Received this e-mail today from former Columbus, GA Mayor Teresa Toomlison’s (D. GA) U.S. Senate campaign:
Did you know that states spend roughly $3.6 billion every year on marijuana enforcement and that 599,282 people were arrested for simple possession of marijuana in 2017?
The benefits of legalizing marijuana far outweigh the cons. For starters, the racial disparities for marijuana-related crimes are overwhelming and indicate that legalization – along with expungement and commutation – would begin to fix what is broken in an institutionally racist criminal justice system. Especially considering that black and brown Americans are nearly 4 times more likely to be arrested for simple possession even though we know smoking pot isn’t limited to race.
Legalizing marijuana could also have a dramatically positive impact on our farmers – both here in Georgia and across the country – opening up new markets for a cash crop that is easy to grow, cultivate, and distribute.
And just as importantly, the medicinal benefits of marijuana are extremely promising and will only continue to grow as doctors and scientists are finally allowed to study the drug more thoroughly. Marijuana access could allow children with epilepsy, military veterans with PTSD, cancer patients of all ages, and elderly people with glaucoma to all live better, healthier lives.
Together, I know we can create the momentum to make this meaningful change.