Use some of these excellent resources when speaking with your your lawmakers.
Do Harsh Penalties for Marijuana Possession Reduce Teen Use? (PDF) Report by Marijuana Policy Project.
The War on Marijuana in Black and White (PDF). Report by the American Civil Liberties Union. At the end of this document, there is a state-by-state break down of racial disparities of marijuana possession arrests and a cost estimate of enforcing marijuana possession laws in each state. Nationwide, the report estimates that African Americans are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people, even though use rates are equivalent. Additionally, the 2010 estimate for the nationwide cost of marijuana possession enforcement is $3.6 billion. You can print out the single page for your state.
Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use (PDF). By D. Mark Anderson, Benjamin Hansen, and Daniel I. Rees.
The Impact of State Medical Marijuana Legislation on Adolescent Marijuana Use. By Esther K. Choo, M.D., M.P.H., Madeline Benz, Nikolas Zaller, Ph.D., Otis Warren, M.D., Kristin L. Rising, M.D., K. John McConnell, Ph.D and published in Journal of Adolescent Health.
A controlled family study of cannabis users with and without psychosis. By Ashley C. Proal, Jerry Fleming, Juan A. Galvez-Buccollini, Lynn E. DeLisi and published in Schizophrenia Research.
Nearly half of adults say they’ve tried marijuana, but not recently. Survey by Pew Research Center. “Roughly half of adults (48%) say they have ever tried marijuana…Democrats and Republicans are about equally likely to say they have tried the drug over their lifetimes, 47% vs. 43%.”
82% Say U.S. Not Winning War on Drugs. Rasmussen Poll. “Just four percent (4%) of American Adults believe the United States is winning the war on drugs, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.”
“As Arrest Records Rise, Americans Find Consequences Can Last a Lifetime” by Gary Fields and John R. Emshwiller for the Wall Street Journal. Particularly of note is the graphic that shows the negative impact that any arrest, even without charges or conviction, can have on a person’s life.
Marijuana Smoking Doesn’t Kill. “Although the use of [marijuana] is not harmless, the current knowledge base does not support the assertion that it has any notable adverse public health impact in relation to mortality.” Stephen Sidney, MD, associate director for research for Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif., in the Sept 20, 2003 issue of The British Medical Journal.
Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology by Cannabinoids: Neuroprotection Mediated by Blockade of Microglial Activation (PDF). “Our results indicate that cannabinoid receptors are important in the pathology of AD and that cannabinoids succeed in preventing the neurodegenerative process occurring in the disease.”
PTSD Symptom Reports of Patients Evaluated for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program by George R. Greer M.D., Charles S. Grob M.D. & Adam L. Halberstadt Ph.D. in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. “Greater than 75% reduction in CAPS symptom scores were reported when patients were using cannabis compared to when they were not.”
Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease: an exploratory double-blind trial. Conclusions: “Our findings point to a possible effect of CBD in improving quality of life measures in PD patients with no psychiatric comorbidities; however, studies with larger samples and specific objectives are required before definitive conclusions can be drawn.”
“Few Texans Would Keep Marijuana Illegal.” A 2014 poll by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune showed that “only 23 percent of Texas registered voters said marijuana should be illegal in all cases.”
Public Policy Polling (PDF) reported that 61% of Texans support the following proposal: “Under current Texas law, it is a criminal offense for a person to possess a small amount of marijuana, and he or she can be sentenced to up to a year in jail, and fined up to $2,000. Would you support or oppose a change in the law to make it a civil, not criminal, offense to possess an ounce or less of marijuana for personal use, punishable by a fine of up to $100, but without jail time?”