For those of you who have been following the marijuana legal trends these days, there is one little cluster that stands out among them all: New England. In fact, five of the six New England states self-report some of the highest weed toking in the entire United States. But that’s not all.
New England leads the united states in progressive marijuana legislation. Every New England state is in a furious debate over marijuana law reform, and there may be something to look forward to in the relatively short future – this point will be revisited later. And let’s take a look at the numbers on marijuana use in New England. Notes the 2006-07 report on state estimates for illicit drug use:
Six States were common to the top fifth for past month marijuana use in all three age groups (12 to 17, 18 to 25, and 26 or older), and among persons 12 or older: Colorado, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont…Seven States that were ranked in the top fifth for marijuana incidence in the 12 or older age group also ranked in the top fifth for past month marijuana use (Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
Just a couple weeks ago, Daniel P Malloy announced his support for decriminalization of marijuana in amounts of an ounce and below, requiring house arrest instead of prison. Considering how stuffed prisons already are, this would be a great move forward. Rep. Gerald M. Fox III, D-Stamford, co-chairman of the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee chimed in his cautious support of the proposal: “[T]here might be alternative means that we can look into that would not only be better for the individuals, but would also be less costly.” Eventually, if people starting getting their heads on right, we will continue to see more statements like this from big and small names in legislation. It is becoming clear that legalization of marijuana is not only the most cost-affordable solution to the war on drugs but the safest and most sensible. Incidentally, a Fairfield University student echoed this regarding the new legislation. Says Andrew Paliotta, of Yonkers, NY: “If this allows for less overcrowding in jails and less money being spent prosecuting people for a petty crime, why not?” “Fines will also generate revenue, something Connecticut desperately needs. I believe that marijuana will be decriminalized all over the country in the next decade but it will take the states like Connecticut and Massachusetts to lead the movement.”
Everyone, this is a chance to cast your vote. What do YOU think? Should marijuana be legalized?
Post your thoughts in the comments!