Rising Number of Marijuana Possession Arrests Illustrates Futility of War on Drugs

A recent article published in the Washington Post highlights the problems inherent in the skyrocketing incarceration rates for nonviolent drug offenders.

In April, the newspaper disclosed that according to a report released by the National Research Council, the costs associated with the 40-year rise in incarcerations have not paid off in terms of crime reduction. The paper’s most recent article focuses on marijuana possession arrests, stating that even some who have adamantly opposed drug legalization are beginning to shift away from viewing marijuana through the lens of criminal justice.

The White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, which has historically led the nation’s war on drugs, has recently shifted its stance to emphasize balance in its federal drug strategy. The office now states that it views drug addiction as a disease of the brain rather than a moral failing, and believes the problem should be treated as a public health issue. Arrests for marijuana possession continue to rise, however, and have more than doubled since 1991. In 2012 alone, more than 658,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession — and the actual numbers may be even higher, since a few states don’t report their arrest data to the FBI.

Although the trend toward marijuana legalization is gaining ground, especially when it comes to public opinion, those arrested for marijuana possession must still struggle to protect their rights within the legal system. If you have recently been arrested on criminal charges, including drug possession, speak with a dedicated criminal defense attorney in Buffalo to protect your constitutional rights.

By Richard Abbott | Published February 24, 2015 | Posted in Criminal Law | Tagged drug crimesnonviolent arrestspossession