ACLU California supports of marijuana legalization ballot measure

ACLU California supports of marijuana legalization ballot measure

The American Civil Liberties Union of California (ACLU) has announced its support for the state’s marijuana ballot measure that would seek the public’s approval in the November general election to legalize the drug.

Endorsing the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), ACLU said it decided to support the measure to stem the mass incarceration epidemic in the state. The group noted that black people and other minorities get detained more for pot than whites in spite of similar usage levels.

Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, director of criminal justice and drug policy at the ACLU of California, said time has come to move from prohibition to regulation of pot.

Clarifying the group’s stance, Dooley-Sammuli said, “The disastrous war on marijuana in California continues to ensnare thousands of people – particularly young people of color – in the criminal justice system every year. It is time to move from prohibition to regulation. AUMA will establish a controlled and regulated market for adults…”

Supporters of the measure also believe that marijuana legalization would trim down the harm that young people are suffering under the state’s current marijuana laws as well as generate substantial revenue for to support efforts like drug education.

From 2011 to 2014, California law enforcement agencies arrested more than 60,000 people in connection with marijuana law violations. Young people under the age of 20 years accounted for 73 per cent of all misdemeanor marijuana arrests, and 70 per cent of all marijuana-related arrests were of people of color.