News & Politics

2010: Second Biggest Year for Marijuana Arrests in History, Despite Rising Rates of Marijuana Acceptance

In a disturbing reality, the actions of the law enforcement community do not match public opinion and rational thought.

 Last week, we discussed the near record number of arrests for simple marijuana possession in 2010, and how no matter how many people we arrest for marijuana violations, the rates of use are unaffected.

Just to put that in perspective, it turns out that last year was the second biggest year for marijuana arrests in United States history!

Check it out:

It is very disturbing to see how far the actions of our law enforcement community really are from public opinion and actual rational thought when it comes to policy. The year with the second highest number of arrests in national history came simultaneously with an increased acceptance of marijuana use and an increase in public support for change. How does this make sense?

 

The good news is that we can stop this by supporting state and national reform measures in any way possible. While exact statistics aren’t available yet, it is certain that a noticeable percentage of the decrease in arrests over the last two years was due to MPP’s Question 2 passing in Massachusetts and going into effect in 2009. This initiative removed criminal penalties for the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and replaced the criminal penalty with the equivalent of a parking ticket. If we keep working together to pass sane, rational marijuana laws, we can make that number drop before next year.

Morgan Fox is communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project.
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