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Arrests spike for marijuana despite legalization

Many states are legalizing the medical and recreational use of marijuana. The American population on a whole has offered strong support for these new laws. Since then, several dispensaries and other weed-focused businesses have popped up in Colorado, California and other regions where the substance became legal. Texas, on the other hand, developed a strong reputation over the years for treating marijuana cases with the same strictness as hard drugs.

Even so, this is changing. According to the Dallas Observer, many counties in Texas have decided not to go forward with prosecuting cases that involve small amounts of marijuana. This follows the move to legalize hemp or cannabis with a small amount of THC in the state. CBD products containing less than 0.3% of THC are now legal to own in the state and are considered regular agriculture produce.

That said, several areas in Texas may continue to prosecute cases related to cannabis. So far, at least one district attorney publicly affirmed this. This was the district attorney for El Paso, which also happens to be one of the most heavily populated counties in the Lone Star State. This creates confusion for many people convicted of drug possession on how their cases may get handled.

El Paso is not the only area that remains resistant to changing sentiment in the general population toward marijuana. Forbes reports that despite legalization efforts and successes across the country, marijuana arrests are on the rise. Police make one such arrest every 48 seconds, to total out at around 663,367 for the year in 2018. Back in 2016, arrests totaled  653,249. This trend is especially ironic considering that people 21 years and older have access to legal marijuana in nearly a dozen states.


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