The legalization of marijuana in several states in recent years has dominated the conversation about marijuana use. There are also stories and rumors about the de-criminalization of cannabis even if it does stay on the books. Nevertheless, marijuana-related charges make up 40 percent of drug busts, totaling 1.63 million charges.
There are new statistics provided by the FBI, however, that indicates that marijuana busts are up from 653,249 in 2016 to 659,700 in 2017. These arrests include the infraction of simply possessing the drug as opposed to more serious charges of growing or selling the drug. The numbers for possession are 599,282 in 22017, up from 587,516 in 2016. Perhaps impacted by legalization (four states legalized in 2016), arrests for dealing or growing/manufacturing is down from 65,734 in 2017 to 60,418 in the previous year.
Critics ask why?
In light of the opioid epidemic with overdose-related deaths numbering 100 per day, and Indiana being one of the worst hit states, some critics are asking why bother with a drug that appears on its way to legalization, at least in a majority of the states. They point out that limited law enforcement resources could be better used elsewhere because marijuana overdoses are essentially at zero. These actions seem to both counter public perception and by a serious misallocation of resources.
Marijuana charges need to be taken seriously
The winds of change may be blowing, but law enforcement is not going along with the flow. This is another reason why it is crucial to speak with an attorney if one is facing drug charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney understands best how to prevent these charges to impacting peoples’ lives in serious and often debilitating ways.