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Pot Arrests Drop But Drug War in Full Swing

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The outcome of the recent general election seemed to put Americans under the illusion that the war against marijuana was experiencing a ceasefire, but the latest statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation paints a vile portrait of a country still very much under siege by the brainwashed ways of aging prohibitionists.

Over 1.5 million people were shackled and dragged to jail for drug offenses in 2013, with more than 693,000 of those arrests for marijuana-related violations, according to the FBI’s 2014 Uniform Crime Report. The most disturbing aspect of this tumultuous tale is the majority of these drug busts were for simple possession — 87% for marijuana, and 82 percent for all other substances.

Interestingly, while the data is representative of a drug war that remains alive and well in the United States, when contrasted with previous reports there exists the faintest hum of a funeral dirge, serenading the rotting corpse of Richard Nixon while it is being dragged into the sewers of Washington DC, where prohibition will one day be dead and buried.

The latest data reveals marijuana arrests have seen a 20 percent decline from the 872,000 busts made in 2008. But law enforcement continues to swing a heavier hammer down on people caught in possession of drugs. In fact, the brass tacks of the FBI’s report indicates that police have been busting people for dope at a rate of three times more than those involved with violent crime.

“Police made more drug arrests than for any other single category of crime. Meanwhile, only 64 percent of murders and 48 percent of violent crimes generally are being solved,” said Major Neill Franklin, Executive Director for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “We clearly have our priorities in the wrong place.”

Without a doubt, this fight is going all 12 rounds, but there should be some piece of mind in the fact that marijuana is no longer public enemy number one. Arrests for weed now make up around 41 percent of drug-related apprehensions, compared to 52 percent in 2008. However, the consistent decay in these detentions has less to do with the sympathy of law enforcement and more in terms of the marijuana supporters who continue to battle it out in the trenches every day to decriminalize and legalize the cannabis plant. Yet, most agree the war is far from over.

“We’re pleased to see the drop, but arresting even one adult for using a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol is inexcusable,” Mason Tvert, with Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “Law enforcement officials should be spending their time and resources addressing serious crimes, not arresting and prosecuting adults for using marijuana. Every year, these statistics show hundreds of thousands of marijuana-related arrests are taking place and countless violent crimes are going unsolved.”

Twenty-three states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, four for recreational use, while the majority of Americans continue to favor legalizing weed in a manner similar to alcohol. As Tvert points out, “it’s time for our laws to catch up with public opinion.”

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