More people are now arrested for marijuana possession than violent crimes.
Medical marijuana is legal in 18 states. Recreational marijuana is legal in two states. Marijuana, in any use, is illegal federally. Statistics show that, every 42 seconds, someone is busted. A majority of those arrests are for possession.
In 2011, there were 663,032 marijuana arrests. According to an FBI report, arrests have doubled since 1980.
Violent crime arrests totaled 534,704 in 2011. That number includes every violent crime, no matter how big or small.
The Huffington Post has published a chart that shows violent crime arrests versus marijuana arrests since 1980.
Since 2008, President Obama has said marijuana was a low priority crime and promised not to get in the way of state medical marijuana laws. He has since cracked down on medical dispensaries harshly.
The cost for all these marijuana arrests is paid for by taxpayers. Some estimates believe the cost is $10 billion a year. In New York City alone, the cost is $75 million a year. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo talked about the issue in his State of the State Address:
“Every year, this process needlessly scars thousands of lives and wastes millions of dollars in law enforcement resources, while detracting from the prosecution of serious crime. It’s not fair, it’s not right. It must end, and it must end now.”
Here is the chart the Huffinton Post published:
What do you think? Do you find it odd that so many people are arrested for marijuana every year? Is the government really treating the drug as a low priority crime?