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Marijuana possession arrests on the rise

Change has swept across the nation in recent years, with a number of states legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Those changes have yet to reach Louisiana, however. We continue to have some of the strictest drug laws in the U.S.

Lake Charles law enforcement continues to make arrests for marijuana possession and other weed-related charges. And they are not alone. According to news reports, marijuana arrests nationally are increasing despite the recent wave of legalization.

There were 659,700 marijuana-related arrests last year across the U.S., up from 653,249 in 2016. The data shows that the increase is due to a push to arrest people for possession, as well as for trafficking or cultivation.

Marijuana possession arrests rose to 599,282 in 2017, up from 587,516 pot possession busts in 2016. Remember, that increase is despite the legalization of recreational marijuana use in four additional states (California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada) on election day in 2016.

A spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project condemned the surge in marijuana possession arrests: "At a time when more than 100 deaths per day are caused by opioid overdoses, it is foolish to focus our limited law enforcement resources on a drug that has caused literally zero.”

Last year, arrests related to marijuana comprised slightly more than 40 percent of all drug arrests (1,632,921) made in the U.S. last year.

One last statistic: someone is arrested somewhere in the United States on a drug charge every 19 seconds.

Statistics are often of little interest to those who are facing a marijuana possession charge. Much more important to them are the skills of a criminal defense attorney who can help them get justice and avoid the harshest elements of the law.

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