We’ve made so much progress all across the nation legalizing and regulating cannabis for both medical and adult use, that it baffles the mind that we are still arresting and jailing so many people for cannabis in this nation. While some people try to brush off the importance of ending cannabis prohibition, the war on the cannabis community continues to ruin lives and disrupt an industry that is one of the bright spots in today’s economy. In fact, the United States arrests more people for cannabis than for all violent crimes combined:
According to the Uniform Crime Report, which was compiled by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, police in the U.S. made 10,085,207 arrests in 2019. Of that total, 545,602 were for cannabis violations. That number is higher than the 495,871 individuals arrested for violent crimes and represents more than 5 percent of all arrests carried out by law enforcement that year. Cannabis arrests made up about one-third of all drug-related arrests despite being considerably safer than other illicit drugs or opioid-based prescription medications.
“Police across America make a marijuana-related arrest every 58 seconds,” said Erik Altieri, executive director at NORML. “At a time when the overwhelming majority of Americans want cannabis to be legal and regulated, it is an outrage that many police departments across the country continue to waste tax dollars and limited law enforcement resources on arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for simple marijuana possession.”
The total number of arrests only tells one part of the story. There is a notorious disparity between rates at which white people are arrested versus those from black and Latinx communities. However, the rates at which these groups consume cannabis are similar. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, black Americans are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis-related violations.
It is imperative that we don’t remain complacent and continue to urge our federal officials to end prohibition. Too many people are losing their freedom and livelihoods and cannabis businesses can’t flourish without reasonable banking and tax policies. Cannabis businesses in legal states are creating jobs and generating revenue for important social services, and it is simply nonsensical and un-American to continue the harmful and wasteful war on the cannabis community.
Be sure to take advantage of living in the great legal state of Oregon and enjoy the selection and deals at Kind Leaf, Eastern Oregon’s premier craft cannabis boutique. Discounts available for Oregon Medical Marijuana Program Patients, seniors, veterans, and everyone utilizing the pick-up window. Order online via Leafly to save time.