One of my first experiences in San Francisco after moving to the area was witnessing a black male in front of a Walgreens pull out a blunt as two white police officers walked towards the front door of the store. He then proceeded to light the blunt and started smoking as the two police officers briefly made eye contact with him and proceeded into the Walgreens.
I was left wondering what had just happened… see growing up in South Dakota the local government (and D.A.R.E remember that?) taught me to think of raids, arrests, shame, and other stigmas and negative connotations were to be associated with anything Marijuana related. Suffice to say if someone did this in my home town their immediate future would be in a jail cell and it would be difficult to find a decent job.
A conversation later that day about my experience revealed that Medical Marijuana was legal in California and that the police in the bay area do not care if you smoke. Legal or illegal there is pretty much no park you can’t buy it and no block downtown where you can’t smell it.
here is some public FBI data on the matter.
“Nearly half (44.3 percent) of federal marijuana inmates are offenders with minimal criminal histories who have not previously served time in prison. Eight-five percent of marijuana offenders did not possess a firearm.
After looking at the data and meeting some of the extremely talented people out here I have two main beliefs I would have you be open minded about.
Just to be clear I’m not suggesting everyone who smokes marijuana is a great innovator what I’m suggesting is that communities that don’t decriminalize marijuana are willingly turning their youth into criminals for no reason and that hurts us all everywhere. Sitting in a jail cell in your city is likely a student that got straight A’s but due to outdated laws and lies saying Marijuana is the gateway drug, bad for your health, makes you dumb, ect that student is robbed of a future absent ridicule.
So I challenge you to think of someone you know that was arrested for simple possession or selling Marijuana and be honest with yourself by asking Do you respect this person? I suspect someone whom you respect will come to mind, someone that you care about.
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