420 with CNW – FBI Report Indicates That Marijuana Arrests Dropped Nationally

October 8, 2020 03:25:47

Started by the federal government decades ago, the war on drugs has resulted in the incarceration of millions of Americans. A large number of these arrests have been due to marijuana possession. Over the years, it has become clear that certain communities have been targeted and over-policed due to marijuana prohibition and for many cannabis reform advocates, legalizing cannabis wouldn’t just increase state tax revenue, but it would also help repair the harms done by the war on drugs.

Although advocates hoped that marijuana arrests would reduce with the advent of legal cannabis programs, 2016, 2017, and 2018 each saw an uptick in marijuana arrests year-over-year. This is despite the fact that more states are passing cannabis laws and legalizing medical or recreational sales within their borders. According to a new federal report, however, marijuana arrests in the U.S. reduced for the first time in 2019. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program states that there were a total of 545,601 marijuana arrests in 2019, representing 35% of all drug arrests.

This was down from 663,367 arrests in 2018 and 659,700 arrests in 2017. “A decline in cannabis-related arrests is better than seeing an increase for the fourth year in a row, but the amount of arrests is still abhorrent,” says Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Steve Hawkins. “There is no reason to continue punishing adults for consuming a substance that is less harmful than alcohol,” he says.

Hawkins also acknowledges the fact that certain communities are especially over-policed when it comes to marijuana. “Arresting adult cannabis consumers has a dramatically disproportionate impact in communities of color, is a massive waste of law enforcement officials’ time and resources and does nothing to improve public health or safety.”

The data from the FBI shows that on average, police across the country made a cannabis arrest every 58 seconds in 2019, with 92% (500,394) of the arrests being for possession alone. In fact, American police carried out more arrests for marijuana alone than for murder, rape, robbery, burglary, fraud, and embezzlement combined.

“At a time when a super-majority of Americans support marijuana legalization, law enforcement continues to harass otherwise law-abiding citizens at an alarming rate,” says Justin Strekal, Political Director for NORML. “Now is the time for the public to collectively demand that enough is enough: end prohibition and expunge the criminal records to no longer hold people back from achieving their potential.”

Experts say pot companies like Sugarmade, Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) hope that a time will come when no one will be victimized for possessing or using marijuana.

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