Nobody gets arrested for marijuana anymore? Really? This is what marijuana activists hear a lot these days, as it is a way to diminish their work in drug policy reform. People that support drug policy reform, themselves, even use this kind of rhetoric now.
However, the Marijuana Policy Project just reported that there has been a rise in marijuana arrests in 2014 as compared to 2013. This is the first time this has happened since 2009.
In 2014, 700,993 arrests in the United States due to marijuana (88% of the arrests related to possession alone). In 2013, the number was 693,058. This is particularly surprising because there have already been a few states to legalize, and even more states to permit medical marijuana between these years. But the number still rises!
A majority of Americans (even though it is only a slim majority) support the total legalization of marijuana, but people are still thrown in cages for possession alone.
It may seem that marijuana legalization is nearing the final stretch and our work is inevitable, but the truth of the matter is that people’s lives are still being ruined over marijuana prohibition throughout the United States. A failure to act against this injustice quickly jeopardizes the future of the drug policy reform movement for many years to come. Our work isn’t over until not a single person is a victim of the ongoing Drug War.