For practically a decade, cannabis arrests have been on a steady decline in the United States. But more than the previous 3 years that trend has reversed and arrests are on the rise once again. According to information from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report, police arrested 663,367 folks for marijuana-connected violations in 2018 alone. That amounts to a single arrest every single 48 seconds – and is drastically up from the 659,700 cannabis arrests in 2017 and the 653,249 recorded in 2016.
“Americans should really be outraged that police departments across the nation continue to waste tax dollars and restricted law enforcement sources on arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for basic marijuana possession,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri mentioned.
Not only is that a clear enhance more than the final 3 years, but it is 21 % greater than the quantity of folks who have been arrested for violent crimes in the exact same year (521,103). You may possibly want to think that these have been traffickers, drug dealers and folks who are dealing with illicit substances other than cannabis – but 90 % (608,776) of these arrests have been solely for cannabis possession offenses.
Contemplating the vast adjust in the landscape of cannabis laws all through the nation, you would believe the quantity of arrests would reduce in the previous a number of years, not steadily enhance. Sadly, it appears that members of law enforcement are nonetheless getting methods to arrest folks for cannabis – no matter whether it be in states exactly where the substance remains illegal, or getting methods about legal cannabis, such as arrests for public consumption.
“Prohibition is a failed and racist policy that should really be relegated to the dust bin of history,” Altieri, of NORML, mentioned. “An overwhelming majority of Americans from all political persuasions want to see it brought to an finish. Rather of continuing the disastrous practices of the previous, it is time lawmakers at all levels commence to honor the will of their constituents and assistance a sensible marijuana policy focused on legalization and regulation.”
Although this does not attain the 2007 record of 872,721 marijuana-connected arrests, this is a result in for concern. Exactly where law enforcement has the solution to concentrate their efforts on a lot more meaningful issues – violent crimes, dealers who sell damaging substances like crack, heroin, methamphetamine and other opiates – as an alternative they are continuing to arrest folks for possession of a plant that does a lot more to assist folks than any perceived harms. As NORML’s Erik Altieri mentioned, we should really be furious with this enhance in arrests at a time when public opinion and the laws themselves are clearly going in the other path.