Cannabis is quickly becoming the litmus test for all democrats, not just progressives, and for good reason too. Cannabis arrest for minorities are unfairly far higher than those of anyone else. Nationally the arrest rate for black people is four times to one for white people, despite equal use between all races. These statistics are outrageous. Criminalization of cannabis is racist.
These statistics may seem alarming but here in Iowa it is much worse. Only but a few years ago the statistics reached a peak of 8-1. That’s a compelling argument to legalize cannabis in Iowa considering the state is majorly white. This statistic is absolutely startling when you considering that in Iowa the population of african americans make up less than four percent of our entire states population according to census statistics. Even worse another statistic was sited in 2016 that 25% of our jail population is also black.
Legalization of cannabis is only part of the problem but it gives an easy way for police to search and incarcerate people who may not be aware of the laws. The alleged smell of cannabis is enough to violate a person’s civil liberties and some states have gone so far as to eliminate that threat by disallowing the idea of smelling being probable cause.
It’s true that any state will receive a boon of resources from legalizing cannabis. It’s true that those resources would go to schools and infrastructure and help rebuild the state. Keeping cannabis illegal only helps those that sell it illegally and it hurts those who are trying to enjoy it. It stifles the medical industry and keeps people in pain. It ruins potential when a young person with no criminal history gets caught with a small amount and it ruins their life. It’s morally imperative that we legalize cannabis.