The amount of manpower, dollars, and other resources spent on enforcing marijuana prohibition is staggering. The ACLU reports that "Between 2001 and 2010, there were over 8 million pot arrests in the U.S. That’s one bust every 37 seconds and hundreds of thousands ensnared in the criminal justice system." New York is no exception, spending around $1 billion dollars per year on criminal justice costs such as policing and prisons.
These numbers might not be so staggering if they served their purpose, but they have done nothing to curb marijuana use or availability. According to Time Magazine, marijuana use has doubled over the past decade. It's time we stopped pretending we can get rid of it, and time we legalized, taxed, and regulated it like any other substance.