As American opinions become more open to marijuana, we're also seeing a shift by law enforcement away from pursuing cannabis-related charges. But how far are police actually going away from pursuing their old policies?
According to a new report, Chicago police arrested a record low number of people for marijuana possession in 2017. The Chicago Police Department said they arrested 3,168 people for cannabis-related offenses last year. To put that in perspective, ten years ago in 2007, CPD made 25,350 marijuana-related arrests. So that's over 20,000 few cannabis arrests made per year over a 10 year span.
This actually followed a general trend by the Chicago police away from making narcotics arrests. Chicago police made 11,417 narcotics arrests in 2017, compared to 58,808 in 2010. It's also not surprising, considering the city of Chicago decriminalized marijuana possession in 2012 and have been reporting record lows nearly every year since.
This trend away from enforcing marijuana laws is becoming popular across the country. It's becoming more and more common to hear law enforcement personnel criticizing archaic cannabis laws and beginning putting less resources and emphasis in enforcing those laws.
It also shows a clear disconnect between the federal government and local law enforcement. Listening to Attorney General Jeff Sessions or other high-ranking Department of Justice officials, you'd think marijuana was destroying America. But police officers who are actually on the street know that there are far bigger problems to focus on.
Now all we need is for Illinois to legalize recreational cannabis!
(h/t Chicago Reader)