DEA Reports Ongoing Decline in Federal Pot Arrests

DEA Reports Ongoing Decline in Federal Pot Arrests
High Times

Federal law enforcement continues to make fewer and fewer arrests for weed, according to data released by the Department of Justice, a trend that dovetails with the new cannabis laws that have bloomed in the last decade. From 2010 until 2020, there was an 11% decline in cannabis-related arrests by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officers, the report from the Justice Department said. That same time period saw a seven percent decline in arrests for crack cocaine, and a six percent decline in arrests for powder cocaine. In raw numbers, the DEA made 8,215 arrests for cannabis-related offenses in 2010, compared with 2,576 in 2020.  The number of pot-related arrests declined each year in that decade. The cannabis reform advocacy group NORML also pointed to data from the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC), which reported that “federal convictions for marijuana-related activities have similarly declined over the past decade.” “Marijuana law enforcement is becoming less of a federal priority in an age where the majority of Americans believe that cannabis ought to be legal,” NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “It is vital that Congress takes action to amend federal law in a manner that comports with this reality,” he continued. The decline in weed arrests coincided with a period in the country that has seen a growing number of states and cities end prohibition and legalize recreational pot use for adults. Polls consistently show broad, bipartisan support for cannabis legalization. But despite the change in laws and attitudes, cannabis remains illegal on the federal level as a result of its status on the Controlled Substances Act. With Democrats controlling Congress and the executive branch, there is hope among advocates that legalization will finally go national. In April, Democrats in the House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE)…

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