This is What Has Happened to Marijuana Arrests in Colorado Since Legalization Happened

The news: Smokers rejoice! The number of cases filed in Colorado state court involving at least one marijuana offense has plunged 77% between 2012 and 2013, according to a Denver Post analysis of data released by the state’s judicial branch.

And the number of marijuana petty possession charges has fallen from 714 a month during the first nine months of 2012 to just 133 per month a year later.

What’s more, prosecutors aren’t even pursuing marijuana-related charges that remain illegal after the state passed an initiative legalizing recreational marijuana in November 2012. Charges for possession of more than 12 ounces of weed have plummeted 73%. Cases with possession with intent to distribute fewer than five pounds have fallen 70%. And even though Denver police have increased the number of tickets issued for public consumption of marijuana smoking, the overall number of such citations statewide has fallen 17%.

Even the number of prosecutions against people under 21, who can’t legally handle or use marijuana under the state’s new laws, has dropped. According to state Attorney General John Suthers, “I think [the police have]kind of thrown their arms up in the air” and given up arresting or citing marijuana users, thanks to the complexities of the new law.

And even when marijuana results in an arrest, petty possession cases are being dismissed from court at an unprecedented rate. In 2012, 79% of such charges were dismissed by a judge or prosecutor; in 2013, 84% were.

– Read the entire article at Policy Mic.

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