|New York is the world's cannabis arrest capitol|
Police arrest more people each year for weed than for all violent crimes. “Every time a police officer makes an arrest for drugs, that’s several hours out of his or her day not spent going after real criminals. As the country has been investing more and more of its resources into prosecuting drug ‘crime,’ the rate of unsolved violent crime has been steadily increasing. Where are our priorities here?” asked retired lieutenant commander Diane Goldstein, another LEAP speaker.
“Each one of those arrests is the story of someone who may suffer a variety of adverse effects from their interaction with the justice system,” said former cop and LEAP executive director Neill Franklin. It is also several hours of time that the officer will be processing paperwork and running the pothead through the legal system—policing time taxpapers will never recoup.
Citing recently-released FBI data, LEAP calculates that nearly 90% of all cannabis arrests are for possession, nabbing small-time recreational stoners and sticking them with court fines, fees, and criminal records. That means the war on pot preys upon the American poor.
The cannabis arrest numbers actually declined slightly from 2011, but are still a major concern to advocates who believe our limited law enforcement dollars can be better spent. “Where are our priorities here?” asked Diane Goldstein, a retired California cop. Goldstein says that the rate of unsolved crime is steadily increasing in the US, while law enforcement continue to engage in acostly war against domestic pot smokers.
FBI: One Marijuana Arrest Every 42 Seconds in U.S. in 2012; More Than for All Violent Crimes Combined