February 29, 2016

Ten Pennsylvania Counties Account For 60% Of The State’s Marijuana Possession Arrests In 2015

February 29, 2016
asset forfeiture marijuana arrest

pennsylvania marijuana arrestsThere are 67 counties in Pennsylvania, and when it comes to marijuana possession arrests, not all counties are created equal in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia decriminalized the personal possession of marijuana and saved over one million dollars in the first year, and Pittsburgh recently passed a measure to do the same. There are other municipalities in Pennsylvania that are exploring the idea of decriminalizing personal marijuana possession rather than arresting people for it. So why are some Pennsylvania counties arresting people far more than other counties while some cities are decriminalizing the same behavior?

Chris Goldstein recently published an article on Philly.Com which looked at arrest data for 2015. He found that 10 out of the 67 counties in Philadelphia accounted for 60% of the state’s marijuana possession arrests in 2015. Those counties are as follows, per Chris’ article:

1- Allegheny County with 2,191 marijuana arrests or per capita, 177 for every 100,000 residents.

2- Montgomery County with 1,550 marijuana arrests or per capita, 191 for every 100,000 residents.

3- Bucks County with 1,010 marijuana arrests or per capita, 111 for every 100,000 residents.

4- Delaware County with 976 marijuana arrests or per capita, 174 for every 100,000 residents.

5- York County with 926 marijuana arrests or per capita, 211 for every 100,000 residents.

6- Chester County with 877 marijuana arrests or per capita, 172 for every 100,000 residents.

7- Philadelphia County with 858 marijuana arrests or per capita, 54 for every 100,000 residents.

8- Dauphin County with 822 marijuana arrests or per capita, 303 for every 100,000 residents.

9- Lehigh County with 706 marijuana arrests or per capita, 199 for every 100,000 residents.

10- Berks County with 618 marijuana arrests or per capita, 149 for every 100,000 residents.

I am not from Pennsylvania, nor have I ever been there, so I don’t know what local governments and law enforcement are like compared to other government and law enforcement in other areas. But math doesn’t lie, and it looks like some counties have a ‘prohibition problem’ that needs to be fixed. The momentum for marijuana reform is picking up in Pennsylvania, and change is on the way. Hopefully it comes to the above counties sooner than later, because they obviously need it. No one should ever be arrested for a plant!


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