Cannabis Arrests In 2017 Outnumber The Population of Las Vegas

The movement to legalize marijuana has gained tremendous momentum recently, but that hasn't slowed down the number of people who are being arrested for cannabis offenses in America. In fact, the number of busts rose by 6,451 last year, even though states like California and Nevada repealed prohibition while Florida and other states implemented medical marijuana programs.

In total, 659,700 people were arrested for cannabis-related infractions in 2017. That's up from 653,249 the year before according to recently published FBI data.

Those 659,700 arrests mean that one happens roughly every 48 seconds in America. And that the total amount of arrests outnumbers the population of Las Vegas. Of those arrests, the vast majority (599,282) were not for illegally trafficking or growing cannabis but for simple possession. So it's no surprise that activists are crying foul.

"Actions by law enforcement run counter to both public support and basic morality," NORML Political Director Justin Strekal told Forbes recently. "In a day and age where twenty percent of the population lives in states which have legalized and nearly every state has some legal protections for medical cannabis or its extract, the time for lawmakers to end this senseless and cruel prohibition that ruins lives."

But with the Trump administration's recent decision to revive the War on Drugs, things might just get worse before they get better.

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In a tweet last night President Donal Trump announced his new hire for White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney is currently the director of the Office of Management and Budget as well as the Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Once he starts the new job, Mulvaney may just be one of the biggest cannabis reform supporters in the White House, a potential boon for the legalization movement.