Top Pro & Con Arguments

Pro

Legalizing marijuana would end the costly enforcement of marijuana laws and free up police resources.

Arresting people for marijuana possession costs the United States between $1.19 billion and $6.03 billion annually. [24][21] These costs include police, judicial, legal, and corrections expenses. Incarcerating marijuana offenders costs the United States an estimated $600 million per year. [63] Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron has estimated that marijuana legalization would save between $7.7 billion and $13.7 billion annually. [60][61]

 

Instead of arresting people for marijuana, police officers could focus on serious crimes including rape, assault, and homicide. [62] For example, marijuana legalization in Washington significantly freed up law enforcement resources; marijuana possession arrests dropped from 5,531 the year before legalization to 120 the year after. [64]

 

Howard Wooldridge, a former police detective from Michigan who co-founded LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), said, “Marijuana prohibition is a horrible waste of good police time. Every hour spent looking for pot reduces public safety.” [169]

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