We’ve done a lot of good in the world of marijuana reform in the last couple of decades and even more in just the last five years. With a total of 23 states having some form of medical marijuana law passed as well as 4 states and DC who allow recreational marijuana it is quite clear that cannabis is becoming much more widely accepted than it has been in decades.
So why, may I ask, have more people been arrested on marijuana charges in 2014 than any year since 2009? This just doesn’t seem to make sense – and I’m not the only one questioning why precious resources are being wasted on such a ridiculous “offence”.
In the last year alone nearly 701,000 people were arrested in total – which breaks down to about 1 person every 45 seconds. The fact that this number is for the U.S. alone is really worrisome – especially with not only the growing acceptance of the plant but the number of states which have legalized and counties who have decriminalized marijuana.
If we have such a large majority of the population who are willing to accept marijuana legalization, why are so many people still being arrested? Worse than that – almost 90% of those arrests were simple possession charges!
They weren’t drug trafficking, they weren’t growing it or any other offense that would qualify as a marijuana arrest – they were just regular people, casual users, who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught with a bit of weed on them.
While our police forces were worrying about booking that small-time, marijuana possession offender he could have been out there taking care of larger problems.
Whether that be to pull over a drunk driver who could have cost someone a life, or to catch the guy who broke into the convenience store last week it doesn’t matter – almost anything is more worth the taxpayer’s money than worrying about possession charges.
Yahoo News quoted a man with disturbing statistics, sharing that less than two thirds murders and about 40 percent of rape investigations are actually cleared – yet we have the time and resources to arrest 701,000 Americans over a plant!
Maybe this will lead more individual counties to take it upon themselves to decriminalize the herb in order to reduce this insane number. In places where marijuana is legalized the arrest rates overall have dropped significantly – which is likely largely because of the lack of citizens being arrested over something as non-threatening as marijuana possession.