Although the support for marijuana legalization might be at an all-time high across the United States, not a single minute goes by without someone getting JammedUp fo a weed offense.
According to crime data published by the FBI, law enforcement officials made 643,000 marijuana-related arrests back in 2015, the lowest amount in two decades.
However, that statistic still indicates that a pot bust is made every 49 seconds. Nearly nine out of ten of those arrests are for possession of marijuana rather than cultivation or sale.
Nearly nine out of ten of those arrests are for possession of marijuana rather than cultivation or sale.
These new figures are released mere weeks before nine states will vote on increasing legal access to marijuana, including for recreational pot use in Nevada, California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Maine. Four states — Oregon, Colorado, Washington, and Alaska, along with the District of Columbia, have already legalized weed for recreational purposes. Additionally, medical marijuana is now legal in 25 states.
Despite a growing tolerance for the drug, low-level marijuana crimes continued to rise throughout the early 2000s. In 2007, Marijuana-related arrests hit a high of 872,720, which indicates that an arrest is made every 36 seconds. In 2013, taxpayers spent over $3.5 billion every year to enforce laws against marijuana possession.
States, which have passed marijuana legalization permitting recreational use for adults have seen arrests plummet since laws were enacted, according to Vocativ.
In Colorado, there were 95% fewer weed busts in 2015 than there were before the drug was legalized in 2012. If other states continue to legalize recreational use, marijuana arrests will continue to dwindle.
However, for some supporters, these changes are not occurring quickly enough.
“While the numbers are thankfully dropping over time, it’s alarming and simply unacceptable that someone is harassed by the police just for marijuana every 49 seconds in this country,” Tom Angell of the group Marijuana Majority stated in an interview with the Huffington Post.