As the general public becomes more and more turned off to marijuana prohibition, certain members of the conservative political establishment cling to the argument that prosecuting marijuana possession allows law enforcement to put potentially violent criminals behind bars. This highly unethical tactic has led NYPD to arrest 500,000 people over the last fifteen years–most of them young blacks or Hispanics–on possession charges.
After 80 years of prohibition, one would expect strong associations between cannabis possession and violent crime (and violent criminals). But despite marijuana’s contraband status, the numbers still don’t add up. On November 23rd, Human Rights Watch published a report showing that people who enter the criminal justice system with an arrest for public possession of marijuana rarely commit violent crimes in the future. (more…)
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