According to data released by the FBI, marijuana-related arrests in the U.S. dropped significantly in 2020, due to the pandemic and incipient legalization.
According to Marijuana Moment, between 2019 and 2020 there was a 36% decrease in cannabis cases.
Thus, there was a drop from 545,601 marijuana arrests in 2019 to 350,150 in 2020, representing one arrest every 90 seconds.
Meanwhile, while these are still sky-high figures, the drop is considerable.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) argues that this is due to the loosening of cannabis laws.
"As more states move towards legalizing and regulating cannabis, we are seeing a decrease in the arrests of non-violent marijuana users across the country," NORML executive director Erik Altieri explained to Marijuana Moment.
"The fight for legalization is a fight for justice. While these numbers represent a historic decrease in arrests" Altieri argued.
In addition, part of the decline in arrests can be explained by the health crisis caused by COVID-19, which encouraged social distancing and reduced the number of people out on the streets.
However, it is worth noting that cannabis criminalization persists. U.S. law enforcement made more arrests for cannabis than murder, rape, robbery, burglary, theft, fraud and embezzlement charges combined.
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