A timely article for this 4/20….Here’s a good explanation of how we handle marijuana arrests in this country, and why it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

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In the last several years, we’ve seen many states pass medical marijuana legislation, the growth of support for legalizing marijuana, and a whole lotta money wasted on marijuana arrests.  The following graphs are created from 2010 FBI UCR arrest data (the most recent available), except where noted.

There were an estimated 13.1 million arrests in the United States in 2010. Of these, 4% were for violent crimes, 13% for  property crimes, 12% for drugs (of which half were for marijuana), and 19% for alcohol-related crimes.  The rest fell into that vast abyss known as “other” which can be explored further here.

What’s the most interesting figure on this pie chart? I think it’s the whopping 19% of alcohol-related arrests. Given that alcohol is a legal substance, though controlled by age, it’s pretty clear that we have a big problem with booze.

So how do alcohol and marijuana stack up…

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