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FBI: Marijuana Arrests Outpace Those for All Violent Crime

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The Influence

Marijuana and handcuffsIt may be easy to forget with more and more states turning to legalized recreational and medical marijuana. It can get lost when we hear so many government officials responding to the opioid crisis with calls for compassionate treatment instead of harsh punishments.

But it is happening nonetheless.

Although felt daily in communities across the country, this fact only seems to break into the general consciousness every now and then. A reminder came recently when the FBI released new crime statistics showing a 1.6 percent increase in marijuana-related arrests in 2016 compared to 2015.

The figures represent a change in the overall trend, with marijuana related arrests declining steadily since 2008, and even hitting a two-decade low in 2015. But the numbers still show over 650,000 arrests made in an endless pursuit to rid the country of a non-lethal drug.

To put everything in perspective, the FBI says, “Nationwide, law enforcement made an estimated 10,662,252 arrests in 2016. Of these arrests, 515,151 were for violent crimes, and 1,353,283 were for property crimes.”

So police arrested more people for marijuana than they did all violent crimes combined.

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