Washington State Marijuana Arrests Add Up

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sometimes it is important to step back and take big picture view of how marijuana laws are enforced. Here is a graph of adult marijuana arrests in Washington state. Over a ten-year period, more than 100,000 arrests were made. Although the number of arrests each year fluctuates slightly, around 10,000 adults are arrested for marijuana crimes each year. The vast majority of these arrests were for low-level possession.

Graph compiled by ACLU of Washington. Data provided by Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs via records request.

At a time when public safety resources are running dangerously low, Washington's lawmakers should take a hard look at whether our marijuana laws are working or not. A single arrest can result in a lifetime of collateral consequences, making it harder to get a job and find a place to live.