I grew up in the 80's where we had this famous program spear headed by president Ronald Reagan called D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education.) It was part of the war on drugs effort to start young, by attempting to keep the kiddies from drugs because this was also the era where crack cocaine became a huge problem. You got a fancy black D.A.R.E. t-shirt with red lettering, you talked to cops who dealt with the horrors of drug abuse, you sang D.A.R.E. themed songs, and you'd literally practice someone approaching you and offering you drugs, and you always had to stand there and scream back, "NO! I don't do that stuff!!!"
Now, I've never done a drug, but I can 100% tell you D.A.R.E. was never as effective as the fear of God my parents put into me about what drugs would do to me, to them, to our entire family, to the world; they were quite dramatic, though, not as dramatic as singing: "D.A.R.E. to keep the kids of drugs, D.A.R.E, to keep the kids of dope." But D.A.R.E. wasn't just about dope, it always billed it's little brother marijunana as the gateway drug. If you took that, 5 seconds later you'd be a crack head. That is "literally" how it worked.
Fast forward a couple of decades later, and that over reaction to marijuana has put people in jail for years wasting our tax payer money to help keep them alive (does anyone not recall prohibition?!?). Now, I'm no drug advocate. I don't want people freely doing things like meth, running through the streets, fighting cops, and blowing up houses when things get out of hand, but there has been no real proof that marijuana is the destroyer of humanity the way meth or crack have the potential to be. (Forgive my lack of knowledge on this, but I'm going to assume that )if all that happens is a person mellows out and becomes a little loopy, I don't think a 10 year prison sentence is warranted. In fact, neither do a couple of states and cities who have now, like San Fran, made the stuff legal.
San Francisco has decided to clear thousands of marijuana convictions dating all the way back to 1975.
"The San Francisco District Attorney’s office said it will retroactively apply Proposition 64, which this year legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults who are 21 and older. California voters approved the measure in 2016, and the law took effect this year.The District Attorney’s office said it will review, recall and re-sentence as many as 4,940 felony marijuana convictions, in addition to dismissing 3,038 misdemeanors.
“While drug policy on the federal level is going backwards, San Francisco is once again taking the lead to undo the damage that this country’s disastrous, failed drug war has had on our nation and on communities of color in particular,” San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement on Wednesday." (TIME)
This war on drugs has destroyed a lot of people's lives who's only crime was to do a little pot or sell it. How does it help that young man or woman or whomever to put a drug charge on them that will follow them on any background check for the rest of their lives? How does it help if a person then has trouble finding housing? How does it help a family if a father/mother is sent to jail? I understand the health and safety risks of harder drugs and why this is often a necessity, but clearly, having legalized this stuff in many places, it is not a drug where one is out causing massive harm to others/self and due to the many regulations now on the drugs, I gather that they have been made safer because of them.