Marijuana possession has long been one of those things that leads to a lot of arrests in Pennsylvania. However, recent reports have shown that the amount of arrests has been dropping notably. In 2013, a full 5,157 people were arrested on these grounds, but 2014 saw just about 4,900 arrests. That’s a drop of around five percent in just one year.
When asked, one professor said that it was a “blowback” with regard to the long-standing war on drugs. He said that people in the United States were looking at marijuana very carefully. He also said that many people felt that arresting everyone who used the drug in a non-violent manner just may not be a cost-effective tactic for the police force.
It is clear, after all, that public attitudes with respect to marijuana are not what they once were. This is illustrated in states like Colorado, where marijuana has been put on an approved list for recreational use, and even by the medical marijuana laws in other states.
Another potential reason for the drop in these arrests is the rise of another drug: Heroin. The amount of heroin overdoses has been going up quickly, to the point that it has been called an epidemic. The police have been forced to swing resources over to fight back against this, meaning they simply spend less time, less money and less manpower going after those who are using pot.
Though arrest numbers are dropping, thousands of arrests still happen every year, and those who are picked up must know what legal rights they have to a fair trial.
Source: TribLive.com, “Marijuana drops on police priority list in Pa.,” Craig Smith, June 20, 2015