local police raid and the police seized 43 grams of marijuana.
43 grams of marijuana. That’s roughly