Newsflash:
Mark Pocan End Mass Criminalization You are Going to be Shocked When You Read Where the Top Two Places to Get Arrested for Pot Are
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 17:39

You are Going to be Shocked When You Read Where the Top Two Places to Get Arrested for Pot Are

Written by  Paul Armentano | AlterNet

Washington DC residents face the greatest statistical likelihood of being arrested for pot possession. That’s according to a new report released by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland.

Authors of the report reviewed 2010 data provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Census to calculate which states were the most likely, and the least likely, to bust people for personal use amounts of weed. Their state-by-state tallies appear on page 7 of the report  here.
 
The study reports that the marijuana arrest rate for residents of the District of Columbia is 846 per 100,000 – the highest total of any region in the country.
 
New York state came in a close second with 535 pot possession arrests for every 100,000 residents. (New York also led all 50 states in the total number of pot possession arrests reported in 2010: a whopping 103,698 – some 14 percent of  all marijuana possession arrests reported nationwide that year.)
 
Nebraska ranked third, reporting some 417 cannabis possession arrests per 100,000 residents. Ranking fourth was Maryland, with 409 possession arrests per 100,000 residents. Illinois ranked fifth, with 389 arrests per 100,000 residents.
 
States with the lowest number of pot possession arrests per 100,000 residents were: Massachusetts (18), Hawaii (106), Alabama (115), Vermont (119), and Washington (124). 
 
The five states reporting the largest total number of annual pot possession arrests in 2010 were: New York, Texas (74,286), Florida (57,951), California** (57,262), and Illinois (49,904).  The states reporting the fewest number of annual possession arrests were: Vermont (737), North Dakota (1,162), Massachusetts (1,191), Montana (1,210), and Hawaii (1,448).
 
The data indicates that police priorities, rather than the legal status of pot, arguably plays a major role in state-by-state arrest totals. For instance, minor cannabis possession New York state is technically ‘ decriminalzed’ (and has been since the mid-1970s). Nevertheless, police in New York City have a well-publicized history of ignoring the statute by engaging in stop-and-frisk shakedowns of civilians and then charging them with the possession of marijuana in public view, a criminal misdemeanor, if they find pot on their person. To date, legislative efforts to equalize the state’s marijuana possession penalties have been  unsuccessful, despite the fact that the policy costs taxpayers an  estimated $75 million per year. Nebraska’s elevated pot possession arrest rate is similarly vexing since first-offenses (of less than one ounce) are  classified under state law as an infraction and should not result in a criminal arrest. (By contrast, subsequent marijuana possession violations are classified as criminal offenses under state law.)  
 
Conversely, among the five states with the lowest rates of marijuana possession arrests, only one state – Massachusetts – had classified cannabis possession as a non-criminal offense in 2010. (Washington eliminated minor marijuana possession penalties in 2012; Vermont decriminalized cannabis possession in 2013.) 
 
As for Washington, DC’s top status as the nation’s pot possession arrest capitol, the dubious distinction may be fleeting. In July, a majority of members of the DC City Council introduced municipal legislation to minimize pot possession offenses to that of a parking ticket. The Council is  anticipated to approve the change in DC law in January.
 
** California lawmakers reclassified minor cannabis possession offenses from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil infraction in 2010, a change that has  resulted in a precipitous drop in the number of arrests reported in subsequent years.

Paul Armentano is deputy director of  NORML.

Link to original article from AlterNet

Read 4558 times Last modified on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 00:29

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

Latest News from the Pocan Campaign

  • Meet Mark Pocan (WI-2)
    Meet Mark Pocan (WI-2)

    Mark Pocan has spent the last 13 years in the Wisconsin State Assembly representing one of the strongest progressive districts in the state. Yet his political roots took hold in blue-collar Kenosha, Wisconsin where he got his start at age eight delivering campaign literature door-to-door for his father, a long-time city alderman.

    Written on Saturday, 20 October 2012 20:09 Read more...
  • Nash column: Now it's our turn to pick sides
    Nash column: Now it's our turn to pick sides

    Pocan learned about ALEC in the only way he could — he joined — making him one of its few Democratic members. Once inside he saw firsthand how it operates and then, much to the organization’s displeasure, he let us in on its goals and strategies.

    Written on Saturday, 20 October 2012 19:55 Read more...
  • Congressional candidate Mark Pocan, presumed Baldwin heir, networks in Charlotte
    Congressional candidate Mark Pocan, presumed Baldwin heir, networks in Charlotte

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Wisconsin state Rep. Mark Pocan has been to several Democratic Party national conventions, but none as important for him as this one. Pocan is poised to succeed U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who is giving up her seat to run for the Senate. Although he faces Republican challenger Chad Lee in the fall election, an upset is highly unlikely -- Lee is vastly underfunded in the overwhelmingly liberal district.

    Written on Tuesday, 04 September 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • John Nichols: Pocan's right: Trade deals shouldn't let corporations avoid state rules
    John Nichols: Pocan's right: Trade deals shouldn't let corporations avoid state rules

    State Rep. Mark Pocan has, since his election to the state Legislature in 1998, been a leader in the fight to educate and engage citizens with the struggle over the failed "free trade" consensus. While trade agreements are negotiated -- usually in secret -- by presidential administrations and voted on by Congress, there are highly significant consequences for states.

    Written on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 00:00 Read more...

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Like Mark Pocan

WI Endorsed Candidate

MarkPocanSmall

WI-2 Mark Pocan
www.pocanforcongress.com/

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of