The total number of persons arrested in the United States in 2017 rose for the second consecutive year, according to data released today by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Marijuana-related arrests in Virginia increased over 20 percent between the years 2016 and 2017, according to crime data compiled by the State Police. Overall, some 70 percent of all drug arrests in Virginia in 2017 were marijuana related.
New York City police are continuing to disproportionately arrest African Americans and Latinos for minor marijuana possession violations, despite ongoing pledges from Mayor Bill de Blasio to halt the practice.
The legalization and regulation of marijuana for adults is associated with a drastic reduction in overall arrests, increased tax revenue, and is not adversely impacting public health or safety, according to a comprehensive report issued by the Drug Policy Alliance.
African Americans in the city of Buffalo (population 257,000) are disproportionately arrested for low-level marijuana possession offenses, according to an analysis of arrest data by the advocacy group Partnership for the Public Good. “[T]he disparities in the number of marijuana possession arrests cannot be explained by a higher use among black or Hispanic people,” authors concluded. “Legalizing marijuana would reduce low-level drug arrests by ten percent, and help reduce racial disparities in overall arrest numbers.”
Tabulations calculating the percentage of annual marijuana arrests nationwide are absent from the 2017 edition of the FBI Uniform Crime Report. But unpublished data provided by the agency upon request shows the first increase in nearly a decade in marijuana-related arrests.
Trump’s pick, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, is a militant prohibitionist. We could go into great detail how Senator Sessions has been an outspoken opponent against reform, but in this case his rhetoric is so off the wall…we’ll let his past statements speak for themselves.
Marijuana-related tax revenue in Colorado totaled $129 million over the 12-month period ending May 31, 2016 – well exceeding initial estimates of $70 million per year. In Washington, tax revenue totaled $220 million for the 12-montyh period ending June 30, 2016. Regulators had initially projected that retail sales would bring in $162 million in new annual tax revenue. In Oregon, marijuana-related tax revenues are yielding about $4 million per month – about twice what regulators initially predicted.