It's not exactly the American Bar Association, but the nation's other major group representing lawyers has just issued a report calling for an end to the U.S. war on weed.
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) has been around since 1937 and has taken on a host of causes over the years. Its new report on pot came after months of research into the vast array of ways that marijuana's prohibition has been harmful to the American public.
“The NLG believes that ending the prohibition of cannabis would offer multiple benefits,” the group states in its report. “Legalization would help transform the marijuana industry … into a stable regulated one. It would significantly reduce infringements on civil liberties and lower the arrest and incarceration rates of people of color. Changing the criminal status of marijuana would lower the costs of law enforcement and protect people from entering the criminal justice system. Finally, legalization would remove restrictions currently impeding [the] study of medical marijuana and allow more users to acquire treatment if necessary. Each of these goals is consistent with sound economic, criminal justice, and public health policies.”
The NLG isn't just stating the obvious–the America's war on weed has had disastrous consequences for our nation–but is hoping to coordinate a two-pronged approach to ending this war. First, the group suggests, Americans need to pressure their elected representatives to reschedule cannabis so that it is no longer listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic which is prohibited under the Controlled Substances Act. Second, voters must continue to push for legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes, as happened last November in both Colorado and Washington states.
For further information, and to read the entire 40-page report, you can visit NLG's website.