North Texas Daily

Free the weed dealers

Free the weed dealers

January 23
19:43 2018

There’s been some great things going on in America this past decade, namely weed legalization in a few states.

Recent years have given rise to new and unprecedented heights of success in the marijuana industry. It seems like I can’t open up Twitter these days without reading about a new white, upper-middle class mom who’s making bank selling fun weed products.

The keyword there being “white,” because black people are nearly four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana than white people, according to the ACLU. Gentrification is rampant in the United States, and because the profitability of weed is on the rise, gentrifiers have set their sights on it. To put it bluntly (pun intended), many black people are incarcerated for the same thing white people are now turning into businesses.

As states begin to change their tunes and legalize marijuana, people in jail solely for marijuana possession or distribution should be freed.

But of course nothing within the legal system can ever be simple, efficient, or make any sort of sense.

When Prohibition was repealed, there wasn’t an amass of bootleggers suddenly freed from jail. The consensus is that “repealing” a law is different than the government deeming a law “unconstitutional” — time still had to be served for alcohol-related crimes committed while it technically was illegal.

Imagine serving a sentence for something that isn’t illegal anymore. Imagine being kept in prison on a technicality.

There’s no excuse for this. What’s worse is this shouldn’t even be something we have to deal with, because (everyone together now) weed should have been legalized forever ago. Marijuana literally has medicinal qualities and is objectively less dangerous than drinking alcohol, which, to remind you, is legal.

It would take between 15 and 70 grams — between 238 and 1113 joints’ worth — of THC to kill you. This information is inconsequential. You could die by consuming 1113 Big Macs too, but you certainly don’t see anyone trying to limit our intake of those.

Overturning a law is an enormous decision that needs to be meticulously thought out. Thousands and thousands of people staying imprisoned for a decriminalized crime seems like a ridiculous oversight in this regard.

I doubt wrongful imprisonment is the last or only problem that will arise on the road to legalization. God forbid we have to endure something worse, like a shortage of snack foods.

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Rachel Herzer

Rachel Herzer

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