Category: arrests

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 […]

Marijuana Arrests Decline In 2011, But Still Total Half Of All Illicit Drug Violations

Police made 757,969 arrests in 2011 for marijuana-related offenses, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The total is a decrease from past years. During the years 2006 to 2010, police annually made over 800,000 arrests for cannabis violations. According to the report, marijuana arrests now comprise one-half of all illicit drug arrests in the United States. Approximately 43 percent of all drug violations are for cannabis possession. “As in past years, the so-called ‘drug war’ remains fueled by the arrests of minor marijuana […]

Study: Over 200,000 Marijuana Arrests In Colorado Over Past 25 Years

In the 25 years from 1986 to 2010, police and sheriffs’ departments in Colorado made 210,000 arrests for the crime of possessing small amounts of marijuana, according to a report released today by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project. The study finds that cannabis arrests have risen sharply in the state, from 4,000 in 1986 to 10,500 in 2010, and that young people are most likely to among those arrested. According to the report, eighty-six percent of those arrested for cannabis offenses were age 34 or younger; 79 percent were 29 […]

Chicago: City Council Votes To Remove Criminal Misdemeanor Penalties For Pot Possession

The American public is fed up with the criminalization of cannabis. And now, more and more politicians are finally starting to get the message. This afternoon, members of the Chicago City Council voted overwhelmingly to halt the practice of arresting minor marijuana offenders. By a vote of 43 to 3, members of the Council approved a new municipal ordinance that reduces most marijuana possession offenses to a ticket-like offense — no arrest, no jail, and no criminal record. Under present law, the possession of any amount of marijuana is defined […]

Do You Know Your Local Cannabis Laws? Get Educated Now by NORML!

Dear NORML Supporters, Arrests, penalties and the threat of incarceration when widely broadcast to society are supposed to act as deterrent to unwanted human behavior. True or not, one thing is for sure: Despite nearly seventy-five years of Cannabis Prohibition in America, and the presence of nearly 40 million consumers and 850,000 cannabis-related criminal arrests annually, most cannabis consumers (and medical patients who use cannabis) do not know what their state’s laws and penalties are for cannabis. Of the many functions and responsibilities of a cannabis law reform group like […]