Cannabis arrests have risen for the second year in a row, according to data released by the FBI.
Police made 659,700 total arrests for cannabis-related crimes, roughly 90% of which were for simple possession.
The crime statistics from 2017, just like the ones from 2016, show that the police are making more arrests for cannabis crimes than they are for more serious crimes. In fact, they are making 21% more cannabis arrests than they are arrests for all violent crimes. To be fair, hopefully that is because a lot more people are smoking weed than they are committing violent crimes.
Strangely, before 2016, cannabis-related arrests had been trending down for ten years. In 2016, four states legalized recreational cannabis. That was the same year that popular support for marijuana legalization hit an all time high at that time, with even a majority of Republican voters polling in favor.
“Actions by law enforcement run counter to both public support and basic morality,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal.
“In a day and age where twenty percent of the population lives in states which have legalized and nearly every state has some legal protections for medical cannabis or its extract, the time for lawmakers to end this senseless and cruel prohibition that ruins lives.”
NORML also noted that arrests were less likely to occur in some parts of the country, including the west coast, which as of 2018 is now entirely weed-legal.
Photo via Flickr user atennies94