Richard A. Posner, a widely respected federal judge, legal conservative, and the most cited judge in America has called for the legalization of Marijuana and changes to other drug laws. Graduating as valedictorian from Yale, Posner has been called a genius by his contemporaries and even has classes devoted to his rulings.
Judge Posner was given a round of applause when he said that
I don’t think we should have a fraction of the drug laws that we have. I think it’s really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana, I can’t see any difference between that and cigarettes.
He continued to point out the senselessness of using punishment over treatment. He commented that
using the criminal law as the primary means of dealing with a problem of addiction, of misuse, of ingesting dangerous drugs — I don’t think that’s sensible at all.
He also reminded the courts that legalizing marijuana and other drugs
He believes the drug laws are a waste of legal minds and a waste of, at the very least, moderately productive people’s lives. For some perspective, by the end of 2010, nearly 40% of inmates across state and federal prisons were serving time for a drug offense. This is a source of mind boggling monetary inefficiency, as rehabilitation costs approximately $20,000 less than incarceration per person per year.