A recent analysis conducted by the U.S. Sentencing Commission (“USSC”) has observed a decline in the number of federal cannabis trafficking cases from last year as more states legalize cannabis. The organization, which is an independent agency of the government’s judicial branch, conducted an analysis of the number of drug trafficking convictions and discovered that last year, there were 1,118 marijuana cases, a 67% decline from the numbers recorded since 2016.
Advocates of legalization maintain that the year-over-year decrease correlates with the increasing number of states that have enacted legalization, in addition to reflecting the deprioritization of the feds in pursuing marijuana cases. The USSC stated that generally, just over 16,500 convictions involved drugs last year. Of this number, cannabis cases made up about 7%. In addition, the USCC noted that 4% of the marijuana trafficking sentences were for over a decade, 16% were for a period between 5 to 10 years, while the majority — a whopping 80% — was five years or less.
This report by the USSC is the latest to provide data demonstrating that the state-level cannabis movement’s success corresponds to a decrease in federal marijuana cases. Advocates state that as more legalization laws are enacted, the market for illegal marijuana, which is usually brought in from Mexico, will dry up. This will in turn lead to fewer trafficking cases to be pursued by federal prosecutors.
A separate report that was released in December 2020 by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts found that while cases which involve cannabis decreased by more than a quarter in 2019, federal prosecutions of crimes associated with drugs increased. Additionally, another study released in 2018 by the Cato Institute reported that state-level cannabis legalization had considerably weakened cannabis smuggling. Furthermore, data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation late last year demonstrated that for the first time in four years, marijuana arrests had decreased on a national level.
These trends may likely continue this year, as the attorney general is of the opinion that the Department of Justice’s limited resources shouldn’t be used in low-level cannabis enforcement. In addition to this, more states are working on ending cannabis prohibition. Concurrently, congressional legislators are also working on legalizing the plant at the federal level.
Legislation to federally legalize marijuana, which was approved by the House in 2020, has been amended and re-introduced by Jerrold Nadler, chair of the Judiciary Committee. Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in April revealed that a bill to federally legalize cannabis would be introduced to the chamber in the near future.
If efforts to reform cannabis policy at the federal level succeed, sector players such as Hero Technologies Inc. (OTC: HENC) will have fewer hurdles to contend with in its day-to-day operations.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Hero Technologies Inc. (OTC: HENC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/HENC
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