New Report Provides Comprehensive Data on Marijuana Arrests and Charges … – Drug Policy Alliance (press release) (blog)
All eyes are on Colorado to gauge the impact of the country’s first-ever state law to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older. Since the first retail marijuana stores opened on January 1, 2014, the state has benefitted from a decrease in traffic fatalities, an increase in tax revenue and economic output from retail marijuana sales, and an increase in jobs, while Denver has experienced a decrease in crime rates.
Now, a new report from the Drug Policy Alliance brings another jolt of good news by providing comprehensive data on marijuana arrests in Colorado before and after the passage of Amendment 64 in 2012. The report compiles and analyzes data from the county judicial districts, as well as various law enforcement agencies via the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS).
The report’s key findings include:
Since 2010, marijuana possession charges are down by more than 90%, marijuana cultivation charges are down by 96%, and marijuana distribution charges are down by 99%.
The number of marijuana possession charges in Colorado courts has decreased by more than 25,000 since 2010 – from 30,428 in 2010 to just 1,922 in 2014.
According to raw data from the NIBRS, drug-related incidents are down 23% since 2010, based on a 53% drop in marijuana-related incidents.
In 2010 the top five counties for marijuana possession cases in Colorado were El Paso, Jefferson, Adams, Larimer, and Boulder. Marijuana possession cases in these counties all dropped by at least 83% from 2010 to 2014.
Marijuana distribution charges for young men of color did not increase, to the relief of racial justice advocates wary of a ‘net-widening’ effect following legalization. The black rate for distribution incidents dropped from 87 per 100,000 in 2012 to 25 per 100,000 in 2014.
Racial disparities for still-illegal and mostly petty charges persist for black people when compared to white people, primarily due to the specific increase of charges for public use combined with the disproportionate rates of police contact in communities of color. The marijuana arrest rate for black people in 2014 was 2.4 times higher than the arrest rates for white people, just as it was in 2010.
The report also reveals a decline in synthetic marijuana arrests, presumably because people are less likely to use synthetic … – Click Here To Visit Article Source