Hidden costs of prohibition

With legalization of marijuana getting attention all over the world, assessing prohibition is finally becoming pertinent where it was once ignored as conspiracy theory. The truth is that that is a lot money spent on trying to regulate marijuana, but there is no regulation of an illegal market. In an report that I was reading it says that one million police hours have been spent arresting low level marijuana offenders.

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Consider this with the number of stop and frisk victims who get simple possession tickets. Further,add the number of frisk victims who are found to have nothing on them at all and are simply let go. Calculate the hours spent on these frisks and searches.

If 1 out of every 3 searches ends with an arrest, one ends in a ticket for possession of marijuana, and one has nothing on them at all, it looks like prohibition is doing some good at ferreting out the problem and only one innocent person was uselessly harassed and suspected of being guilty of something.

These numbers are not even realistic though. Police do not make 1 arrest for every 3 civilian contacts, even when they have specific suspicion of a crime. Here is something to consider, how many hours are spent searching innocent tax payers for marijuana? Not people who get tickets or those who are arrested, but how many empty searches are done to get the few arrests and tickets that are accomplished? If the odds of arrests where 1 out of 3, the 440,000 arrests would represent the fruits of something like 1.3 Million searches.

It seems to me that nobody is served well by prohibition, and the innocent suffer the ill effects as much as anybody else when their rights are as much as questioned by police under suspicion of Marijuana “Crimes”. Ending prohibition will save time and money, the only real question is how much? (OK, there is another question about how to do it “safely” also, but pot is pretty safe so this is almost trivial.)