Despite marijuana arrests dropping to their lowest number in 20 years, they are still rising in states like Michigan. Michigan state made the move to legalize medical marijuana nearly a decade ago. Voters approved the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act on November 4th of 2008. However, the state has yet to decriminalize marijuana. As a result, the number of marijuana arrests in Michigan is still able to rise. From 2008 to 2015 Marijuana arrests jumped up an entire 17%.
According to a Michigan Poll, the majority of residents support the legalization of marijuana with only 35% opposing it. On the other hand, the state’s police seem to be cracking down even harder on pot.
Marijuana arrests have gone up 17% since legalization while arrests for other drugs have gone down by that same number. Hopefully, these numbers are due to people using more marijuana and less of other drugs. Otherwise, the Michigan PD’s priorities are questionable.
Overall crime has decreased by 15% in Michigan at the same time that marijuana arrests are rising. Perhaps the police in Michigan are cracking down on pot while they still can. Marijuana arrests made up 86% of all drug arrests in 2014.
Furthermore, law enforcement is one of the top three industries actively combating the legalization of marijuana. So it’s not all that surprising to see police in Michigan making the most of marijuana’s current legal status.
We’re sure the residents of Flint would rather see their tax dollars go towards arresting those responsible for allowing the cities water supply to be poisoned. There has been more outrage about the water crisis than illicit pot use. What reason or cause does the Michigan PD have for the rise in marijuana arrests?
Reason For The Rise In Marijuana Arrests
Many people believe the rise in arrests has to do with the fact that marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug with regular marijuana use on the rise. On the other hand, Michigan State Police Sgt. Jeffrey Juneac claims the rise has to do with an increase in dispensaries.
“I think it was accessible before, but it’s even more so now, to legally obtain it,” he said.
This is because even though medical marijuana is legal, the way you possess it may be legal. For example, driving with around with your dank sack riding shotgun will lead to your arrest.
“If you’re a patient and you have your medical marijuana in your center console which is obviously not locked and accessible to the driver we take enforcement action quite often on that situation,” said Juneac.
Just because pot is medically legal doesn’t mean the cops will be any more lenient when they catch you with illegal marijuana. If you’re a Michigan medical marijuana patient be sure to keep your medicine locked away when driving.
The Michigan Claims Court recently denied a recent proposal for the legalization of marijuana. The group responsible for the petition will go straight to the Supreme Court with an emergency appeal. As of now, the earliest “taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol” will see the ballot is 2018.