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Washington DC: Marijuana Arrests Plummet Over 90% – Embracing the New Normal

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In what now seems like a dark and distant reality, 2,346 people were arrested for simple marijuana possession in Washington D.C. during the 2011 calendar year. But once voters in the District of Columbia sank their teeth into initiative 71, passing it decisively, marijuana legalization/decriminalization became the new norm in our nation’s capital. Ultimately reducing the total number of marijuana related arrests to seven, as of November 6, 2015.

Yep, there’s little doubt this has been an elevated year for the marijuana reform movement, a year whose influence could alter the direction of this country’s marijuana policy for future generations.

California, which first legalized recreational marijuana in 1996, has cultivated strong public support for their 2016 ballot initiative, and looks forward to that critical day in November when they can cast their ballot for full legalization. Would-be Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders planted the seed of true reform via a piece of landmark legislation, hoping to finally snuff out the feds prohibition on marijuana. This action, many believe, compelled Hillary Clinton to reevaluate her fluctuating position on marijuana reform. Mexico’s Supreme Court recently sided with personal liberty and private medical marijuana use; a ruling many believe will end in legalized recreational marijuana south of the border (move over Canada). And last but not least – constituents in Ohio contemplated – and spurned – an ill-conceived and monopolistic initiative that would have handed over Ohio’s recreational marijuana market to the likes of Nick Lachey.

Just the facts…

As the remaining states grapple with the new norm, Washington DC’s dramatic decline in smalltime marijuana related arrests demonstrates the socioeconomic value of marijuana legalization. Rather than wasting millions of dollars sending people to jail and ruining lives for getting high, the voting populace in our nation’s capital opted to preserve and protect future generations from having lives trashed and opportunities withheld.

Washington DC Marijuana Arrests By The Numbers:

2010: 2161

2011: 2346

2012: 1553

2013: 1215

2014: 895

2015: 7 (as of Nov. 6)

If we were to extrapolate the dramatic decline in our nation’s capital for marijuana related arrests, one can only imagine the lives saved, intellectual property protected, tax dollars safeguarded, and revenue earned from coast-to-coast.

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