Category: arrests

Minnesota: African Americans Six Times More Likely Than Whites To Be Arrested For Marijuana Possession

African Americans are arrested for marijuana possession offenses in Minnesota at a rate that is more than six-times higher than that of Caucasians, according to an analysis of 2011 FBI arrest data released today by the nonpartisan think-tank Minnesota 2020 and commissioned in part by Minnesota NORML. The report estimated that the collateral costs of a low-level marijuana arrest may total as much as $76,000 over the course of a decade, including attorney fees, fines, costs associated with attending mandatory drug treatment, lost income and job prospects, and barriers to public assistance and federal aid.

Maryland: Lawmakers Eliminate Criminal Penalties For Minor Marijuana Possession Offenses

Maryland lawmakers have given final approval to legislation to eliminate criminal penalties for minor marijuana possession offenses. The forthcoming law reduces existing penalties for marijuana possession offenses involving ten grams or less from a criminal misdemeanor (presently punishable by arrest, up to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine, and a criminal record) to a non-arrestable, non-criminal fine-only offense ($100 fine for first-time offenders, $250 for second-time offenders).

US Marijuana Arrests Remain Largely Unchanged in 2012

The FBI released their crime and arrest statistics for 2012 today and, despite the fact that a majority of Americans believe that marijuana should be legalized, the total marijuana related arrests in the United States is largely unchanged year over year. In 2012, marijuana arrests as a percentage of all drug arrests dipped very slightly from 49.5% in 2011 to 48.3% last year. This puts the total number of marijuana arrests at about 749,825 (compared to 757,969 arrests in 2011). 87% of these arrests were for possession only, meaning that […]

PA NAACP Endorses Marijuana Legalization Legislation

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the NAACP endorsed Senate Bill 528, legislation that would regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, yesterday during a press conference in Harrisburg. SB 528 was introduced earlier this year by State Senator Daylin Leach*. Speaking at the press conference the current chair of the Legal Redress Committee for the Cheltenham Area Branch of the NAACP, David Scott, stated, “The war on drugs is a catastrophic failure.” Sponsor Daylin Leach welcomed the group’s support. “This is decimating the minority community. This is a problem that […]

Reefer Madness: Law Enforcement Targets Marijuana Activists in Philadelphia

On May 18th, The Panic Hour and PhillyNORML held “Smoke Down Prohibition V” in a free speech zone near the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA. As the name suggests, this was the fifth such event they had organized. The previous four were well attended, with hundreds of legalization advocates attending and peacefully demonstrating against our country’s failed policy of marijuana prohibition. You can view video of the largest event, held on April 20th of this year, by clicking here. The previous rallies went off without a hitch. Protestors were peaceful […]

Report: New York City Cops Spent One Million Hours In Staff Time Making Marijuana Possession Arrests

New York City police spent an estimated one million hours in staff time making low level marijuana possession arrests between the years 2002 and 2012, according to the findings of a study released today. Authors of the study report that City law enforcement personnel engaged in approximately one million hours of police officer time to make 440,000 marijuana possession arrests over the past 11 years. Authors further estimated that those arrested for marijuana possession in New York City have spent five million hours in police custody over the last decade.

2012: The Year In Review — NORML’s Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

#1 Colorado and Washington Vote To Legalize Marijuana Voters in Colorado and Washington made history by approving ballot measures allowing for the personal possession and consumption of cannabis by adults. Washington’s law, which removes criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use (as well as the possession of up to 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form), took effect on December 6. Colorado’s law, which allows for the legal possession of up to […]

Study: Those Arrested For Minor Pot Offenses Unlikely To Subsequently Commit Violent Crimes

Arresting and prosecuting low level marijuana offenders in New York City has little or no impact on law enforcement efforts to reduce violent crime, according to a study released today by Human Rights Watch, an international advocacy organization that focuses on human rights violations worldwide. The study’s authors reviewed data from the New York Department of Criminal Justice Services to track the criminal records of nearly 30,000 people who had no prior convictions when they were arrested for marijuana possession in public view [NY State Penal Law 221.10] in 2003 […]

Voters Legalize Marijuana, States Dismiss Hundreds of Pending Marijuana Cases

Many wondered just what the exact effects of passing a marijuana legalization law would be. Some speculated no good would come of passing a state law while it is still in conflict with federal law. Now that we are a few weeks out from passing the two very first marijuana legalization measures in this country, we are beginning to have answers to these questions. In addition to the legalization of personal possession (and cultivation of 6 plants in Colorado) that is set to go into effect on December 6th in […]