Marijana Legalization Needs to Include Rights For Prisoners

Marijana Legalization Needs to Include Rights For Prisoners

People should be able to profit while others were arrested for the same thing.
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Former Speaker of the House John Boehner announced recently that his stance on Marijuana Legislation “has evolved,” according to a New York Times article available here. This is surprising but great news for liberals and Cannabis enthusiasts alike as it seems there has been a trend in more traditionally conservative or right leaning politicians to be canibus positive. This is important because it is turning a more liberal issue into something more partisan making legalization have a higher chance to pass on the floor statewide or even federally.

A lot of change in right wing stances comes from the fiscal value that the plant can in the amount of money the cannabis industry can bring to a state. States that already have legalized the drug have generated a huge profit from companies sprouting, to the rise of tourism, and even people moving to the states in the interest of their lifestyle.

However, a question brought up by more left wing voters is what happens to the people charged of crimes related to marijuana? In the United States, over half of the drug busts are marijuana related, according to the ACLU, with 8.2 million arrests associated with Marijuana taking place between 2000 and 2010. Of that 8.2 million, 88% were just marijuana possession alone. Not selling. Not trafficking. Simply having marijuana on them. Not to mention a lot of the arrests have severe racial bias. Black Americans are more than three times as likely to be arrested for Marijuana than white americans. According to Drugpolicy.org, of the people who are incarcerated in the prison system for drug offenses, 57 percent are black or latino even though they sell drugs at the same rate as white people.

While there are eight states so far who have chosen to legalize marijuana and twenty-two states that have decriminalized marijuana, there are still thousands of people in prisons for Cannabis related crimes as well as thousands of people who have felonies related to marijuana offenses that stay on their record and prevent them from being able to get jobs that restrict hiring felons.

The issue is that it is very unlikely that a conservative politician who accepts legalization on the stance that it will bring profit to their state will actually consider the impact the War on Drugs has had on it’s citizen, primarily those who are persons of color. It’s important that liberal politicians and voters pay attention to this while pushing for legalization as not doing so is marginalizing and entire group of people who were targets of Cannabis demonization in the first place. You can read about that in this article.

Luckily, California is a state that has taken this into consideration. In November of 2016, they passed Prop. 64 for marijuana legalization and in it they also included rights for those incarcerated on marijuana related crimes to petition for reduced or dismissed convictions. This is a huge step and hopefully other states will follow suite when writing new marijuana legalization laws.

Currently there are a few states that are looking into potential legalization, Illinois being one of them. Ideally, politicians will advocate to include similar rights for the incarcerated. The important thing however, is that politicians know this is important to their citizens so that they can help release those who didn’t deserve to have their lives changed forever by the prison system while some profit from their crime.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.
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"A man told me to have a good day... I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in because that is the extent of modern day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote: "I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "We can do it!" but realistically speaking in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly, and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of a war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25 year olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

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President Trump’s Wall Is Not A Solution, It Causes More Harm Than You Think

After the second government shutdown since Donald Trump's inauguration, immigrants and opponents of the wall are not the only ones suffering.

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At this time of writing this, the government has been shut down for 19 days. Friday will be the first day that workers in one of the affected organizations will not receive a paycheck. Children on free lunch programs will have gone without this service for 19 days. Families on food stamps are unable to receive one of the most necessary and basic human rights. This is not an emotional tangent, but rather a reasonable suggestion to our government to do their jobs. Both political sides can be seen at fault, as a negotiation usually occurs between dissenting opinions. However, compromises are made through understanding and reasoning.

However, while our government converses about their views on the proposed wall, I will offer mine. With a price tag of $5 billion to construct, this is not a cheap and short-term project. Building this "border" will take money out of every American's pocket; our government simply does not have $5 billion in a savings account. Funding may occur in the form of taxes, which is already a system that has been reformed and looked over time and time again. If the administration follows through with their prior statements, then funding may also come from the budgets of other existing agencies. Additionally, since President Trump is a man of maximalism, the construction of a wall will impede on residential lives for those who live along the southern border. This affects major cities and towns such as San Diego, El Paso, and San Luis.

In a capitalist country where money and finances are a concern, there are many agencies that would thrive if they could obtain a fraction of this billion dollar proposal.

Schools need funding. The criminal justice system and public defenders need funding. Women's health services, like Planned Parenthood, need funding (Planned Parenthood has stated that government money does not get used in abortion services). Did you know that Planned Parenthood only receives $500 million for their annual budget, which is 1/10th of the wall's budget? With a fraction of this budget, you could fund a project to provide clean and safe drinking water across the world. The governmental funding for the Environmental Protection Agency has been halved, and it is now less than the budget for this wall. Humanitarian services need funding. We could help the homeless and build walls… four walls for a shelter, that is. Remember Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria? There are still people without power- our government is responsible and needs money to aid these citizens.

I understand that people want stricter security and immigration services. A wall is not a solution. Airplanes exist- people can fly over the wall. Boats exist- traveling to America via water occurs. Building a power symbol cannot solve a "national emergency," as Donald Trump believes; the national emergency lies in the suffering Americans who will be impacted by the attempts to get this wall built.

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