|Photo: Duane Roberts
|Duane Roberts: “Repealing federal laws criminalizing marijuana will save the U.S. government billions of dollars”
Duane Roberts, Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate from California, has called for repealing federal laws prohibiting marijuana from being used for “medicinal, recreational and industrial purposes.” Roberts urged the passage of Prop 19, saying it will send a message to the political establishment.
“As I officially kick off my campaign for the U.S. Senate today, one of the first declarations I make is to call for the repeal of all federal laws on the books which make it a criminal act for people to grow, sell and use marijuana for medicinal, recreational and industrial purposes,” Roberts said on Thursday.
“According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 800,000 people are arrested each year in this country for using a plant of which the evidence suggests is far less dangerous to consume than alcohol, tobacco, and some well-known prescription pharmaceuticals,” Roberts said.
This is a big waste of taxpayer money, according to Roberts.
“Not only does this clog the court systems and fill up the jails and prisons with non-violent offenders, but it diverts the limited resources of the police, prosecutors, and judges away from pursuing individuals who engage in violent crimes against others,” said the Senatorial candidate.
“Repealing federal laws criminalizing marijuana will save the U.S. government billions of dollars it spends trying to eradicate this plant and give the people of each state an opportunity to experiment with different models of legalization, as California is doing with Prop 19,” Roberts said.
“Recent polls suggest a majority of Californians support Prop 19, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010. If this initiative passes, it will the first time since 1913 that it will legal under state law for people to possess marijuana for personal consumption,” Roberts said. (California outlawed marijuana in 1913, 24 years before the federal government did so in 1937.)
“Despite some flaws in the way it is written, I strongly urge all Californians to vote ‘yes’ on Prop 19,” Roberts said. “Don’t make perfect the enemy of the good. Its passage will create huge shock waves throughout the entire political establishment — everywhere from Sacramento to Washington, D.C.”
“By casting your ballot in favor of Prop 19, you’ll be sending a strong message to politicians across the nation that the one hundred year old witch hunt they’ve been waging against persons who grow or use marijuana — fueled by racism, fear, paranoia, and utter stupidity — is over with,” Roberts said.