Shocking Statistics on Texas Marijuana Arrests: The High Cost of Our Current Drug Laws

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  • 16 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana
  • 6 states have decriminalized marijuana possession laws
  • 2 states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized recreational marijuana
  • The last three Presidents of the United States have admitted to using marijuana
  • Dozens of politicians from both parties have stated they have smoked marijuana
  • And even 1 Supreme Court Justice has admitted to repeated marijuana use

So why is it that in Montgomery County, Texas there are 20-30 marijuana arrests every week? This means there are approximately 1,350 new marijuana cases filed in just Montgomery County every year. According to the FBI, nationwide there were 757,969 persons arrested for marijuana violations in 2011, with 86% of those being arrested for simple possession. That means that in 2011 there was 1 marijuana arrest every 42 seconds!
Aside from the devastating consequences a marijuana arrest can cause to an individual’s life, the aggressive enforcement of drug laws that no longer reflect public opinion hurts everyone, as taxpayers are the ones that end up footing the bill to keep these non-violent offenders in jail. Currently, U.S. taxpayers spend more than $51 billion annually in the war on drugs. Of this amount, about $7 billion is spent annually to prosecute marijuana cases, which amounts to a cost of about $10,400 for every marijuana arrest. You must then figure in general court costs of $853 million and prison costs of $3.1 billion annually in taxpayer money that goes to prosecute marijuana cases. The gross amount of arrests made in the war on drugs means that U.S. taxpayers now spend more money on state prisons than we do on our public universities. However, it is estimated that if illegal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those currently placed on alcohol and tobacco, drug legalization would yield tax revenue of $46.7 billion annually. These estimates are backed by history: according to California’s Department of Justice, the state saved nearly $1 billion during the time it decriminalized personal possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from 1976 to 1985.
In our current economic state and social climate, it makes no sense to continue to throw billions in taxpayer dollars away prosecuting and imprisoning vast numbers of non-violent marijuana offenders. Even while presidents, politicians, television personalities and athletes coming forward to admit that they too have used marijuana, everyday citizens are harassed, humiliated, beaten, shackled, fined, and imprisoned over marijuana use. A government in which a prohibition remains on the books, with enforcement depending on police discretion, should be particularly frightening…a law should apply equally to all.
For more information on marijuana use and legalization in the rest of the country:
Medical Marijuana
Politicians Admit Marijuana Use
Video

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Gilbert Garcia has been Passionately Pursuing Justice for over 30 years and founded The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm in 2008. The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm is a boutique law firm, specializing in Criminal Defense. Gilbert represents adults and juveniles accused of a crime and who have with a felony, misdemeanor or record cleaning case. Conveniently located on the courthouse square to serve Montgomery and Walker Counties. Gilbert became Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1989. The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm is located at 220 N. Thompson St., Suite 202, Conroe, TX 77301.  www.ggglawfirm.com.

Drug Related Charges may include: Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Dangerous Drug, Manufacturing a Dangerous Drug/Controlled Substance, Delivery or Intent to Deliver Marijuana/Dangerous Drug/Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and many other drug related charges.