Last year, more than 850,000 people in the U.S. were arrested for marijuana-related offenses.
Despite public opinion, the medical community, and human rights experts of all movement in favor of relaxing the laws of marijuana prohibition, little has changed in terms of policy.
There have been many great books and articles detailing the history of the war on drugs. Part of fixing America with maintaining green leaf plant illegal is rooted in the cultural and political clashes of the past.
However, there are entrenched interest groups that are spending large sums of money to keep the broken drug laws on the books:
1) The police unions: Police departments across the country have become dependent on federal subsidies war on drugs to finance their budget. In March, an article revealed that a police union lobbyist in California coordinated the effort to defeat Proposition 19, a ballot measure in 2010 to legalize marijuana, while helping their clients from the police department to raise tens of million in federal grants marijuana eradication. And not just in California. Federal lobbying disclosures show that other police union lobbyists have pushed for stiffer penalties for marijuana-related crimes across the country.
2) The private prison corporations: Private prison corporations make millions for jailing people who have been incarcerated for drug offenses, including marijuana. Corrections Corporation of America, one of the largest for-profit enterprises in prison, said in a statement that the regulator to continue the war against drugs is integral to their business strategy. Prison companies have spent millions of dollars funding pro-drug war and politicians have used secret front groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council, to barely exceed the requirements for drug offenses.
3) Corporations producing alcohol and beer: Fearing competition for dollars spent on entertainment, alcohol and snuff interests have lobbied to keep marijuana out of reach. For example, the California Beer and Beverage Distributors contributed campaign contributions to a committee set up to prevent the legalization of marijuana and taxed.
4) Pharmaceutical corporations: As mentioned above sin industries, pharmaceutical interests would keep marijuana illegal so American has no alternative option for cheap medical products. Howard Wooldridge, a retired police officer who now lobbies the government to relax the laws on marijuana prohibition, said the Republic of reports with the police unions, the "second biggest opponent at the Capitol is big PhRMA" because marijuana substitute "to everything from Advil Vicodin pills and other expensive".
5) The prison guard unions: Prison guard unions have a vested interest in keeping people behind bars as well as for-profit prison. In 2008, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association spent a whopping $ 1 million to defeat a measure that has "reduced sentences and probation time for nonviolent offenders emphasizing drug treatment in prison".
Source: Republic Report
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