Marijuana arrests increase in 2014, other crimes are down
Despite cannabis legalization now in four states, the number of marijuana arrests in 2014 increased over the 2013 totals.
According to the 2014 Uniform Crime Report, police made 700,993 arrests for marijuana-related offenses, an increase of more than 7,500 arrests than were reported in 2013. About 88 percent of those arrested, or 619,808, were charged with possession only, which is a two percent increase since 2013.
This is still down from 757,969 marijuana arrests in 2011, and 872,721 in 2007.
For the same time period, violent crime arrests declined 0.8 percent while property crime arrests decreased 2.7 percent.
Nationwide, law enforcement officials made an estimated 11,205,833 arrests in 2014. Of these arrests, 498,666 were for violent crimes, and 1,553,980 were for property crimes.
The highest number of arrests were for drug abuse violations, which include marijuana, is estimated at 1,561,231 arrests. This was followed by larceny-theft, estimated at 1,238,190, and driving under the influence, estimated at 1,117,852.
Marijuana arrests made up roughly 45 percent of all drug related arrests.
The most recent year in which statistics are available for marijuana arrests in Texas is 2012, where 72,562 arrests were made for marijuana.
In a 2013 Public Policy Polling survey where 38 percent surveyed were 45 years old or younger, and 35 percent identified themselves as a Democrat, 61 percent favored a law to reduce a marijuana offense from a criminal to civil offense possessing less than an ounce of marijuana.
In the same survey, 41 percent strongly supported a law essentially legalizing marijuana that is regulated like Colorado and Washington state, while 17 percent responded somewhat in support. Only 24 percent say they strongly opposed such a measure, while 14 percent said they were somewhat opposed.
That same poll also saw 58 percent support for medical marijuana.