The “War on Drugs” has failed. It has led to mass incarceration, leaving thousands of young people with criminal records and few job prospects, trapping them in poverty.

A change to Michigan’s marijuana policy would allow our law enforcement agencies to stop spending precious resources pursuing non-violent marijuana users, and instead focus on the violent criminals who are targeting our families. After Baltimore implemented a similar policy, it witnessed a significant increase in arrests for gun related crimes.

Decriminalizing marijuana would also save our government much needed revenue. Each marijuana possession arrest costs taxpayers approximately $1,266. By reforming their marijuana policy alone, Philadelphia saved approximately $4.4 million.

I support the legalization of up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use, as well as the cultivation of a reasonable amount of plants.

Commercial production and retail sales of cannabis should be licensed and regulated by the state in the same method as tobacco and alcohol, introducing a much-needed revenue stream to our government.

Tax revenue from the sale of marijuana could generate between $20 million to $75 million annually. The proceeds of these taxes would be allocated by the state legislature; however, a portion would be directly transferred to the local government in which the retail establishment is located.

Marijuana or marijuana products received via a physician’s prescription, or that are part of a medical marijuana program, should be tax exempt.

The sale of hemp and hemp products should be subject to normal sales tax.

As District 1’s next Representative, I will support legislation that allows for the commercial production and retail sales of cannabis and hemp.