Weed’s walking…so should they

Prisoners should be freed for marijuana charges

Brianna Lewis, Op-Ed Writer

A question has come up with the media surrounding the possible legalization of marijuana: Will inmates convicted of weed categorized felonies be freed if the drug is legalized?

Here’s a little backstory.

Thus far, 29 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes only, including Illinois, Arizona and New York.

Of these, only nine states – including Maine, California, Washington and Oregon – have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

If states are legalizing the drug, we need to reconsider whether these individuals deserve to be in prison.

Maybe give them a fine, but extraneous jail time doesn’t seem necessary.

The Trump Administration has made it known that they don’t condone the legalization of weed regardless of growing public support or economic benefits.

However, they might not be able to stop the move towards legalization.

With new cannabis stores opening, it’s becoming more noticeable in loads of communities, including some our own.

The people who’ve been put away could be contributing to a industry on the rise that could help boost the national economy.

According to Arcview Market Research, legal marijuana will increase its revenue to $24.5 billion by 2021.

Though I myself am not a smoker, it seems unfair that some people are in jail while others are making themselves rich.

Of course, this double standard is no surrpise. The judicial system often has a double standard when it comes to who does and does not end up in jail.

And quite frankly, that just adds fuel to the statements that the prison system is rigged against certain people.

It’s no secret that people of color are more likely to be put in jail for miniscule charges.

Let’s put it like this: a father grounds child A for throwing rice on the floor; the father then lets child B do the same thing with no punishment at all.

The father is the judicial system and the kids are drug dealers and user.

Meanwhile, our parent judicial system sees others doing the same and lets them off with a warning.

But fret not, for there is hope after all.

It’s time for clemency.

In California, they have a gubernatorial pardon where inmates can write to their governor in a plea for their pardoning.

This is nationally known as the Clemency Act and depends on how merciful the executive government member is feeling when the request is received.

Based on that rule, I wouldn’t be surprised if many got out on good behavior or by the grace of a higher up in a good mood.