The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators wants to end disproportionate marijuana arrests for non-whites.
The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) has grown weary from the effects of the War on Drugs. The group has adopted a resolution that calls for the “decriminalization, commercialization and taxation of cannabis.”
“Marijuana policy in this country has disproportionately targeted Latinos from the start,” said NHCSL President and Pennsylvania State Rep. Ángel Cruz. “NHCSL believes that our laws should focus on ending the current lawlessness of the black market and allow sound public policy based on scientific evidence to prevail on the issue of cannabis,” Cruz added.
The NHCSL feels the legalization of cannabis would help to provide medicine, tax revenues, and a fairer criminal justice system. Non-whites are much more likely to be arrested and incarcerated for cannabis use or possession.
“I am proud to stand with my fellow Latino legislators in taking a strong position in favor of common sense cannabis policy,” said one of the resolution’s sponsors Colorado State Rep. Dan Pabón.“We have successfully legalized cannabis and we have been able to reduce crime by 10.1 percent, increase revenues by more than $300 million that we dedicated to our schools and have a new thriving industry that creates jobs,” Pabón also said in the resolution.
“Smart decriminalization and tough regulations also allow our youth to thrive instead of subjecting many of them to unfair and discriminatory treatment by law enforcement. This is a civil rights issue and we urge our fellow lawmakers to view it as such and act accordingly.”