Blog Post

Just Do the Math!

Danielle Proctor

Crime, money, drugs, general happiness- are all closely linked to one another. It’s important to understand that a part of the reason why crime is high is because job opportunities are scarce, and because of this people find other ways to survive and make money. Money is a necessity to function properly, but while living in a debt-driven society life becomes rigid for the people affected with money problems.

Judge Richard A. Posner of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may be opposed to other drug laws but he believes criminalizing the possession or distribution of marijuana is ridiculous and essentially hypocritical.

“I can’t see any difference between that and cigarettes” – Judge Richard A. Posner

At a lecture at Elmhurst College in Illinois, Posner requested elimination of criminal laws against marijuana because legalization would save federal, state and local governments roughly $41.3 billion per year. (Skip to: 0:50:00 – 0:57:00 if you just want to hear his comments relating to drug laws.)

Posner says that marijuana laws are responsible for a high percentage of prisoners and that it’s very expensive to keep so many people locked up. The money that would be saved each year by keeping marijuana users out of prison could potentially be used to rebuild the economy, which is plagued by massive debt.

The national debt has increased to over $16 trillion dollars and increases every second according to the US debt clock. However, more than $50 billion is spent annually on the war on drugs. The legalization or decriminalization of marijuana won’t cover the national debt but will save the US about $90 billion each year.

Drugs are a natural way to relieve specific stresses in a person’s life, even when the drugs are prescribed or illegal. The current war on drugs is in no way lowering crime, saving money, or stopping people from taking these drugs, thus making a lot of people ranging from low income families to Congress unhappy.