War. Huh. What Is It Good For?

Jesse Snodgrass was a 17 year-old autistic student in Temecula, California and in 2012 he was tricked into buying weed for an undercover cop. Jesse, since he was young, has always had trouble finding friends. That’s why he was ecstatic when Deputy Daniel Zipperstein befriended him and multiple other people at his school. Unfortunately Deputy Zipperstein was a cop part of an undercover drug sting for Jesse’s High School. Deputy Zipperstein went around the school targeting vulnerable people and “loners” and once they became so called friends, he would barrage them with demands asking for them to sell him drugs. He would constantly ask Jesse and Jesse would deny but once the Deputy realized he wouldn’t budge, he wanted nothing to do with that relationship. So Jesse not wanting to lose his friend, reluctantly decided to buy some marijuana from a dispensary and gave it to the Deputy. On December 11, 2012 Jesse’s art classroom door was busted in and he was charged with two felony counts.

Now some people might say he deserved to get arrested and if he did not want to be, then he shouldn’t have bought the weed. If you do, Well first you should know the word entrapment. Entrapment: The act of government agents or officials that induces a person to commit a crime he or she is not previously disposed to commit. This was not the first time entrapment has happened and it’s certainly not the last. All caused when a simple policy was instituted in 1972. The war on drugs.

Since it’s implementation, The Drug War actually has not decreased the flow of drugs in America. If anything, the rate of drug flow has been slowly increasing since. Of the 1,552,432 arrests for drug law violations in 2012, 82.2% (1,276,099) were for possession of a controlled substance. Only 17.8% (276,333) were for the sale or manufacturing of a drug. Which is ridiculous because all this does is penalize the addicts and users. It does not actually solve the problem. It’s like bailing out the water at the bottom of a leak instead of plugging up the hole.

When this whole drug war was put into play, it sole purpose was to single out the poor and the minorities. “The problems is the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.” – Richard Nixon. If this may be the case, why are we still continueing to abide by this system? I am still not very sure as to why but I am here to provide, what’s in my opinion, the best solution.

I am certainly not the first to believe legalizing marijuana is the best solution, but the fact is, there are a massive amount of pros to it. First off it will halt the illegal trafficking of it into and around this country. It will also bring a significant amount of money to this economy. It can be taxed, but not only that but it will decrease the amount of inmates in jails and prisons, reducing overcrowding by a lot and forcing the government to spend less money on them. Though the common misconception is that the legalization is only to benefit the stoners and pot-heads. It’s not. There is so much potential in the hemp market. Hemp can create foods, paper products, textiles, body care, construction materials, animal feed/bedding and medicine. For example, there are some cancer that are slowed down by the THC molecules and in some cases, even cured. Another amazing thing is that 1 acre can produce durable paper to the equivalent of 4 acres of trees! So we can either stick with this corrupt system or except the ideals of the individuals of our generation. The choice is yours.