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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

Number of marijuana arrests increasing nationwide

A report released by the FBI says there is one marijuana arrest in the United States every 48 seconds. Marijuana arrests rose nationwide from 653,249 in 2016 to 659,700 in 2017. Arrests for possession of marijuana increased from 587,516 in 2016 to 599,282 in 2017, despite four new states legalizing it. California was one of the states to legalize marijuana in 2017, along with Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.

According to the federal policies director of the Marijuana Policy Project, it is a waste of law enforcement funds to focus on marijuana when more than 100 people die every day due to opioid overdoses. The political director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said law enforcement actions against marijuana ignore morality and public sentiment.

Marijuana arrests accounted for 40.4 percent of the 1,632,921 arrests for drugs nationwide in 2017. Drug arrests overall increased from 2016, when the total was 1,572,579. That means someone is arrested for a drug offense somewhere in the United States every 19 seconds. Arrests for sale and manufacture of marijuana totaled 65,734 in 2016 and 60,418 in 2017.

People who have been arrested on drug charges might want to seek the assistance of legal counsel. A criminal defense lawyer might examine the facts of a case and develop a strategy to counter the narrative put forth by prosecutors. If law enforcement violated the defendant's Constitutional rights, a defense attorney might argue against the admissibility of certain prosecution evidence at trial. In cases of drug crimes, an attorney might be able to negotiate a plea bargain resulting in lesser charges or argue on the client's behalf during criminal court proceedings.

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