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It’s a question that keeps coming up: why not legalize marijuana? Wouldn’t it help alleviate prison crowding, drug-related violence and arrests? The short answer is: no.

And now for some explanation.

Legalizing marijuana may stop run-of-the-mill possession arrests, but cases involving minors, illegal distribution, driving under the influence, etc would still be cause for arrest. So the current estimate of 860,000 marijuana-related arrests may not actually decrease drastically.

Moving on to the prison system, it may be surprising to note that only about 8% of those in prison are there due to marijuana-only charges. Since marijuana arrests wouldn’t completely cease if it was legalized, we might not even see a significant drop in this already low percentage.

And finally, some would argue that legalizing marijuana would help end drug-related violence in the US. However, within our borders, cocaine/crack, heroin and meth are the real culprits when it comes to crime.

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