Recent studies have shown that the number of people in the United States arrested for growing, selling or possessing marijuana dropped in 2019. However, hundreds of thousands of people are still arrested for pot-related charges every year. The number of marijuana-related arrests exceeds the number of arrests for violent crimes by nearly 50,000. And more shockingly, a whopping 90% of marijuana offenses involved possession only.
Where are arrests on pot-related charges most common?
Arrests for marijuana-related drug crimes were most common in the northeast states. They were least common in the western states, where many states have legalized marijuana usage. Even southern states like Texas have experienced a decrease in arrests for pot-related crimes. Across the country, the average amount of pot-related arrests each year has decreased by 300,000 since 2010.
Why are pot-related arrests decreasing?
Studies have shown that most Americans believe that pot should be legalized, which has changed the conversation about marijuana in the United States. Many states have legalized the use of medical and recreational cannabis, which drastically reduces arrest rates. The 2018 Farm Bill also legalized hemp production, which caused some prosecutors to announce that they would no longer arrest people for possessing marijuana.
Legalizing marijuana is so popular that politicians have made it part of their political campaigns. They point out that more Americans are arrested every year for smoking pot than committing violent crimes like rape, robbery, assault and murder.
What to do when charged with a pot-related crime
Anyone who receives drug charges like growing, selling or possessing cannabis might wish to hire a lawyer immediately. A lawyer might be able to help their client protect their rights, particularly if the state has shifting laws regarding marijuana use.