By Jason Sattler

14 States That Have Decriminalized Marijuana

April 1, 2013 5:23 pm Category: Memo Pad, Politics 4 Comments A+ / A-

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Rhode Island became the 14th state in the union to decriminalize marijuana to some degree on Monday. In these states — unlike Washington and Colorado, which both legalized the drug by voter referendum — people who use pot can be punished under state law, but only by some means other than prison time. Typically, offenders will receive a violation akin to a traffic ticket.

Even state legalization doesn’t solve the conflict with the federal law that still prohibits any use of the drug under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. However, it does make a dent in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans imprisoned for nonviolent drug crimes. And based on the 2012 election, it seems that more states will be pursuing the path of legalizing recreational use of the drug in a manner similar to alcohol.

The lack of a coherent federal policy makes enforcing state laws complex, and it also hinders a national policy to deal with the actual dangers of marijuana use, including dependence.

“There are three million people [nationally] who report that their lives are seriously interfered with by pot smoking and that’s particularly problematic for juveniles,” according to Mark Kleiman, the man who is helping Washington set up its state marijuana legalization regulations. “Six percent of high-school seniors are daily smokers and that can’t be good for their education.”

Studies suggest that decriminalization does not lead to increase in use of marijuana — ideally it would create an opportunity to engage in a more robust conversation about the risks of dependence.

Here are the states where marijuana isn’t necessarily a jail-able crime anymore.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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14 States That Have Decriminalized Marijuana Reviewed by on . Rhode Island became the 14th state in the union to decriminalize marijuana to some degree on Monday. In these states -- unlike Washington and Colorado, which bo Rhode Island became the 14th state in the union to decriminalize marijuana to some degree on Monday. In these states -- unlike Washington and Colorado, which bo Rating:

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  • republiCONsanddemsarebothsuck

    The current drop out rate is 7% down from 12% in 1990. It looks like the more pot high school students smoke, the lower the drop out rate goes.

    This fits in with pot being a schedule 1 drug and coke, codeine and the like being schedule 2 drugs indicates that the idiots in charge of our drug policy are either drug dealers themselves or too stupid to be employed.

    Then again, when you look at all of the money spent on the “war on drugs” farce, its easy to see why we should keep morons like nixon and obama away from making any sensible policy decisions regarding this farce of a policy.

    Also, people being addicted to marijuana? I have heard of them being addicted to mountain dew but not pot so what type of lies are these that the “experts” come up with.

    by the way, it only takes 8 xtra strength tylenol to kill you so why can any 8 year old purchase these?

    • JDavidS

      Good post. We used to say “weed will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no weed.” I’ve toked for close to 50 years and can certainly attest to the truth of that statement.

  • JDavidS

    The fact that it was illegal to begin with was absurd. “Reefer Madness” indeed.

  • LaRae Bailey

    all of it is nonsense designed to keep cops in a job and jails full. as long as the old men in government make the laws, none of it is going to change. old men should not be lawmakers. pot should have been legal long ago and taxed. until the people force the issue to a state vote it will be as it is

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