The CATO institute released a report today, The Budgetary Impact of Ending Drug Prohibition. According to the report, drug prohibition has cost New Jersey state and local governments $832 million in 2008. $183 million of this is for marijuana prohibition alone.
The NJ Libertarian Party State Board urges Governor Christie to immediately commute the sentences of prisoners whose only offense involved consensual acts between adults. At a time where the NJ State Budget must be cut, we cannot afford to imprison people who have harmed no one.
According to the State Department of corrections there are 6,678 inmates being held for non-violent drug offenses. Another 1,146 prisoners are being held for "violations against public policy." At an average cost of $38,900 per prisoner, these prisoners are held at annual cost of over 300 million dollars or over $800,000 per day.
Among these prisoners include John Ray Wilson who was caught growing 17 marijuana plants to alleviate his Multiple Sclerosis. The state assembly has legalized medical marijuana, meanwhile the state is spending money keeping Mr. Wilson in prison.
The New Jersey Libertarian Party urges the repeal of all laws creating "crimes" without victims. These would include laws against the use or possession of drugs, laws against consensual sexual relations involving adults, and laws regulating or prohibiting gambling. In addition to commuting the sentences, we urge that the Governor fully pardon and exonerate all those who have been convicted of these so called "crimes."