The Article: Don’t just legalize marijuana, free prior offenders by Matthew Fleischer in The LA Times.
The Text: With pot now legally for sale in Colorado, and Washington state gearing up to follow suit, marijuana legalization activists across the country are pushing hard to replicate these political successes in other states. Voters in Massachusetts could ratify legalized marijuana as early as 2016.
This is undoubtedly a sign of progress. Our nation has capriciously squandered far too many precious national resources combating a green weed that makes people feel good.
As welcome as a more widespread regulated marijuana industry would be, however, one thing that no one seems to be considering is what to do with those already convicted of marijuana crimes. It’s estimated that 750,000 people are arrested every year on marijuana-related charges and up to 40,000 are currently in prison for marijuana crimes.