I know what most of you have been worried about since the blitz of marijuana legalization sprang across the country over the last couple years: What about the cops? Are they going to be bored? Are they going to be out of work and forced to get a security guard job if they ever expect to achieve their lifelong dream of shooting someone in the line of duty?
Don’t worry. Cops are doing just fine. In fact, even though several states passed legislations to decriminalize or legalize cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, the fuzz across this great nation actually arrested more people for marijuana possession in 2014 than they did the year before.
According to stats released by the FBI and reported by High Times, authorities took in more than 700,000 arrests last year for cannabis crimes. Maybe all the weed-hating cops have migrated out of Colorado and Washington and headed out for the hotter climates and steeper weed laws in Arizona or Texas. Or maybe the weed has gotten better, making stoners all over the U.S. a little dumber, leaving them more liable to get their asses tossed out of a purple haze and into the slammer.
The vast majority of the vast majority of these arrests are for simple possession. 88% of arrests did not result in a charge of anything like intent to distribute or trafficking. Only 5% of bud arrests were for serious drug charges. The rest, over 600,000, represent people who were arrested, hauled in, and charged for carrying a drug that much of the nation not only tolerates, but actually profits from.
The Marijuana Policy Project had some thoughts on the data. Representative Mason Tvert said in a statement, “These numbers refute the myth that nobody actually gets arrested for using marijuana. It’s hard to imagine why more people were arrested for marijuana possession when fewer people than ever believe it should be a crime.”
Almost 40% of drug arrests last year were for cannabis. So, keep in mind when we go federally legal in a couple years that somewhere a DEA agent or narcotics cop is out of a job. If you see one, save them a toke.
Photo via Counter Culture News