Busting parties or tracking criminals?

What would you prefer the police to be doing – solving violent crime cases, or breaking up parties?

Taboo

“In 2011 less than half of all violent crimes found any resolution. Why are so many criminals walking free?” In this video from Learn Liberty, the incomprehensible decision making of the justice system is called to account.

Professor of criminal law Alex Kreit said: “Since Michael Bloomberg became mayor of New York, police have spent one million man hours working 440,000 arrests for – get this – marijuana possession. That's a lot of police busting parties instead of tracking down violent criminals.”

He pointed out 59% of rapists and 36.2% of murderers are never brought to justice. Instead, the majority of prisoners were arrested on drug charges, and 81% of those are in prison for possession.

He also highlighted the financial benefits of changing drugs policy:

“Nationwide, we would save $41.3 billion every year by ending the war on drugs.”

Need more evidence? Watch the video above, find out about Breaking The Taboo, and have a look at the research of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

It's great to see early reports of new drug legislation working in the US. This Economist article on how to tax and regulate marijuana is a good example. And this New York Times article describes the very real risks that the pioneering marijuana dispensary owners still face when federal and state laws remain disjointed.

Obama

Perhaps the biggest step forwards could come from President Obama, who has joined the chorus of people agreeing marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, and calling the new laws in Colorado and Washington "important".

He told the New Yorker: "It's important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”

Let's hope he drives through real changes across US, not just in selective states.

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