Don’t Just Smoke a Joint on 4/20 — Take Action Against Marijuana Prohibition
By Bill Piper
The movement to end cannabis prohibition is very broad, composed of people who love cannabis, people who hate cannabis, and people who don’t have strong feelings about cannabis use one way or the other. We all agree on one thing though – cannabis prohibition is doing more harm than good. It’s wasting taxpayer dollars and police resources, filling our jails and prisons with hundreds of thousands of nonviolent people, and increasing crime and violence in the same way alcohol Prohibition did. Police made more than 750,000 arrests for cannabis possession in 2008 alone. Those arrested were separated from their loved ones, branded criminals, denied jobs, and in many cases prohibited from accessing student loans, public housing and other public assistance.
The war on cannabis won’t end, however, if everyone who supports reform stays silent. Maybe you smoke cannabis and are tired of being considered a criminal. Maybe you work in law enforcement and are tired of ruining people’s lives by arresting them. Maybe you’re a teacher or public health advocate tired of politicians cutting money for education and health to pay for the construction of new jails and prisons Maybe you’re a civil rights activist appalled by racial disparities in cannabis law enforcement. Or maybe you just don’t want your tax dollars wasted on ineffective policies.
Regardless of your motivation, April 20th (4/20) is a good opportunity for you to make a pledge to end cannabis prohibition. The Drug Policy Alliance is asking people to use 4/20 as the time to commit to doing something in 2011 to end the war on people who use cannabis. There are many ways to help end cannabis prohibition. Donate to a drug policy reform organization. Tell your elected representatives to end cannabis prohibition. Talk to your friends and family about why people who use cannabis shouldn’t be arrested. Twitter this. Change your Facebook status to announce your support for ending the war on cannabis. Stand up today with other Americans and get the word out there. This war will end; how soon depends, in part, on you.