When it comes to drug punishment in the United States, the word sensible is not something you are going to hear very often. In fact, I would argue that nothing done with respect to these substances in this country is even in the realm of sensible. You see people getting massive sentences in prison because they were possessing or selling some amounts of marijuana, and you have to wonder why the system would even try to operate in such a way. And this is the feeling that many other people in the United States have too. They are wondering whether the system is taking the wrong approach to the matter.
So, what can people do? One of the things they can do is take a look at what has been done in the past, and how success was found. For instance, we can look at the Massachusetts situation, where they managed to get some excellent marijuana legislation passed over the past few years. They set up a committee and everything, where they tried to get sensible policies on the books throughout the state. You can read more about this organization and its efforts right here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_for_Sensible_Marijuana_Policy. They did some excellent work, and the state is thankful.
Even though that work was great, it does not mean the job is done. It is easy to look at places such as Colorado where marijuana is now legal and wonder whether the whole of the United States operates in the same way. However, it is not the case. There are plenty of states where the police and the legal system is happy to take action against those who are found to have marijuana on their person or they are the ones who are doing the selling. And it is clear that a lot of work is needed in this respect.
The goal of all marijuana legislation is decriminalization. Yes, there are ways to go about legalizing the substances. However, those will require a larger vote, which may or may not happen depending on the state. The goal of decriminalization is not to legalize something, but to ensure that people are not getting punished and having their lives ruined because they are caught with some weed in the car or something of the sort. We need to get to a point where sensible policing is being done, and people’s lives are being considered over “law and order.”
The reason why there is so much support for decriminalization with respect to marijuana is that you are looking at a substance where the impact is a lot meeker than the perception. People always think of it as some kind of gateway drug, but the truth is that marijuana probably has less of an impact on our bodies as compared to alcohol, which is completely legal. So, perhaps we need to take a closer look at the type of systems we are erecting, and why we are choosing to take such harsh action against people for the smallest of offenses.