Recent years have seen a loosening of marijuana laws in many parts of the county. For example:
- Some states have decriminalized certain marijuana offenses
- Many states have legalized medical marijuana
- A handful of states have legalized recreational possession of the drug
However, recent data suggests that, despite these trends, police here in the U.S remain aggressive in their enforcement efforts against marijuana possession.
An increase in arrests
According to the data, which comes from an FBI report, the U.S. recently saw a rise in marijuana arrests. In 2016, there were 653,249 marijuana arrests in the county. In 2017, the annual arrest total grew to 659,700. This increase occurred despite the number of states which have legalized the drug going up.
Based on the data, 2017 saw about one marijuana arrest every 48 seconds. Also, such arrests made up about two out of every five drug arrests that year.
Possession arrests behind the increase
Possession arrests, rather than sale and manufacturing arrests, drove the recent increase. In fact, arrests for marijuana sale and manufacturing actually went down between 2016 and 2017. Meanwhile, possession arrests went up by 11,766.
In 2017, arrests for possession made up nearly 91 percent of all marijuana arrests.
What do you think is driving the increase in marijuana possession arrests in the U.S.?
Marijuana possession allegations in North Carolina
So, despite recent trends in marijuana laws, there are still large numbers of people who experience marijuana-related arrests in the United States. This includes individuals here in North Carolina.
Now, in the state, possession of less than half an ounce has been decriminalized. So, while a person can be subjected to fines for it, jail time is generally can’t be given. However, possession of more than half an ounce remains a crime where imprisonment is a possible penalty. And depending on how large the amount alleged possessed was, the possible imprisonment time could get very high.
So, marijuana possession allegations remain something that could leave a person facing very high stakes here in North Carolina. Skilled defense attorneys can help people arrested for marijuana possession in the state respond to such accusations.