Marijuana Arrests Down 85% After First Year
Congress Continues to Prevent District from Taxing and Regulating Marijuana
This Friday marks the one year anniversary of the implementation of marijuana legalization in the District of Columbia. In the 2014 election, District voters overwhelmingly passed Ballot Initiative 71 with 70 percent support, legalizing the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and allowing individuals to grow up to six plants in their home.
Overall, marijuana arrests decreased by 85 percent from 2014 to 2015. Marijuana possession arrests fell from 1,840 in 2014 to just 32 in 2015.
“The decrease in marijuana arrests is an enormous victory for District residents, who have resoundingly rejected the criminalization of marijuana,” said Bill Piper, senior director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Marijuana law enforcement has particularly damaged communities of color in the District, who have borne the brunt of prohibition.
"We hope that law enforcement continues to responsibly enforce the new law and completely eliminates any racial disparity in arrests,” Piper said.