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Despite Clinton being the presumptive Democratic nominee, Sanders is still fighting for one of his key campaign platforms- decriminalizing marijuana and criminal justice reform for drug offenders in prison.

Sanders, although he is mathematically eliminated from the presidential election, should not be swept under the table and disregarded as a threat. After all, he is still a Senator.

The Vermont senator has proposed decriminalizing marijuana, and he can actually make a very persuasive argument to the naive mind.

Bernie Sanders at a town hall at George Mason University said,
“It is time to tax and regulate marijuana”

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Firstly, decriminalizing marijuana to tax it sounds like a good reason, and it is what plenty of advocates for recreational marijuana bring up. However, a recent Gallup survey discovered that a staggering 75% of Americans feel the Government is corrupt. Aside from that, the Government has a problem with spending. We as a nation are 19 trillion dollars in debt, and not in good shape for dealing with this debt. So, that being said, three out of four Americans believe the government is corrupt, and the government doesn’t use the money we give them wisely now, so why should we give a corrupt and recklessly irresponsible organization more money?

Sanders went on to say – “. . . It is time to end the arrest of so many people and the destruction of so many lives for the possession [of] marijuana.”

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Yes, it is true that people get arrested for possession of marijuana at a higher rate than possession of any other drug. However, people are getting incarcerated at a dramatically lower rate for possession than something like trafficking, by a long shot.

In 2012, The Federal Bureau of Prisons linked with the U.S. Sentencing Commission to record the number of prisoners and for what they were imprisoned for. Of which included Drug Related Crimes. The records show that 94,421 people were incarcerated for trafficking, while only 247 were incarcerated for possession.

Yes. 247 people were incarcerated for drug possession.

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Sanders isn’t wrong in saying that many people get arrested for possession of marijuana, but the issue ends at arrest and many of them pay a fine, or do community service, and then that’s really the end of it. In some states, possession of marijuana is corrected with a citation. 247 people incarcerated for drug possession would render Sanders’ point moot.

In my research I found myself miserably searching through FeeltheBern.org, but I found some more stupid ideas.

“Nonviolent offenders should not be incarcerated. Instead, they should be allowed to access affordable treatment to address their drug dependencies” was what I found.

Releasing drug offenders is a very bad idea, commuting their sentence is an even worse idea.

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According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the rearrest rate for drug offenders sits at 66.7%, and is slowly increasing. In short, drug offenders will continue to be drug offenders, no matter how long they sit in prison.

There is a reason Criminal Justice experts should be put in charge of Criminal Justice Reform, and not delusional hippies.

Seth Wilkins
Instagram: @Socialist.Seth