Today, even in jurisdictions where cannabis remains criminalized under state law, tens of millions of Americans reside in cities and counties where local laws either depenalizing or decriminalizing cannabis-related activities are in effect.
“It remains clear from the limited data available that marijuana seizures and prosecutions remain the primary driver of drug war enforcement in the United States and that hundreds of thousands of Americans still continue to be arrested annually for these violations despite the reality that a majority of voters no longer believe that the adult-use of marijuana should be a crime.”
“Regardless of intent, it is clear that the continued criminalization of cannabis perpetuates and exacerbates unequal enforcement under the law and the associated harms that come with it. This is not something that we can tolerate in the 21st century, and these findings should incentivize lawmakers to embrace sensible cannabis policy reforms.”
It’s clear that cannabis consumers are targeted in Pennsylvania for arrest and the striking racial disparities to enforcement are getting worse.
The estimated number of persons arrested in the United States for violating marijuana laws declined precipitously in 2020, according to data released today by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“Decriminalization is only a partial step. It reduces the total number of marijuana arrests, but continues to leave far too many people — and young adults in particular — subject to the whims of law enforcement.”
Black people make up 12 percent of the population but 32 percent of marijuana arrests.
"At a time when the overwhelming majority of Americans want cannabis to be legal and regulated, it is an outrage that many police departments across the country continue to waste tax dollars and limited law enforcement resources on arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for simple marijuana possession."