Judge James P. Gray is a trial Judge in Orange County, California, a former attorney in the Navy JAG corps, a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles; he has also been a civil litigation attorney for a private law firm. In these two videos, he talks about marijuana and our “failed and hopeless drug policy” in America.
According to Gray, it’s easier for kids to get marijuana than alcohol because alcohol is regulated by the government and marijuana is regulated by drug dealers on the street.
These are excellent videos, caused by a thoughtful judge who is in a position to know.
If we started treating marijuana as we do alcohol, we would see five immediate benefits:
California would save $1 Billion in state expenses currently used to prosecute marijuana offenses.
California would generate $1.3B in take revenue per year in California (marijuana is currently the number one cash crop in California, with grapes being #2).
We’d make marijuana less available than it is now, and the quality of marijuana would be better regulated than it is now.
The entire medical marijuana controversy would go away–the Federal government is currently acting like a “bully” harassing sick people.
Why don’t we treat marijuana like alcohol, even though the majority of people are willing to do this? Why does the federal government care? Here’s Judge Gray’s belief: At least 75% of everyone in the U.S. who uses any illicit substance uses only marijuana. By legalizing and regulating marijuana, the federal government would no longer justify our “colossal prison-industrial complex.” Many government jobs depend on the “war on drugs.” Two Congressmen have admitted to Judge Gray that “the war on drugs is not winnable, but it’s imminently fund-able.” He concludes that the federal government is “addicted to the drug war funding.”
For more on the harmlessness of marijuana, see this earlier DI post.
These videos were produced by Lee Stranahan, a writer, photographer and independent filmmaker. He also blogs for The Huffington Post .