Prison space goes up in smoke

When you consider how much it costs to jail an inmate per year, this seems like a totally outrageous waste of taxpayer money: Marijuana Arrests Set New Record:
The FBI reported today that there were an all-time record 755,186 arrests for marijuana in 2003 -- vastly exceeding the 597,026 arrests for all violent crimes combined. As in past years, the vast majority-88 percent-of marijuana arrests were for simple possession, not sale or manufacture.

The new arrest report comes eight days before voters across the U.S. will consider a variety of measures to reform marijuana laws.

"With marijuana arrests exceeding 750,000 a year, it's safe to say that the drug war isn't preventing people from using marijuana," said Robert Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "It's time to acknowledge this reality by taxing and regulating marijuana. A responsible system of regulation will do a
better job of keeping marijuana away from kids and end the pointless persecution of adults who use marijuana responsibly."

Thanks to Common Dreams for picking this up off the wire.

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