COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A northeast Ohio congressman says the war on drugs has failed and he now supports marijuana legalization in all 50 states.
Democratic US Rep. Tim Ryan announced his position Friday, July 20, 2018 in an op-ed on CNN. Ryan said he concluded that current laws are morally wrong, “economically nonsensical,” and place an unnecessary strain on law enforcement agencies.
Ryan is co-sponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act, which removes marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances and eliminates criminal penalties for possession and consumption.
The congressman, who is co-chair of the House Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus, argues more Americans were arrested for marijuana possession in 2017 than for all violent crimes combined.
He wrote that studies have shown legalization could save $7.7 billion in law enforcement costs, generate $6 billion in new tax revenue, and quickly create 782,000 jobs.