Can it be true? Have the number of arrests, in the United States, for marijuana possession exceeded the number of arrests for violent crimes?
- 475,160 – the number of arrests for violent crimes in 1980
- 338,664 – the number of arrests for marijuana possession in 1980
- Around 1995, the arrests for violent crimes grand total spiked up to around 800,000, but has been gradually declining since, while the total marijuana arrests has gradually risen since its low point around 1990, around 250,000.
- A drum roll for the 2011 numbers….
- Violent crime arrests – 534,704
- Marijuana arrests – 663,032
According to all of this information, borrowed from www.NationalMemo.com, when the facts are laid out, the answer is yes, arrests for marijuana exceed arrests for violent crimes.
So what does this mean when 18 U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, and two other states have approved marijuana for recreational use? Will new legislation lower the number of arrests for marijuana possession, or are more people in possession of marijuana without a medical marijuana prescription card, or without residing in a state that has legalized its possession and use?
President Obama chimes in on the issue by saying, “We’ve got bigger fish to fry.”
But in all seriousness, do we want to spend money on 663,032 arrests each year for marijuana, or would the money be more productively spent on helping those who abuse and have become dependent on marijuana?
Higher potency from higher levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, can cause the user to become addicted, less in a traditional, physical sense, more in a psychological, behavioral way.
A 36-year-old recovering marijuana abuser shares his perspective in Uppers, Downers, All Arounders by Darryl S. Inaba, Pharm.D. and William S. Cohen:
“What are the consequences? Is something costing you more money that you should be spending? Is it jeopardizing your job? Is it jeopardizing your relationship with your spouse or your lover or your children? Are you alienated because of that? Those are the consequences.”
Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment when experiencing negative consequences from using marijuana too often would decrease the number of arrests, the money spent on marijuana arrests, and the number of people wrapped up in a drug that some perceive as harmless.
Watch the video of John’s story about drug addiction and the treatment he received at Sovereign Health:
Blog Post By: Jared Friedman