Incarceration Rate of Marijuana Users Close to All Time High for 2009
The figures are in and 2009 is shaping up to be one of the most lucrative for law enforcement in recent years. In 2008 the number of marijuana arrest was the second highest annual total ever reported. Doctors that prescribe (recommend?) medical marijuana in Nevada would like to see these numbers decrease.
What’s more is there is no apparent relationship between more marijuana arrest and the rate of use. Marijuana arrests have increased by 150% from 1991 to 2009. But, the overall level of marijuana use has remained the same throughout that period. Las Vegas medical marijuana clinics know the benefits of medical marijuana, and through their compassionate care, have managed to treat many medical marijuana patients.
Another startling trend shows that from 2003 to 2007 annual marijuana arrest increased by 3% while marijuana use dropped. The arrest of 6% of users is not enough to warrant a meaningful threat to law enforcement. There is no real way of knowing who is a user of marijuana other than the number of people who get a medical marijuana card in Nevada. Through extrapolating that data we can find 1 in 44 Nevada residents is a patient at Nevada medical marijuana clinics.
Do those 60,000 men and women deserve to be punished because of the medicine they need?
No, of course they do not, if medical marijuana clinics recommend a way of treating a patient, that is helpful to them, then they should be allowed to recommend that treatment without fear of the patient being harassed or abused for their treatment. Doctors that recommend medical marijuana are trained and know the affects of medical marijuana or else they would not recommend it to patients.
Each state varies wildly with their marijuana laws and penalties. There is no uniformity in the laws, if a medical marijuana patient leaves the state and takes their medical marijuana card along with their medicine, the other state could arrest and fine them with no regards to the patients needs. This must change, but it is highly unlikely to, since all states have the right to different laws and how those laws are interpreted. But, if states recognized doctors that recommend marijuana in Nevada and their patients then it would go a long way to reducing the number of arbitrary arrest each year.
The national arrest record is 290 per 100,000 residents. There are 350 million people in this country and roughly half (49.8%) of drug offenders are there because of marijuana. That’s a very large portion of the population who are behind bars because of a plant. Medical marijuana clinics in Nevada know the law and they will help patients who are unsure or unaware of other states laws.
With expansion of laws that positively affect Nevada medical marijuana clinics, as well as educating the public, we the people can take back our liberty and see the type of compassionate state we want.