There is always debate about the types of policies we should be enacting for various offenses. There are those who believe that the harshest of punishments for any offense are what should be on the table. However, you will also have those who are more concerned with rehabilitating people and persevering their freedom. It is a very different approach, and sometimes you need to find the right balance. For instance, there are a lot of people who believe that the punishments for anything related to marijuana are too severe, and that is what we are looking at today.
The reason why so many are against having harsh sentences for someone who is caught possessing or selling marijuana is because it is one of those substances where you are not looking at a very serious reaction if you are using it. For instance, we can understand why there are harsh penalties associated with heroin, cocaine and other drugs. Yes, you may want to start the decriminalization process for all substances, but the argument is harder to make for drugs that have such a bad impact on people and societies. However, marijuana is not one of those substances by any means. It is the complete opposite.
It is one of those substances where, yes, it does have an impact on the brain and the body. But it is a calming impact. So long as you do not have people going around and driving when they are partaking in marijuana, they are not going to cause anyone any problems. In fact, you will often find a lot more problems if people consume too much alcohol as opposed to marijuana. People are more likely to end up in the hospital after a night of heavy drinking, and they are also more likely to get into fights. Why is alcohol not illegal too?
Maybe we can merit the legality of marijuana on another day. But what we can say is that decriminalization works. You can only look to the states where they have achieved such statutes to see how the system benefits. For instance, Massachusetts saw a committee work on Sensible Marijuana Policy for many years, and they finally got their way over the past couple of years. You can read up on their work here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_for_Sensible_Marijuana_Policy. Their work ensured that people in that state no longer have to worry about getting arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or a felony if they are caught possessing the substance.
Not only are you going to keep people out of jail for something so non-serious, but you are ensuring that you are not raising a society where so many people have a criminal history. Being a criminal is not only about the time you spend in jail, but it is something that will follow you all your life. Whether you are hunting for a job or wanting to rent an apartment, your record has an impact. And why should we want to put people in the position of having a record for something like possessing marijuana?